Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Guest Post - Clare Hilley

Why Campaigning is the Lifeblood of CF
By Clare Hilley, Chair, London South Conservative Future

We hold great socials, pub visits and dinner parties - but CF can offer much, much more than that. With over 15,000 members up and down the country, Conservative Future consists of some of the finest, best and brightest campaigners in the world.

Take the London Mayoral elections for example, where we supported the campaign in Croydon. We campaigned for our GLA candidate and Boris Johnson attracting over 18 young people to each of the campaign days. This fantastic effort saw thousands of leaflets land in the letterboxes of target voters, enhancing our presence and showing the electorate that the Conservatives are ready to work.

The results were a stunning victory for Steve O'Connell, GLA, winning the mayoralty for Boris Johnson and a much greater presence in key campaign hot spot.

In recent months we have seen rising campaign stars take centre stage. Through true grit and hard work, these candidates have seen their personal profiles rocket within the organisation.

But so much more needs to be done.

When we have an army of rising campaign stars they need to be nurtured and helped to pass on their passion and skills to other upcoming members. CF should always remain a meritocracy where hard work is rewarded and pushed to the forefront of the organisation.

We need detailed and accurate campaign plans, which are promoted and publicised well in advance to attract as many members as possible. We need CF to have a national dedicated presence with multiple representatives to manage action days if others are absent or unable to attend.

We need a national membership database to ensure all keen members are provided times, locations and contact details to support Conservative Future wherever the help is needed.

With the party riding high in the polls, now is the time for Conservative Future to show the party what it’s made of. We have a major campaign day coming up in Croydon where we need to see a huge turn out and strong support from our best and brightest.

Campaigning is Conservative Future’s most measurable and powerful strength, so lets pull together, forget our differences and show the party the true value of our organisation.


* Conservative Future is holding its next campaign day this Saturday (13th September) with FREE LUNCH and drinks.

We are meeting at
East Croydon Station at 10am
– hope you can all make it




Patrick Sullivan

A great article from one of the best campaigners in CF.

Clare's London South Campaign Days have been superb! and the support she has given other ACs in the organsation of their campaign days has been great.

I recommend that people attend Clare's Campaign Day in Croydon this Saturday and then turn up to the Guildford Campaign Day on the 20th!

Anonymous said...

Everyone who cares about CF should attend this campaign day. This is the moment when the entire membership can prove how much Conservative Future means to them and how much they want to help.

Croydon, like Tooting is a critical target seat for us and one we need to do well in.

Great work Clare, keep leading the way!

Anonymous said...

It's a shame the current CF Campaign Officer isn't able to get the same level of turnout for campaign days as the last one.

Campaigning is at the heart of CF, but sadly the current powers that be simply don't have a clue.

Anonymous said...

go for it clare, we need long-time leaderz like you for this organisation to survive. Lets make cf great again

the current lot came straight out of the Beano and make us a laffing stock

Richard Lowe

"Everyone who cares about CF should attend this campaign day."


So if we have a local campaign day, social action day, fundraising, etc set we should drop sticks and travel down, otherwise we're not proving ourselves to CF?

Mini-rant over.

Completely agree with Clare's comments regarding organised campaign days and a national membership database - more than a couple of requests have gone from myself for a list of those registered within Cheshire & The Wirral (Even if it's merely to cross-check my own data) and I've received nothing.

Without trying to create a regional divide, as per the current... discussions regarding regional coordinators, would/could regional campaign days not work better than National ones, at least until such a time that the campaign base is sufficiently rebuilt? It would also save people travelling 10+ hours in a day.

How can a campaign base be rebuilt? By having consistent numbers at events, throughout the country. What of conflicting campaign days? Have all AC's email a list of all campaigns planned to a central database (We'll call it Patrick Sullivan, National Campaigns Director), which can then be posted on the CF website. Having 20+ people at a campaign day is better than 5 days around the country with 4 in.

It all comes down to the notice period given - this Saturday for example there is a leafleting session in Chester in the morning, and Warrington in the afternoon, both of which have been in place for between 3 and 6 weeks.

Anonymous said...

Richard Lowe is notable only by his regular absence from campaign days.

We cannot have arm chair politicians in the the new CF...

Patrick Sullivan

I am very glad that this discussion is taking place!

A number of excellent points have been raised by both Clare and Richard. I intend to take these points and any constructive criticism on board.

Richard Lowe

Small matter of getting married (Absence for Crewe & Nantwich) and standing for Council (Absence for London).

As for Henley, no excuse put forward.

As for being an arm-chair politician, well really...

I prefer sofas.


Every year it's the same old crap wheeled out about bloody campaigns. There is piss all point in people flocking to these massive campaign days all across the country when there is work to be done on their own doorsteps.

Adele Douglas said...

Claire, fantastic article (again!)

Richard, I agree that you can't say that everyone who cares about CF should be at a particular campaign day - not everyone can get down to London with a weeks notice. However, for us Northerners, there is a campaign day in Bolton North East (Target Seat 94!) on Saturday 20th.

Regional campaign days is the current campaigning model, Bolton will be the North West's second such event. Hope to see you there.


Richard Lowe

Adele - I'll see if I can bring a group up!

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