Wednesday, 1 May 2013

My letter of thanks to candidates and their campaign teams.

Dear Members

I am writing to thank you for your hard work and support over the last three months. 

The year started with the delivery of 70,000 Voter ID Surveys throughout Chatham & Aylesford and most of Tonbridge & Malling and Sevenoaks South. This was followed by local In Touch newsletters in Larkfield, Snodland, Leybourne and Hadlow, 22,000 Postal Voters then received a personally topped and tailed letter, followed by a full delivery of the election address and finally 30,000 personalised GOTV leaflets, delivered in just three days. 
The canvassing has been first rate too; we have data captured more voting intentions during this campaign than at any local election for 10 years. Special thanks must go to our teams in Malling Central and Tonbridge - who managed to knock on 50% of the doors in their patch; and in Malling North where every single house was canvassed and the outs revisited.
Thanks to the army of volunteers who helped centrally; to Joyce Gadd and her team of envelope packers, to Jon Botten who often was here with me often from 9am until 10pm printing, folding, mail merging and data capturing.   People often say, "well, at least you are paid."  Yes we are, but we both work twice the hours we are paid for!
The office volunteers have also been superb; Ed Pugh, Gill Levine, Pat and Adrian Gulvin and Owen and Christine Baldock - they have all worked tirelessly and (mainly) without complaint and deserve our thanks.
Many of our Borough Councillors responded to Nicolas Heslop's request to give three evenings mutual aid in addition to the work in their own ward. The overwhelming majority managed to meet this commitment. They will get their reward in 2015!
Although they have a vested interest, those on the parliamentary list who responded to our request for assistance have also made a valuable contribution and injected new blood and enthusiasm into our teams - thank you all.
And, of course, our partners who work alongside us and professionally support our work; in particular the CCHQ IT Helpdesk and Jason Allen and his team at DA Printers in Rochester, who delivered everything we asked of them, within budget, and often ahead of schedule.

Tomorrow is going to be difficult; we are mid term of a Conservative led coalition government which is having to make tough and at times unpopular decisions. What's more, we will be defending seats and majorities which we won in 2009, when Gordon Brown was leading Labour through their darkest days. It is the law of electoral reality that many of the seats we first won in 2009 when Labour were 14% behind in the polls will now return to Labour as they are 9% ahead!  This is not a reflection on the candidates, their teams or the campaign they have fought. It is a fact of life that a pendulum which swings one way must eventually swing the other.
We have fought the best campaign, delivered more leaflets, made more phone calls and knocked on more doors than all the others combined. Please keep fighting right up to the close of poll - remember the Luton and Wayfield by-election when Tashi Bhutia gained the seat for us by 4 votes. Those last 30 minutes of GOTV could really make the difference.
With best wishes
Andrew Kennedy

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