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Legacy campaigning in a by-election

February 13, 2017 1:19 PM

Zulfiqar AliSo the final straight approaches and we are looking at our campaign and putting in place the finishing touches and allowing space for some extra elements. We have been often asked by visiting helpers what can they do to make a real difference. So here today for the first time I think i have the answer, which is not as obvious as I expected.

I am a huge believer in having what I call legacy campaigning: that regardless of the electoral outcome that you achieve some positives, some learning, training and apply that to the future. I spend a lot of time urging new members to attend by-elections, seeing them as training porgrammes, and suggesting that people go with clear objectives of what they can do, might learn and will leave with.

Now, I don't know about you, but when I sit down to do some telephone canvassing on my own it is all too easy to get distracted, to put it off or to make just one or two calls and then do something else. So in place of that setting up a Phone Bank appears to be the solution to my lack of application.

So what does this entail? Basically you find two or three others in your local party, each get a Connect log in code and then gather in one place and agree to do an hour or two's phoning together. And there you have it - a Local Party Phone Bank.

So why is this relevant to Stoke-on-Trent? Basically we need more of you to take to the phones and ring for Dr Zulfiqar Ali and the Liberal Democrats. But even better would you to make those calls, but also have a group of 2-5 others in your Local Party who did some calls. And thus when this by-election is over you can carry on building your local Phone Bank and have a direct legacy out of our campaign. Imagine if your Local Party had a team or bank of folks, just 3, 4 or 5 people who were willing to ring people on a regular basis - first for Stoke-on-Trent and then for your own local elections.

So, please can you use this week to get a small core team mobilised and phone for Dr Zulfiqar Ali. We will be hugely grateful, it will make a difference here and (this is the most important bit) - you will have a constructive legacy that can then be applied to your next local elections. So, please - contact claire.halliwell@aldc.org

* Ed Fordham was councillor for Stoke West 1998-2002, stood for Stoke-on-Trent Central 1997 and is working full time for Dr Zufiqar Ali