Category Archives: Campaign Corner

Delivering blue letters

Yesterday I took the train to Tiverton to help Richard Foord in the Tiverton and Honiton by-election.

I helped to deliver the blue letters from Richard in time for the postal ballots which started arriving the day after.

The Tiverton sub-HQ is very well located near the centre of town, next to Morrisons. It is a very spacious and modern facility with one of the best loos I have ever seen at a by-election office. And I’ve seen a few! There was also a great range of soft drinks, teas and coffees on offer. It all seemed very organised and busy. The HQ itself is at Honiton.

We are most fortunate to have an excellent candidate in Richard.

The letter from Richard emphasises the cost of living crisis that is causing real hardship across and people being continuously let down by this Conservative government.

We’ve a real chance to win Tiverton and Honiton. Please do what you can to help Richard and his team.

The following website gives details of how you can help including from your home via a Maraphone: https://www.richardfoord.org.uk/action

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Basic Income – sign the pledge!

I want to encourage all Liberal Democrat candidates in the local election to sign this pledge of support for trials of universal basic income (UBI). If you are a candidate in London you can sign a London-specific pledge.

This initiative is being promoted by the UBI Labs Network, one of the leading organisations campaigning for UBI in the UK.

The Liberal Democrats made UBI official party policy in 2020 and this is a great opportunity to show that party members up and down the country support UBI.

It may seem like a small thing to sign a pledge like this. After all, councils by themselves could not put such an initiative into action: they cannot raise the revenue to pay for it or change the tax code in ways that support it. So why bother?

And yet, and yet… every big journey begins with a single step.

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How to persuade a Brexit voter to support you in the Local Elections?

As I am writing this article, there are thirty-two days until the next local elections. As someone who is standing, we are entering the last stages of the campaign. The finish line is quite close!

This year, in order to know how much time, effort and energy I invested in campaigning, I decided to create a simple timesheet. It is nice to see that since October 2021, I have spent twenty-five hours door knocking, more than twenty-five hours delivering our leaflets and another ten meeting our delivery network. I hope that the outcome will be positive for me and our local Welwyn Hatfield Liberal Democrat team.

I’ve said it a few times but I really enjoy door knocking. I like meeting people, discussing current local and at times, national and global matters. I am learning to become a better listener. Without being judgmental, it is good to find out why people vote in a certain way or why they support a particular policy.

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ALDC by-election report 2 November 2021

With the May 2022 local elections on the horizon, it is paramount the Lib Dems build up momentum going into the spring by ending the year strong and we did just that!

First and foremost, we want to thank all our valued candidates, local parties and an army of steadfast volunteers that gave Lib Dem supporters ample opportunity to support Liberal Democrat Councillors all over the country.

There were two gains in Lancaster, one loss and one gain in Hailsham, a heartfelt loss in North Norfolk and in Breckland.

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North Shropshire’s Helen Morgan talks to LDV about campaign issues

The North Shropshire by-election is two weeks’ today. Yesterday, I spent half-a-hour talking to the Lib Dem candidate for North Shropshire, Helen Morgan. I was impressed by her determination, her grasp of the issues from farming to public transport, and of the biggest issue, health. The first article discussing how the campaign is going was published earlier today.

Helen spoke of the difficulty in getting to see a GP and the queues of ambulances outside the county’s A&E’s. In a very rural part of England, farmers are struggling in the transition from basic farm payments to the new Environmental Land Management System (ELMS). There is space in rural areas for some solar farms and for microgeneration of renewable electricity.

Public transport is a major issue, especially the infrequency of buses. The difficulty in getting housing people can afford is also high on the agenda.

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North Shropshire’s Helen Morgan talks to LDV about the campaign

Yesterday, I spent half-a-hour talking to the Lib Dem candidate for North Shropshire, Helen Morgan.

In this first of two articles, Helen tells us how the campaign is going with just two weeks to go. Sleaze is not a big topic on the doorsteps but trust in politicians is very low. People in Shropshire are fed up with politicians who appear for a photo call during an election but don’t try to solve local problems in between. Helen wants to help restore that trust.

