How to survive a campaign and not sell your soul

The successful (and at times rather controversial) Australian pollster Mark Textor has a great piece in the Sydney Morning Herald about how to survive election campaigns. It includes these tips:

The biggest mistake you can make is to not tell someone you have made a mistake. Campaigns are planning machines. There is a process and a meeting for everything, including dealing with crises. But there is no machinery for the crises you don’t know about and the worst thing in politics is the surprise that bites you in the arse on a Tuesday morning…

Eat well. You don’t win a race on McDonald’s. Nor do you win a campaign on it. A colleague was once even diagnosed with scurvy during a campaign…

Unshowered staffers, bad coffee, crap hours, crowded offices, rubbish food, people wandering around in their socks as well as lonely fathers, partners and any semblance of a normal life temporarily trashed. It ain’t the West Wing but it is an experience to remember fondly, especially if you win.

The full piece (including a rather different Australian attitude to betting from that in British political circles) is well worth a read.

And of course if you are looking for some further campaign advice, I can suggest 101 Ways To Win An Election

Hat-tip: Phil Cowley and Matt Chorley

* Mark Pack is Party President and is the editor of Liberal Democrat Newswire.

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This entry was posted in Campaign Corner.


  • “Eat well. You don’t win a race on McDonald’s. Nor do you win a campaign on it.”

    Oh yes you do 🙂

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 12th Jun '12 - 11:42am

    Actually, one of our hard working candidates in Scotland ended up with Scurvy in the run up to the Holyrood elections last year. It’s not as if there wasn’t enough healthy food in his house – he just didn’t eat it. So, although fast food might be the menu of choice, healthy is better. In the 2007 election I took in things like pitta bread, humous and salad and fruit to eat and I felt much better for it and got much more done.

  • Liberal Neil 12th Jun '12 - 1:21pm

    @Hywel – you’re dead wrong on this one. Burger King is much better 🙂

  • Nothing wrong with salad and pitta bread. They are essential elements of the Donner 🙂

  • Maybe we need to start compiling a ‘nutrition for campaigns’ recipe book? Quick to prepare and eat, nutritionally complete, high energy foods to help maximise the effect of our campaigning… 😉

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