Author Archives: Steffan Aquarone

Steffan Aquarone is the County Councillor for Melton Constable division in Norfolk, and is Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group.

Lessons from the Stalham (North Norfolk) byelection loss

As the fantastic team of over forty volunteers recovers from our collective disappointment, it’s worth saying how proud I am of the way people rallied around our fabulous candidate in the depths of winter, against a cynical and purposeful Tory opposition.

Disappointing though our loss is, had this not been the case we may not have learnt a vital lesson that I now feel ought to be shared – in particular for the benefit of areas where we are in control of the local council.

My reflection is that we lost, not to the Tories, who got nearly the same number of votes as they did last time, but to motivation. With only a 22% turnout (and a target pool that included soft conservatives on polling day, and was canvassed in full nearly twice), we know our supporters did not switch to the Tories, but it quickly became apparent that they lacked sufficient motivation to go out and vote.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 10 Comments

Help us strengthen the role of affiliated organisations

Our party is a bit like a family, including the fights, factions, and fallouts.  But like a family, there are lots of different interests that bind us together alongside our belief in liberal democracy.

In the past, interest groups who wanted to formalise and become recognised by the party had to go through a process to become an “Associated Organisation” or a “Specified Associated Organisation”.   Back in 2020, however, the Federal Board asked for a review of the way this worked, and how these groups interact and work together with the wider party.

Since then we (Flo Clucas, Tim Pickstone, Bess Mayhew and Steffan Aquarone, ably assisted by Jack Coulson) have spoken to dozens of party organisations and surveyed hundreds of their members – from the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors, to Liberal Democrat Women, and everything in between.  We found a number of consistent themes.

There were lots of ways we identified that could make the process simpler, and more broadly appealing to the richly diverse range of interests that are aligned to our cause as Liberal Democrats – resulting in the simple status of “Affiliated Organisation”.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 3 Comments

Top skills a Local Party Organiser needs in 2018

Local Party Organisers have a hard balancing act to maintain: running seemingly every aspect of election campaigns in their local area whilst also overseeing the long-term development of the local party.

It’s no wonder sometimes it can seem like an impossible task!

In preparing to recruit for a new Local Party Organiser (LPO) for North Norfolk and Great Yarmouth Liberal Democrats, I tried to think from scratch about the sorts of skills we were looking for. One of the first things we concluded was that we couldn’t expect to find everything in one person. So, having returned an executive with a huge …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 3 Comments

Ten reasons why we wrote Fourth to First

I confess to knowing very little about anything – in particular political campaigning. But one thing I can talk about at length is how we did it in a small rural patch of North Norfolk (six shops, four pubs, two petrol stations and zero towns), going from fourth position last time to first in May 2017 with a majority of 420.

It was the first time I’d fought a campaign from start to finish, and it was quite a ride. So much so that Freya, my sister and campaign manager, and I decided to write a book about …

Posted in Campaign Corner | Tagged and | 14 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • Nigel Jones
    While it is obvious that the PM's competence is open to even more question than when she was campaigning to get elected, there is another important matter too. ...
  • Jeff
    Jenny Barnes 29th Sep '22 - 5:26pm: …when the average mortgage doubles in price, costing… Are interest rates at 2-3% sustainable with infl...
  • Jeff
    Jenny Barnes 29th Sep '22 - 5:26pm: …when the average mortgage doubles in price, costing… Were interest rates at 2-3% sustainable with infl...
  • Paul Barker
    The reaction of The Voters seems fairly "hysterical" as well & they are the Bosses....
  • Ann Bailey
    Jeff 29th Sep '22 - 5:12pm................‘The hysterical over-reactions to the Budget betray ignorance of history and economics’:................. Howev...