In the unlikely event that I have any regular readers, the more eagle-eyed of you will have noticed that I’ve changed the heading of this site. Instead of a “potential politician” I am now a “probationary politician”.
Part of the reason for this is that I am fighting my first ever council election – for the Emmbrook North ward of Wokingham Town Council.
It’s been an eye-opener. Since submitting my nomination forms on 29 December, I have been amazed and humbled to see a party machine swing behind me. Baroness Barker even came down to knock on a few doors on Sunday afternoon. A member of the House of Lords campaigning for me in a local election. Quite astounding.
Because the campaign is underway I have to be extremely careful about what I write. Not just because of the accuracy issues, but also because this town council by-election seems to be a rare one – in that it seems very close, and it is being fought very hard indeed. So much so, in fact, that election literature is under close scrutiny – our main opponents having had to withdraw three pieces already, with the Returning Officer reportedly instructing them to retract and apologise for their latest offering.
I’ve been told that there comes a point in every campaign where each candidate becomes convinced they are going to win. I am very aware of that pull – but equally aware that our daily canvas returns do reinforce the idea that this result looks very tight indeed. I am under no illusions.
It’s exciting. It’s taking all the time in the world (for a town council by-election!). And it’s a real test of marketing and sales skills – which I’ve never thought I’ve had in any great quantities.
Roll on February 4th – and, if you’re in Emmbrook North, at least you now have an idea of what I stand for – and how hard I fight!