Reinvigorating Liberal Democrat campaigns

Despite a slight kick-start in the most recent elections we are still a long way off form truly having a #libdemfightback. If that is something we really want to do then we must start taking a real look at campaign strategy and the way we are fighting these elections.

For years now the Liberal Democrats have been running a campaign that, whilst it does reach certain people, it is not working as well it perhaps could be. Targeting strong seats is very sensible and admirable but if feel we are potentially missing out on capturing other constituencies.

Having lived in several London boroughs it is a shame I have not been visited by any of the local Liberal Democrats standing for Parliament or  local council. I believe our lack of presence may mean we aren’t reaching potential voters.

#LibDemFightBack must be more than just an ideology or a slogan. Targeting key seats is of course a great idea, but I think we can’t underestimate how much we can make an impact in other areas. I know we will not get immediate results and other parties are also on the streets as well. It will of course take more than flyers and canvassing and I think if we can have a strong and captivating message we can potentially meet and sway new voters and even new members. I am not entirely sure what the answer is but I think we must attempt to re-evaluate our approach and try new things out. Whether it is as simple as canvassing in areas we are weak or organising events, publicity stunts, getting digital or just re-thinking our messaging. Whatever form that may take I think we must continue to keep our message alive and positive in any new ways we can and try and get both members and non-members really passionate about the party and our policies.

I believe if we constantly talk to each other openly and try to scrutinise our strategy in how we campaign then we can really invigorate the fight back. I’m sure people in many constituencies are doing this already, and I applaud those members. I simply worry that we don’t have as strong a presence as we perhaps could.

I believe that our campaign has to be re-thought and maybe trying out new things might not be a bad idea, not necessarily better, but worth a try. I think we should be pragmatic and realistic when approaching our planning and we should try and present our ideas and policies as robustly and as vigorously as we can

* The author is an actor, writer and Lib Dem member

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  • Bill le Breton 12th May '16 - 3:05pm

    Just do it!

    Andrew, just get out there and start. Come back here and/or the member’s forum section on campaigning and let us know how things are going.

    That is what Cyril Carr did in Liverpool … and really everyone who ever started a ball rolling in what was a ‘black hole’.

    Build it and they will come.

    Come here will your story and others will follow.

  • My experience over the last 60 years tells me that the wider “fight back” comes following some “sensational” as some see it political success, usualy a parkliamentary by election, Torrington in 58, ultimately Orpington in 62, Rochdale and Sutton in 72, Warrington in 83, Eastbourne in 89. Until the moment arises we just keep nibbling away. It will come provided we do not get bogged down in “coaliare. It will come, perhaps when we least expect it. We are due some parliamentary political luck.

  • theakes – Warrington 83 was a disaster ! Bermondsey 82 might be a better example ? Eastbourne was 90.

  • Lawrence Fullick 13th May '16 - 11:15am

    Does this chap think candidates and councillors should waste their time calling on members? It is the wider public they need to reach. He should be helping them do this.

  • Sue Sutherland 13th May '16 - 4:18pm

    I think this expansion will also have to be targeted. I realise that all of our resources are very limited but if at all possible I would like to see us trying to expand by also targeting one ward, which isn’t being worked by other parties, which is a working class and/or a BAME area. In other words,a traditional Labour area. We desperately need to recruit more members from these groups because we need to listen to them so that our policies reflect their opinions. We are Liberal Democrats and we should be the party that encourages more people like the new Mayor of London but so far we have failed to do this.
    Maybe we can only manage to do this in one city and only in one ward, with help from the national party and the BAME group advising and taking the lead in such a venture but at least it would be a start. We also need to recruit more members from areas of relative poverty for similar reasons and maybe the same method could be tried. We are still too white and middle class and, even though the last conference addressed the issue of female equality, we must go further so that we start to represent our modern 21st century society.

  • Sue Sutherland 13th May '16 - 4:21pm

    PS but don’t let anything I’ve said stop you from going out and getting stuck into a ward that looks promising!

  • Richard Boyd OBE DL 14th May '16 - 9:50am

    Go for it as do as Bill le Breton advises.

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