The Conservative vote is very soft. A lot of people are thinking about switching their votes, or maybe even not voting at all, because they are disillusioned with the way they’ve been treated over many decades by their Conservative representatives. A lot of people say that it’s time for a change in North Shropshire.

The canvassing of the postal voters has given really good results:

We can win if we get enough boots on the ground to come and put the leaflets through the door.

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Postal votes: Shout out if you are helping in North Shropshire this weekend

There is the clatter of the letter box. Among the bills and magazines is a white envelope that contains the postal voting form. That is happening right now in North Shropshire. Postal votes are critical to us winning this by-election. And we can win this by-election. We have the right candidate. The right team. But in this huge constituency, we need people on the ground and on the phones to persuade people that this does not have to remain a true blue seat.

There is a lot of talk about the Lib Dems having to climb a mountain to win this by-election. A mountain is a challenge but not an impossibility. If we win this by-election, we will change the political dynamics of the Welsh Marches. We are a Tory leaning area with a huge streak of Lib Dem support. Winning here means that we can win so many other wards, councils and constituencies.

We need to tell the world that the Lib Dems are back.

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One month to go in North Shropshire campaign – we need your help

Just four weeks today, voters will go to the polls across North Shropshire. More than 83,000 voters will have the chance to cast their vote. We can win that vote. Even the bookies think so – odds on Helen Morgan winning have shortened this week with William Hill now offering 2:1.

The previous incumbent, Owen Paterson, held a majority of 22,949. Despite that, the Tories are not invincible in North Shropshire. They have presided over the decline of local NHS services. Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust was rated as inadequate for the third time today. There are long waits for ambulances and long waits to be transferred into A&E. The reform of Shropshire’s health provision, known as Future Fit, has stalled after years of dithering. Farmers and small businesses are angry at the bureaucracy they must negotiate to export to the EU. People are concerned about climate change and the slow progress locally and nationally on tackling it. Underfunded schools. The lack of rural transport. Low wages. The state of the rural economy.

We have everything to win in North Shropshire. We have a great candidate in Helen Morgan and a great team backing her. We need as many feet on the ground, as many people stuffing envelopes and as many people on the phones as we can get. If you can’t do any of those, please donate. Campaigning details for Saturday are below.

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North Shropshire campaign ramps up this weekend

The campaign to take the North Shropshire seat from the Conservatives got off to a flying start last weekend, including a visit from Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey. The North Shropshire team supported by campaigners across the country have been leafleting and talking to voters since last Saturday.

The betting odds on the Lib Dem candidates winning this seat have been slashed from 10:1 to 4:1. That’s good when we are trying to overturn a majority of nearly 23,000. I am not suggesting you gamble but if you can get to North Shropshire, please to so and help win the seat whatever the bookies’ odds. There are also other ways you can help if you can’t get there.

Ed Davey and Daisy Cooper are campaigning in Wem on Friday afternoon. Saturday lunch, Tim Farron and Sarah Green will officially launch the campaign just outside Wem at 1pm. Campaigners will also be out in Oswestry, Market Drayton and Whittington over the next few days.

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Future councillors scheme launched by Young Liberals

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Campaign to stand up for carers

The party is running a campaign to increase the Carer’s Allowance by £1,000 a year:

During this terrible pandemic, our carers have been more important than ever. Yet carers are still often forgotten or ignored by those in power.

Back our campaign to stand up for carers – starting by raising the Carer’s Allowance by £1,000 a year 👇

Carers – paid and unpaid, young and old – do a remarkable and important job.

They deserve our support but are far too often forgotten and ignored. Liberal Democrats will stand up for carers and lead the way to a more caring society as

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With 100 days until polling day, ALDC are here to support your campaign

Embed from Getty Images

Many councillors and campaigners will be familiar with ALDC’s Local Election Appeal, which supports Liberal Democrat candidates in seats we’re aiming to gain from the other parties.

It’s vital that our party makes gains in the major series of local and national elections scheduled for Thursday 6 May. Here at ALDC, we’re aiming to raise £40,000 for the 2021 Local Election Appeal – 100% of this fund will be spent on additional direct mail to key groups of voters in our battleground wards, especially postal voters.

