Friday, May 05, 2006

Runnymede Report Back

Well, after almost a full fortnight of semi-frantic canvassing and leaflet dropping around the streets of Englefield Green East, that's it. I was not elected to the council. No surprises there. I polled some 282 votes, compared to 165 for the Lib Dems last time out. The two Tory candidates got in with 591 and 471 respectively, so I might have gained 100 out of the 300 I needed to flip. Despite a rocky moment watching the tally sheets, when one of them seemed to show the Monster Raving Loony candidate doing well, I suppose it was respectable.

At least I beat UKIP soundly. Worryingly, a lot of people split the ticket: some people even managed to vote for me and the UKIP candidate, which is...odd. One person took the time to write in block caps WHO ARE YOU ALL? in the boxes on their ballot paper. I asked the presiding officer if I could frame that one, but apparently it's against the law.

What have I learned, if anything? (Apart from not volunteering, something I've been taught again and again. Well...signs of large-scale DIY are correlated with Liberal voting. Dogs are nonpartisan. Nasty plastic ornamentation is Tory, as are Arts & Crafts Movement haciendas, although that's hardly news. And old-fashioned, filthy dirty doorstep politics works.

I've also gained a knowledge of the place's urban space I haven't in six years, not to mention knowing where Britain's rudest man lives.

1 comment:

md said...

I don't know what you did this time around, so this is just off-the-top-of-my-head, blanket advice.

People tend to like good constituency service & they're more likely to vote for you, even if they disagree with you on national issues, if they believe you'll (a) listen to them, (b) help them out with the small stuff, and (c) do it year-round, not just at election time.

If you want to try again next time, build some form of local infrastructure/recognition. Write letters to the editor in local newspapers. If you can afford it, send out the odd mailing at non-election times on local issues. Turn up at local meetings. Try to make sure you comments are focused on the issues & not self-promotion. & so on.

Regardless, congrats on the showing this time around.

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