Earlier this week William Rutherford, Chairman of the West Kent Group, circulated a note to the local membership informing them of changes at West Kent Towers, which had been signed off several weeks earlier.
In a nutshell, my long-suffering and highly competent colleague, Jon Botten, has been promoted to Agent and is taking on many of my day-to-day responsibilities. Jon will now be responsible for the administrative management of our member Associations as well as most of my legal obligations as an agent, including nomination papers, election expense returns and management of campaigns.
I will remain at West Kent as Campaign Director and Consultant with responsibility for strategy, working with our Members of Parliament, Councillors, Group Leaders and Candidates to develop campaign plans and win elections. I will also retain responsibility for activist training and several of West Kent's higher profile fundraising initiatives.
As well as (rightfully) recognising Jon's talents and commitment to the West Kent Group, these changes will also release me two days per week to develop something which has been in my mind for many years; my own freelance campaign consultancy.
The West Kent Group is a huge success and will continue to develop and grow. I am proud of what I have helped to achieve and the many accolades we receive from members across the UK. But it is also fair to say that with our five figure majorities, the future of our country will probably not rest on what happens in the leafy suburbs of West Kent. The next election will be won or lost in Hastings, Eastbourne, Canterbury, Eltham, Lincoln, Peterborough and dozens of other marginal seats.
And sadly, it is these Associations that seldom have the money to pay a campaign professional; a vicious circle in which our best campaigners are working in the safest seats building up great majorities whilst we lose by a handful of votes the very seats we must win to form a government.
To try and break this vicious circle is exactly why I am today launching Andrew Kennedy Campaigning - offering freelance campaign advice, training and support to Associations, Councillors, Group Leaders, Members of Parliament and Candidates on an hourly or daily basis.
There are many freelance campaigners out and about - most with expensive Westminster offices and seeking high profile and glamorous campaigns to front. That is not the market I want or am aiming for. The most successful campaigns grow from the bottom-up, they are not imposed from the top down. My skill will be to use 30 years' experience to rebuild our grassroots campaign infrastructure so our Associations and candidates have the tools they need to run their own successful campaigns from within.
The key services I will be offering are as follows
- A constituency audit and report highlighting your Association's strengths and weaknesses, along with a road-map to take you from where you are to where you need to be to win.
- Building a grassroots campaign infrastructure including pledge base, delivery networks and poster sites.
- Training your activists and volunteers so they improve their campaign techniques and harvest better, more accurate data which can be used to win elections.
- Identifying new local government candidates to both widen and deepen the pool of talent, and training your Local Government / Approvals Committee to ensure they identify and approve the best local candidates.
- Data gathering through postal and hand-delivered surveys, doorstep and telephone canvassing.
- Maximising differential turnout and postal vote recruitment.
- Regular communications with target groups and swing voters
- Maximising income from existing and new donor streams
As you can see, none of this is glamorous, but our future success relies on our local Associations and campaign teams having the skills and abilities to do these basic things effectively at all elections, not just in the three weeks before polling day.
So whether you are an:
ASSOCIATION OFFICER seeking to strengthen your local organisation,
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT/ PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATE looking to maximise your incumbency advantage or improve your doorstep campaigning, or a
CONSERVATIVE COUNCILLOR OR GROUP LEADER working hard to retain / gain control of your local council......
then I may be able to help you.
Please visit my website to see what I can offer - and if we have never met, take a look at what those who have worked closely with me over many years have kindly written about me and my campaign skills.
To contact me and discuss how I might be able to support your local campaign, please CLICK HERE