We need to raise this money so that we can help 200 Lib Dem candidates over the line in our target wards/divisions. Can you make a donation today to help us reach our target?

At the last local elections in 2019, 75% of the candidates who received funding from ALDC were from groups underrepresented in local government – women, BAME, LGBT+, young people (under 26) and people with disabilities. ALDC are committed to making our councillors more representative of the communities we represent and we will be supporting a similar proportion in 2021.

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Don’t get caught out this May!

As I write this, I have never thought I would be so pleased to see the back of a year as I did 2020. At the same time, I have never felt so apprehensive about what 2021 and the next 12 months holds for our families, our communities and our country.

Since New Year there has been loads of speculation about the elections in May. We simply don’t know as I pen this. If I was in government, I’d want to keep the option open of May elections until the last possible moment.

What we do know is the Government (in the most recent case via Local Government Minister Chloe Smith) are saying they will go ahead in May, with the bar for delaying being set “quite high”. So that is as clear as mud then!

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Insights from the 2020 US Elections: A report from Liberal Democrats Overseas North American Branch

For the past six months, while liberals everywhere were biting their nails, the LDO North American Branch were analysing data sources and talking to anyone they could to gain useful insight into the US Elections.

The result is a report and Paddy Ashdown Forum / Liberal Democrats Overseas webinar entitled US Elections: Insights and Lessons for Lib Dem Campaigning to be held on Monday January 18th at 18:00 GMT.

So, what are the insights and lessons learned? The LDO report distills it all down to 7 key insights.

1. The ‘non-campaign’ campaign: Virtual campaigning comes of age

While Trump repeated his 2016 strategy, relying heavily on big rallies and live cable news coverage, the Biden team relied on virtual campaigning tactics. Democrats had to completely rethink how to connect with voters, finding new, imaginative ways of re-creating the emotional connection over the phone, text, Facebook message, and Zoom. In fact, virtual campaigning turned out to be more efficient, greatly extend reach, and be as impactful as traditional in-person events and door-knocking operations.

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Countering the right-wing media

Of late there has been a surge of Right-wing media, twisting and distorting facts or even just blatantly lying, clearly hoping that the old adage attributed to Mark Twain “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes” still holds some weight.

As Conservatives push their message, the opposition parties must be smarter, there is no point in responding directly to try to put right their ceaseless mantra of misinformation, little point in reacting or name-calling. Instead, we must be faster, more cautious, and cleverer.

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Getting back onto the doorstep, getting back on the campaign trail…

I wanted to let you know about my experience door knocking over the last couple of weeks. Over the last fortnight, I’ve spent two evenings a week knocking on doors in Portsmouth, where I’m the Lib Dem Leader of the Council.

The feedback from voters here in Portsmouth has been brilliant, they were very pleased to see us.

I’ve been out in small groups, each of us in masks, keeping 2 meters from anyone. If people weren’t in, we posted leaflets through letterboxes to let them know we’d been.

It was great to be back talking to residents, as …

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The power of Facebook Live video

Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms all allow you to create Live videos. The time people spend watching Facebook Live videos has quadrupled in the past year and generate more engagement than pre-recorded videos.

Around one in five videos on Facebook is a Live video and across all social media channels Live video is expected to grow 15-fold by 2022, making up around 17% of all internet traffic.

So how do you incorporate live streams into your social media campaign?

Vikki Slade, Leader of BCP Council and Liberal Democrat Councillor for Broadstone Ward, is not only a big believer in the power of social media, but has found engaging ways to make Live video part of her social media strategy. She says:

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Stepping up as a Liberal Democrat Councillor in Bradford as part of the response to the national emergency

Regular involvement in our local communities meant we could respond quickly to pull local partners together before lock-down was announced. Our Parish Church offered to provide a base for a ‘Community Response Hub’, the Church Secretary took on the role of co-ordinator and other volunteers from the congregation stepped up to run social media. This gave us a flying start in organising a grass-root team offer to local people into which representatives from the Police, a Council Officer and other representatives from local groups met and worked together. We met every day for the first 16 days to make sure …

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Thank you candidates, agents and campaign teams

News of the delay in this May’s local elections by a year is a sign of just how serious the coronavirus outbreak is.

