Friday, May 06, 2005

It's time to sleep!

Riverside Result:

Labour 17,951 (57.6%)
Lib Dems 7,737 (24.8%)
Tories 2,843 (9.1%)
Green 1,707 (5.5%)
SLP 498 (1.6%)
UKIP 455 (1.5%)

We are very pleased to keep our deposit although I'm obviously disappointed not to have beaten the Tories which was our top end target. UKIP did a lot worse than I expected, and the SLP did well to get nearly 500 votes. A good result for Labour and the Lib Dems as well. Oddly enough, only UKIP seemed disappointed by their result and the rest of the candidates could draw some satisfaction from the final percentages.

From a national point of view, we haven't yet made our Parliamentary breakthrough. However, Brighton Pavilion's 22% is a significant improvement and we are continuing to build our local support. To see the real moves forward for the Greens, we have to wait for our local election results to come through tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

End Game

Today was a loose ends day. I've just had a debrief and virtual email discussion with my Young Greens group at the university tonight. They are outside a couple of critical student halls all day tomorrow, encouraging some increased voting. I'll be paying them a visit at around midday to check on their progress.

We are also launching our online campaign and text messaging viral campaigns early tomorrow, which are intended for Liverpool Riverside but can filter out as well.

Thanks to all who have read this blog. I'll post up the Riverside result along with our Election highlights as they come in Thursday / Friday morning. I'm on media duty until all night Thursday before gladly handing over to our waking politicians on Friday.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The last push

Just one full campaigning day left. Sleep deprivation and a full day working in court today stole one of my better opportunities at the hustings organised by Liverpool University. Fortunately I had Chris Whitehouse (Young Greens National Committee) to stand in for me.

Right now I am ploughing through my very many emails and policy pledges from NGOs to ensure that any really important ones that I've missed are now covered.

Monday 2nd May

Spent most of today getting an audio manifesto recorded due to a previous technical error that meant that the quality of the CDs we had produced was not good enough. Arrived back in Liverpool at 10.45pm and to met my student canvassers who had been out in the south of the constituency all day.


Sunday 1st May

Some Green Party Executive discussions following on from yesterday's issues, but our financial repair work has been successful. Went out to the Labour Day march on the Liverpool side of the water, before leaving my team to cross the water and returning to check emails and messages before a hastily arranged trip down to London to sort out our audio manifesto problems. This was one four hour train journey I could do without.

Randomly bumped into Steve Radford, Liberal Party candidate for Liverpool West Derby. He finished 2nd there last time, ahead of the Liberal Democrats, and we exchanged mutual good lucks. Steve is nothing if not a committed councillor, and is the best anti-Labour vote in that constituency this time round, although it will undoubtedly remain a safe Labour seat.

A long train journey later and I arrive into London, for more emailing and phone calls, and another visit to my brother who I thank again for his hospitality. His "Vote Green" poster seems to be attracting quite a few door knocks from worried canvassers representing Stephen Twigg.

Saturday 30th April

A great day of canvassing. We got round a large number of voters around Sefton Park and Greenbank Park, with some really positive responses. I have to thank the campaign team for their work and also the Young Greens, who worked really hard all day.

Khalid Hussenbux (my campaign manager and fellow member of the Green Party executive) unfortunately had to cut short due to a national budget crisis. We are virtually spent up, and need to find a way to pay for the final week's press events. A few hours later and after many phone calls, somehow, we have found the money to do it.

Any blog readers with an ethical eye - we need donations! Unlike UKIP or the other 3 we won't accept corporate funding, but that makes it really tough to compete.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Election Broadcast Response

Party office has just knocked off know after fielding Party Election broadcast calls all night. We are really pleased with the telephone response and that's before we get to checking the website entries. The feedback I've had from members has been pretty encouraging and if you google "green party" + "franz ferdinand" the hit total is fantastic. We've reached the parts that other party broadcasts don't reach.

