What will you be doing tomorrow?

After 50 days, voters go to the polls tomorrow. Liberal Democrat activists across the country will be doing what they can to get voters to the polls. People will be out on the street from 5am until the polls close at 10.

It’s a gruelling experience, especially if you then have to go to the count. That means more than 24 hours on the go.

Tomorrow is the day that determines how many MPs we will have on Friday. We know that in our key seats, we are in with a real shout to significantly increase our MPs. That will only happen if we have enough people on the ground in those seats to deliver leaflets, knock up our supporters and stand on polling stations.

Elections can be lost on polling day if we don’t have an effective operation or enough people on the ground.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about why I’ve always concentrated my effort on target seats:

I could not have it on my conscience to lose a key target by a few hundred votes while I’d concentrated on getting single figures in percentage terms in my home seat. Believe me I have seen that happen several times.

I know how good it has been to have people from across Edinburgh come to help us build our campaign momentum in Edinburgh West. A huge shout out to those who have come over from other parts of the Lothian region and other seats in Edinburgh. Last night in the pouring down rain, we had a huge team knocking on doors. All across the country, key seat campaigns have benefitted from members and activists moving to help them.

It’s so important that we consolidate all that effort by concentrating ALL of our effort in key seats tomorrow. I’d be so blunt as to say that if you are not in the race to win, you should not be doing anything in your own patch. Instead, you could help make the difference in a key seat. We don’t want to lose because we haven’t been able to contact enough voters to remind them to vote. It seems unbelievable that people might forget that it’s election day, but they do. Real life gets in the way. I can’t remember an election where I haven’t been able to get people to vote for us who might not have done so.

I’d go so far as to say that if you are doing anything at all in a seat where we are not going to win, you are doing the party more harm than good. Your presence in a key seat can make the difference. So can your absence. If you are running a polling day operation and you are not a key seat, it is not too late to cancel those plans and move.

If you can travel to a key seat, please do so. If you can’t, you can phone bank. I haven’t been able to get out on the streets these past two days because my knee has rebelled against the overuse it was getting. So I’ve been on my sofa with an ice pack strapped to it phone canvassing, not just for Edinburgh West but for East Dunbartonshire, St Albans and Cambridge too. You can pick who you help. On the Lib Dem Newbies Facebook group, there is a list of all the current phone banks so you can take your pick.

Think how good you will feel on Friday if you can say that you helped win St Albans or Lewes or Edinburgh West or East Dunbartonshire or Carshalton and Wallington or Sutton and Cheam. My appeal to you is to do what you can to make a difference.

Our national poll ratings have clung stubbornly to the 8% mark but we know that we are seriously in contention in many places. Let’s make sure we do all we can to help our candidates over the line to victory. This country needs as many Lib Dem MPs as possible. It’s over to you to make that happen.

 

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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