It also means that for many candidates, agents and campaign teams who were gearing up for May, there’s now an unsettling vacuum in their political lives. What was going to be a peak of effort, with big impacts on the lives of people who are or aren’t elected, is now suddenly put off.

There’s also the weird situation that some councillors – along with their families – find themselves in. Those who were expecting to retire in a few weeks, sometimes after many years of voluntary public service, instead face an extra 12 months before they get to stand down.

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Advice for campaigners during coronavirus epidemic

ALDC (Liberal Democrat Councillors and Campaigners) has updated its advice for canvassers and campaigners in the light of the Government’s announcement yesterday.

CAMPAIGNING ADVICE

A lot of members have asked us for advice about campaigning in the light of the COVID-19 virus. This is our current advice. This may change if Government, NHS and professional guidance changes at which point we will issue new guidance.

DO – KEEP CAMPAIGNING

Our current advice is that we should keep campaigning the normal ways that Liberal Democrats campaign, including delivering leaflets and knocking on doors.

DO – TAKE SENSIBLE PRECAUTIONS

When campaigning

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The Boost Guide

2020 has enormous potential for us.

We need to make the most of that – and now is a great time to build up your local party by activating more of your members.

That’s why we’re releasing the Boost Guide. We’ve worked with and learnt from some of our most successful local parties and activists. We’ve taken their best ideas and top tips, and distilled them into a handy guide for you.

From the mechanics of how to find your member data, through to running better events and more,it’s a definitive manual on how to broaden your engagement and activate more members. The guide has tips and strategies that will work for every size of local party.

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Candidate update

2020 sees us in a new electoral cycle with a more stable Government than we’ve seen for many years. With it comes a new set of challenges for the Lib Dems leading up to the next General Election in or before May 2024.

As part of these preparations, the English Candidates’ Committee (ECC) will very shortly be launching it’s Post-Election Candidate Review. The purpose of the Review, which is conducted after every General Election, is to understand how candidates performed in the face of the various challenges of the campaign trail. This process will cover England only, with separate arrangements being made for Scotland and Wales.

The Review will consist of questionnaires sent by email to candidates, their election agents and senior local party officers. Each group will receive a tailored set of questions to help determine strengths, weaknesses and future opportunities for each candidate.

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Getting back on the horse – and saying thank you

Laura Gordon shows her fighting spirit with this tweet and begs the question – have you delivered your “thank you” Focus yet?

PS. As of this morning, 85.8% say Laura has got back on the horse!

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ALDC Advice: Building your campaign team

Summer provides the perfect time to piece together your campaign team in advance of your next set of elections.

In a single ward election, your team doesn’t need to be huge to win. Just sharing the load between a few committed people will make victory achievable and the process a lot more fun.

You’ll want to engage as many people as possible for your team of volunteers. But this is not the case with your core team which should be kept small. Larger teams mean big meetings which will slow you down; campaigns require speed and decisiveness. The team should be able to meet regularly and make decisions quickly and effectively. Try to choose people who will work hard and lead by example.

If you’re aiming to fight multiple areas on the same day, it will often be useful to have the same core team in place for all the areas. The team will then be able to make decisions about the whole area without duplication.

The basic core team should include:

  • Candidate
  • Campaign manager/agent (or both if these are not the same person)
  • Literature manager
  • Data manager
  • Media manager

 

Leadership: job roles for the core team

The core team will plan the campaign. It is never too early to start this process and you can do it without a candidate if necessary. The team will then lead the campaign, taking responsibility for the strategy and its implementation. Each member of the core team has their own individual responsibilities too:

Candidate: The figurehead, who will through necessity, provide leadership to the wider team, particularly with canvassing and fundraising. It is vital that the rest of the core team respect the candidate’s views. It is different when it’s your name on the leaflets! But it is also important that the candidate shares control and the overall planning with the core team. After all it is teams not individuals that win elections.

