Some (opening) thoughts on losing the election

I lost.

I lost badly.

This is not unimportant.

There are a number of factors which I think led to this crushing defeat.

1) It was a very hard constituency to win, at least for my platform and background.

2) There was a lot of concern about the viability of electing Independent candidates.

3) The electorate retreated to traditional party systems, even if they agreed on the need to move beyond the two parties.

4) The Independent candidates were limited in terms of resources compared to the party machineries of the PLP and the OBA.

5) My platform had some weaknesses.

6) My campaign strategy went a bit awry.  [My intention to publish a series of media pieces fell through.]

7) Compared to the party candidates I had limited canvassing ‘face-time’.

8) Two Independents competing for the same constituency undermined the message about voting Independent.

I’m going to try and expand on these over the next bit.  See if I can identify what to do differently next time.  There may also be some other factors which I haven’t considered yet.

I should say though, that while I was running to win, winning or losing the seat was of secondary importance.  Much more important was using the campaign to get my platform message to a far wider audience than the one constituency.  And I think I was successful in that.  I’ve planted a bit of a seed and laid the foundation for future alternative politics for either myself or others to build upon.

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2 thoughts on “Some (opening) thoughts on losing the election

  1. Talking strategy, the one thing you did right was choose an ultra safe seat. In a safe seat it is easier to persuade people to consider voting differently as the fear of vote splitting is diminished.

    Your mistake was to run in a safe UBP seat. You should have picked a safe PLP seat – full of disaffected voters.

    Also it will take more than one try. From looking at breakthrough third party candidates in UK local elections, you have to canvas year round for the entire 5 years, campaigning hard on local concerns, bi-monthly newsletters, casework for people’s personal problems. Even then expect to only come 2nd. Then expect to win on your second try. So basically it takes 10 years if extremely hard work to get elected – and sometime even that is not enough.

    An established political party is essentially a labour saving device. It gives you a ready made platform. In the first past the post system third party / independent candidates need a very special set of circumstances to break through on a first attempt – either very high profile or a campaign issue that captures the mood of the electorate etc

  2. I suspect one of the things you were up against, is probably the commonly held belief that when push comes to shove, Independents can achieve very little in a dominant two party system.

    I would think that many will take the view that whilst you can contribute to the debate, and hopefully sway opinion, that is where your influence stops.

    Rightly or wrongly, that I suspect is what people believe…

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