Saturday, July 14, 2007

Let's break the record folks

At the weekend before the Leicester South and Birmingham Hodge Hill by-election polling day I wrote to Lib Dem activists in London and the South East urging them to come and help in the last few days because we knew we could do it, but we needed enough people to turn up to deliver the (rather ambitious) campaign we had planned.

Hundreds did turn up, and the result was victory in Leicester South and a near miss in Birmingham Hodge Hill.

I think we are in a similar position in Ealing Southall and Sedgefield this weekend.

In Ealing the Tories are putting in a visible effort, just as they did in Leicester, but the Lib Dems are out-campaigning them on the ground. The Labour campaign is surprisingly lacklustre.

In Sedgefield the Tories are doing next to nothing on the ground, and it is pretty clear that the Lib Dems are the challengers. There is a degree of unhappiness that Blair walked away and a general sense that the area has been let down by Labour for many years.

In both by-elections, despite the short notice, the Lib Dems have put together very strong by-election teams, each led by veterans of the Bromley, Dunfermline, Hartlepool, Leicester, Birmingham and Brent East campaigns. Chris Rennard and Hilary Stephenson have been seen regularly at both campaigns along with oodles of MPs.

Both had well organised and busy HQs up and running within days of the elections being called.

Both have had massive support from Lib Dem activists from far and wide.

With just a few days until polling day lets break the record for the biggest turnout ever for our by-election campaigns!

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