Campaign manager/agent: These are two jobs, but they can easily be combined. The campaign manager is the overall campaign organiser. They will provide internal leadership and bring the team together, making sure that every other role is being filled successfully. The agent’s role is a complex and responsible one. All agents should read both the Agent’s Manual and the Basic Election Law book to get a full grasp of the role. Needless to say the final legal buck for everything stops with the agent, so all major decisions must involve them.

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VIDEO: Campaigning in Brecon is child-friendly – all are welcome!

Lib Dem activist Theo Butt Philip brought his child along to campaign and tells us about the experience here.

From a baby in a front-pack to a teenager with younger legs (I speak from experience) delivering to houses with long drives, bring your children along! Everyone is welcome in Brecon and Radnorshire to win this seat back for the Lib Dems.

And if you can send in toys, books or games to the campaign offices to help keep younger children entertained, the addresses to post to are here:

Llandrindod: Liberal Democrats, Haslemere, Park Crescent, Llandrindod, LD1 6AB

and

Brecon: Liberal Democrats, 26 High Street, Brecon, LD3 7LE.

Happy campaigning!

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Why summer surveying should be your next campaigning activity

Now that May’s two sets of elections are successfully out of the way, it’s time to move our campaigning activity onto summer surveys.

Why survey?

Surveys are a fantastic way to generate voter ID, campaign issues and contact with local communities. If they’re used properly, they will establish you and your local Lib Dem team as hard-working, locally focused and approachable. And with proper follow up they can drive your campaign and messages.

The more you know about your residents, the better you can be as a community campaigner/councillor. There’s a lot of useful information you can gain from surveys and record in Connect for future voter contact, e.g. writing target mail.

Five reasons to survey now:

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20th February 2019 – Briefings

Radical changes are afoot in UK politics
– Cable

Responding to news that three Conservative MPs have left the party to sit with the Independent Group, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:

“There is clearly some very radical changes now afoot as both the Conservatives and Labour have being taken over by militant groups, driving out more moderate MPs.

“We will hold out the hand of friendship to the independent MPs with whom we already have a good working relationship.

“In the short term we will be concentrating on securing a People’s Vote, with an option to stay in the EU.”

ENDS

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Party identifies 14 key MPs who could swing People’s Vote

House of Commons 2010

Christine Jardine has written to party supporters asking them to email 14 key Tory MPs who the party reckons could swing a vote for a People’s Vote in the House of Commons next week. The 14 MPs voted both remain and leave in the 2016 EU referendum and are:

Leave:

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2019: The ALDC Year of MORE

There are over 8,000 wards to fight in the 2019 local elections and we have the potential to make a lot of gains.

To help us make Thursday 2 May 2019 a resounding success we have set up a campaign – 2019: The ALDC year of MORE. We have four aims:

  1. More campaigners
  2. More candidates
  3. More councillors
  4. More councils

To wake up on Friday 3 May to a great set of results, as a Party, we need to be actively campaigning now.

We have a section on our website where we’ve been listing things that campaigners should be doing throughout the autumn. These …

Also posted in Council by-elections, News and Op-eds | Tagged | 1 Comment

‘Best local election campaign’

Campaigners in Kingston upon Thames are rightly proud of receiving the ALDC award for the Best Local Election Campaign in 2018, especially given the high quality campaigns in many other areas including our neighbours in Richmond.

We’d love to share our story with you and maybe offer some hope and inspiration.

In May this year we increased the number of Lib Dem councillors on Kingston Council from 18 to 39, out of a total of 48. Of those,

  • 26 were new Councillors, all of whom stood for the first time
  • the majority (22) were female, with at least one woman standing in every ward, two with newborns!
  • the age range is 22 to 74 years old, with every decade represented
  • 23% are BAME (matching the Borough as a whole) and include the first Councillor of Korean heritage
  • between them they speak 10 different languages
  • we have strong LGBTQ and disability representation.

We are fortunate to have gained a significant number of new members after the general election in 2015, and again after the referendum in 2016. However, we did not sit on our laurels and we actively looked for local community activists who support Liberal Democrat principles as potential candidates.

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