How long does it take to deliver leaflets to the whole parliamentary consituency?

Answer is, it depends on the constituency. Whether it is rural, lots of compact estates, full of flats etc. A lot also depends on the deliverers and the speed they can walk. There are approximately 35,000 homes in most constituencies and on average a deliverer can do 100 an hour.

So a just a small question of finding 350 man hours…and some may even do this more than once in an election campaign.

It does sound a lot but again it depends on how big the local party is, how many activists, how many activists are prepared to deliver to more than just a couple of streets. Bromsgrove Lib Dems are not a large local party but luckily its activity rate is high as a percentage of its membership, although I am pulling out all the stops with my mum, wife, mother in law and friends all giving a hand.

As the candidate I’m doing a fair bit of deliveries but my primary role is to meet people and organisations  so they get to know me, I can understand their concerns and help them where possible now. However, how I do in the elections will be firmly down to the legwork the deliverers have put in, so thanks in advance team!

P.S. If you’d like to help or wish to donate to the Bromsgrove Liberal Democrats election campaign then contact me via:

e-mail: Phil@philipling.org.uk

phone: 07545589693

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Chance of a hung parliament is exactly the time to vote for the Liberal Democrats

The long pre-election campaign has began, with both the Conservatives and Labour wooing Lib Dem voters as neither side can win outright based on current polls. The Conservatives are peddling the line that a hung parliament means a weak government and so people (especially Lib Dems)should vote for them to prevent this and get rid of Labour

In fact a hung parliament is exactly when people should vote Lib Dem. The (lazy) argument for not voting Lib Dem amongst those sympathetic to us is “it’s a wasted vote” or “…never get into power, so doesn’t matter about their policies”. Well in a hung parliament we could be involved in a coalition government, so our policies are more likely to be adopted.

If you believe in fairer and greener taxes, want to scrap tuition fees, letting teachers teach, smaller primary school classes, more local powers to your council, want electoral reform and Vince Cable to guide the UK economy then vote Lib Dem to achieve this!

Choice and representation

On a separate note the Conservatives believe in giving people choice in terms of service provisions such as involving private health and parents running schools. Interesting that for provision of government they are clinging to first past the post even though it clearly reduces choice and is hugely unrepresentative of what people want… Virtually all modern democracies in the world have proportional representative voting system, but not in one of the oldest Democracies in the world, the UK.

Experience of a rookie election candidate in the Guardian

Article in the Guardian by Susanna Rustin on her experience of running in the Queen’s Park Westminster Council By-election for the Greens (and she beat the Lib Dem candidate to boot…). Gives you an insight of what’s required at a low level, multiply that by 100 times for a General Election as every breathing moment (awake or asleep) is consumed by strategy, what you’re going to say, are you meeting enough of the right people, press releases etc.

Still wouldn’t change anything apart from the first 3 months of 2010 being warmer otherwise canvassing will be a miserable affair (few voters will want to speak on the doorstep and not much fun for my team either).

The average local election candidate did 20 hours of campaigning a week!

That’s a lot! Almost half a working week. This is based on research by the Electoral Commission, although it may be skewed by candidates who are retired as they have more time to campaign.

I’ve been reading Conservative Home, to understand the Tory beast, and especially the PPC diaries (Prospective Parliamentary Candidates), and the thing that jumps out is how a lot of their candidates are already working part time or even have no job as they can afford it! They work damn hard though.

It was interesting to contrast it with the Lib Dem PPCs, who sound as though they try to juggle a career with politics. The PPCs I know are all in jobs and juggling their campaigning.

Off to Bromsgrove tomorrow to speak to the locals, do some canvassing and the pub quiz fundraiser.

It’s tough work winning a parliamentary election

Just watched “Make Me An MP”  a documentary following John Smeaton, who was a bit of a hero in Glasgow after his efforts in preventing a terrorist attack in Glasgow airport in 2007, efforts to be an MP in the recent Glasgow East Bye Election. Despite being recognisable with lots of interest and kind words from the public he only mustered 258 votes, finishing 8th out of 13 candidates. Was slightly surprised he didn’t do a bit better but I know he didn’t work half as hard as other candidates are doing for other seats, but more on that tomorrow