Monday, May 03, 2010
Three days of campaigning left and it's all down to the process called 'getting out the vote'.
For several years we have been campaigning for one purpose; to make sure we win the most votes on Thursday. A big part of that process is ensuring the people who are intending to support us, actually do so.
Campaigning takes several forms; Firstly holding events to raise money to campaign with. Then we spend years listening to voters by canvassing on the doorstep, holding open meetings and doing postal and on-line surveys. Then as the election comes onto the horizon we define and refine our message, and deliver it to voters by leaflets and mail whilst also seeking to find as many people as possible who want to vote for us, and support and help us.
The most intense part of the process is the election campaign itself, in this case we started in January; we have been knocking door to door, six days a week since the start of the year seeking support and meeting a record number of electors, all the while building up a huge list of voters committed to back David Cameron as PM and myself as their MP.
Now we have to remind those voters to act on the day itself, and political parties switch into frenzied activity in the final remaining hours before the polls close at 10:00pm Thursday, monitoring who has already voted (to cross them off the list) and then basically nagging the rest into going to the polling station; even driving them there when necessary.
As the final preparations for the big day are completed it is feeling a bit like the build-up for a big wedding; everyone knows their places, what to say and how to say it, their moves choreographed and rehearsed to the finest detail; the stationary is ordered, the cars cleaned and prepared, the refreshments ready. And as the candidate I it does feel a bit like being a groom - with all the frantic preparations going on all around all I have to do make sure I turn up on the day, shoes cleaned and hair brushed.
We enter the last few days of this campaign in better shape that at any election in living memory; with more pledges, more helpers and more goodwill than any of us can remember.
To all of those dedicated people who have helped me campaign for what we believe in, whether for some or all of the eight long years we have been at it, I say a hearty thank-you.