Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Good luck to Stuart Murray tomorrow

A few people have asked why this blog has not been updated as often, or written is as much detail, as it used to be. The reason is simple; since mid December we have been organising the Borough Green & Long Mill By Election in Tonbridge & Malling. Whilst I am happy to share best practice and campaign tips throughout the year, such benevolence does not extend into an election campaign when it would benefit the opposition! 

The Tonbridge & Malling Conservative team on the first Campaign Day.
So here we are on the eve of poll, the time when no matter how large the previous vote share, I fret endlessly over what we could or should have done differently. I never predict outcomes, but looking back I am confident that we have fought a good campaign. We have delivered three pieces of paper to every house plus three more to Conservative pledges, we have knocked on every door across the four parishes which make up the ward (2,500+ homes) and revisited many of the outs. Today we delivered a letter in a hand written envelope, personally 'topped and tailed' to our target voters. Tomorrow we will visit these target voters again. Not a bad effort in a four week campaign, considering Christmas and New Year fell right in the middle and we have also had floods and storms.

After literally hundreds of campaigns I still feel a rush of nervous energy and a tingle of excitement
whenever I load the election day supplies into my car.
 Our candidate, Stuart Murray, has worked his socks-off and done all that could be expected - then some more. Stuart is one of those unassuming decent local heroes who works tirelessly for his community without ever blowing his trumpet. He is an honourable man and he will make a bloody good councillor if elected.

There are five candidates tomorrow. Apart from our own Stuart Murray there is Labour, Green, UKIP, and an Independent who Chairs the Parish Council in the largest of the villages which comprise the borough council ward. In 2011 the independent polled 900 votes compared with the lowest Conservative vote of 1,250 - so our majority is just over 350 votes in a ward of 5,000 voters. The issue is further complicated by the fact UKIP did not stand last time, but are standing now. UKIPs candidate is an experienced campaigner, having fought and lost many campaigns in recent years. 

What I do want to place on the record is how fortunate I am to have such an outstanding team of activists and campaigners working with me. The Association never fails to raise to the challenge - too many people to thank in this blog post, but let's just say Stuart will be writing over 100 letters of thanks!

So wish us well for tomorrow - I post the results on Twitter and Facebook as soon as I am legally allowed to do so. 


  1. A well written blog, Andrew, almost had me wanting to vote Tory. But thanks for the list of what you have sent out, wonderful funding management, how do you do it all on £830???
    Mike Taylor

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