Mark Pack writes…Thank you, candidates and agents

As you read this, the final rounds of nomination papers are going in for Liberal Democrat candidates around the country. Between candidates and agents, that is well over a thousand people who have volunteered to add even more burdens, strain and work to the next few weeks above and beyond even what all the rest of us are going to go through.

Even in the most fantastic election result for the Liberal Democrats, at the end of it many hundreds of them will not have a victory to show for it. The party, and our cause, will however, thanks to them, have much to show for it. 

Losing campaigns can still be the step to winning next time – whether that is more victories in the next local government elections, more victories in the Scottish, Welsh and London elections or even moving on to win in the general election after this one. Those campaigns too help spread our message, grow our party and increase our political relevance.

So thank you, those who are leading the political and organisational charge to help achieve that. Especially as you will see, and I am sure understand, so much of the party’s attention, resources and assistance be diverted increasingly tightly to those who are in with a chance of winning.

Such a narrowing of resources onto key marginal seats is essential under first past the post. Targeting is what turns votes into seats at a far better rate of return than just spreading ourselves out equally.

Even as our collective attentions therefore shift, we should not forget our thanks to those who are standing and agenting outside the target seats. And double our thanks to those stand-out stars who not only candidate and agent in a non-target seat but also bring themselves and their colleagues over to target seats too. Building up your own area while helping us win target seats can be a tough double act to pull off. But the results are so worthwhile.

Thank you, and good luck.

* Mark Pack is Party President and Co-leader of the party. He is editor of Liberal Democrat Newswire.

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6 Comments

  • Graham Jeffs 14th Nov '19 - 1:30pm

    Thanks for your comments Mark.

    Let’s also remember that a visible presence in non-target seats is essential to help boost our poll ratings across the country. If we build our poll position, people are much more likely to consider us.

  • Graham, you have made a very good point. One of the reasons we get squeezed in the opinion polls during the middle of GE campaigns is that the Tories & Labour have signifiantly more target seats. Statistically many more voters will be included from their target seats than ours.

  • David Sheppard 14th Nov '19 - 9:20pm

    Thanks Mark for thinking of those not so well packed full of Liberals places like mine. We have had to fund from our own meagre recourses £2,000 for deposits 4 x seats. We had better get over 5% this time or there will not be another round of General elections we can fund locally. The National party has got to help drive the national vote up way beyond 15% or up its fundraising game and start to fund the deposits that would be around £325,000 for all seats. It will be people like me from the development areas who will be on the warpath for this after the election.

  • David makes a valid point for seats with few resources and low membership. If central funds can pay deposits then £500 pays for 15,000 A4 colour leaflets instead…

  • Thanks Mark.

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