There’s only 5 days to go before we all traipse off to the polling station…and here I am writing only my third blog post. It’s been a mad three weeks and I’ve had to do virtually everything myself, from building this website to taking on the other candidates in a series of hustings meetings across the constituency.
It’s been completely different to how I imagined it might be, and quite difficult at times, but overall good fun, creatively fulfilling, and it’s had it’s fair share of bizarre coincidences and oddball moments too.
As an Independent with no funds and no team it’s been very difficult to reach a wider audience. There has been no poster campaign, no flyers, no door to door campaigning, and I’ve relied entirely on reaching the electorate using the internet, speaking at public hustings, and through a few brief profiles about me in the media.
By far the most enjoyable and effective of these methods is public speaking. I love it. The hustings events have resulted in an overwhelming amount of positive feedback as people have queued up afterwards to thank me for coming, and to say my presentations have really resonated with them and they’ll definitely be voting for me. I’ve also had several emails from people to say they’ll be voting for me after seeing me speak, and some have even offered to make a contribution to my campaign funds. Thank you all for your support, kind words, and the enormous boost you’ve given to my confidence.
My opening speech in Bovey Tracey was filmed and uploaded to YouTube and has had over 10,000 views already. If you’ve not seen it yet I urge you to watch it and share it next time you have 4 minutes and 45 seconds to spare. Thanks.
Of course, not everyone was happy with what I said, or indeed that it was shared with such a massive audience, so one of my rivals took steps to limit the audience I’m able to reach to by threatening to withdraw from future hustings if I was permitted to film even myself, and so that particular avenue of publicity was closed for me. However, I still recorded the audio, which you can read about in posts which will shortly appear in this blog.
For the most part though, my fellow candidates have been quite congenial and pleasant to deal with. I think I surprised everyone at Moretonhampstead when I said I thought the UKIP candidate was a nice chap. It’s true, he’s a good old Devon boy and he genuinely cares about his community, I think I’d enjoy having a beer with him, despite his politics being way off the mark in my opinion – as I said in Moreton “I just think he fell in with the wrong crowd”.
Andy the Green candidate is a very grounded and down to earth fellow with some good policies and some real life experience behind him. I think he’ll do quite well as disillusioned Labour voters look elsewhere to cast their votes. Alex, the LidDem candidate, is an energetic lad (a first time voter aged 22) and while he won’t win here I’m sure he has a place waiting for him somewhere up the LibDem greasy pole (no reference to any of their historical leaders intended).
I’ll post blogs about each hustings event later today (hopefully), meanwhile please put this Sunday in your diary as we’re all appearing at our last hustings together in Ashburton Town Hall at 6pm.
See you there,