Hustings for tomorrow night have been cancelled, but there is plenty of work to do instead. Managed to get seven hours sleep last night so I'm feeling absolutely super charged today!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Hectic Day

Started my (paid) work at 7am this morning and worked through until a necessary appointment at 2pm. This clashed with hustings organised by http://www.tenantspin.org/ with all other candidates able to attend. Fortunately for me, my very capable deputy, our student organiser Rob Smith, was able to stand in for me, and the recording of the debate will be available on the above link within seven days.

I met a new activist who I had spoken on the phone to previously, who has impeccable environmental and campaigning credentials. I've already discussed the possibility of her standing for us as a candidate in the next local elections.

Now ploughing through admin and emails. All on 4 hours sleep. I can't believe I do this for free sometimes, but then I look on the internet and see over 100 hits for "Franz Ferdinand" & "Green Party" and it all seems worthwhile again.

Monday, April 25, 2005

FRANZ FERDINAND!!!

Yes - I can tell everyone now, as it's out on our website and into the media. That's right, Franz Ferdinand are doing the music for our Party Election Broadcast this Thursday (28th).

Labour can pay U2 for their songs but we actually get a song donated by a band that topped the album chart this year. You have got to see this broadcast. It is groundbreaking and the advance hype is starting to build up http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,19809-1584533,00.html

Newsnight Screening

Finally made it on tonight. Nothing explicit about the Greens, only that the "big 3" all got negative ratings. Check out the article at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/newsnight_election_2005/4483237.stm

One of our online surfers - yes we have dedicated people monitoring blogs and all that - has picked up a very misleading headline saying that a poll in Brighton has the Greens at 13%. What the article writer fails to point out is that this is a Brighton wide poll, and includes two other constituencies Hove and Brighton Kemptown, where we will do nothing like as well. In advance, I apologise for the number manipulation which is intended to prove a point...

Our Brighton wide vote was 5.3% last time, so it indicates we are up to 13%, Brighton wide.
This is nearly a 2.5 times increase across the city.
We know that most of that increase is going to come in Pavilion.
If the Green vote is static in Hove and Kemptown, that could mean the Green vote in Pavilion could be up at the 32% mark!
Even allowing for all of this, without the strict methodology, there is a limit to what we can draw from this poll. However it confirms my expectation that we are polling in the mid 20s in Pavilion, although you can see how people can manipulate figures to suit themselves.

Despite this kind of headline, which hopes to portray a false reality of a straight Lab/Tory fight in Pavilion, it is becoming increasingly clear that things are going well. There is a bit of a buzz about the place. The Young Greens have been down, active with the local party and getting a lot of work done. I've heard some positive feedback from the days in support, and I know that Brighton is drawing in Green canvassers from across the country.

Haven't listened to myself on Radio 5 yet, but might try and do so before I go to bed.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Canvassing and Radio 5

After having encouraged most of Liverpool's canvassers to Leeds to help out in one of our target constituencies, two of us set out to cover Kensington Fields today. In general it was quiet, with some definite votes coming to us, but with quite a lot of non voters. Without being pushy, we made it clear we would be trying to nudge Labour in the right direction with a good vote here. Even a committed Lib Dem resident was pleased to see us and thanked us for being out on the streets, as they felt people needed to see politicians in person and not just on the leaflet.

Radio 5 rang during the afternoon and I did some phone recording on our policies for tomorrow's(Monday) breakfast show. They are featuring the Riverside constituency and the Lib Dem's seeking to focus on Iraq. Having just been out canvassing, I told them that this was not coming up on the doorstep, but was for many members of campaigning groups, the biggest focus in this election. I also managed a plug for the Capital of Culture, but emphasising that culture means local businesses and local focus, not national department stores.

Some good news on national fundraising. We are approaching our target amount after an appeal to members, although we would hugely benefit from more donations coming in. Unlike the other parties we have to squeeze every last penny to maximise the impact of our campaigns. With Newsnight now scheduled to broadcast the Speed Date Voting stuff tomorrow, looks like a double media hit day.