Now that the local election are over, it is worth remembering the good housekeeping tasks which wrap up the contest properly and help get the next campaign off to a good start. All particularly important with the Euros now upon us too:
- Get the election expense returns in on time. Even if you did nothing in a campaign beyond nominating a candidate, the paperwork still needs completing and returning.
- Recycle leftover leaflets and securely dispose of any leftover personally addressed literature. Top-tip: have at least two of you do this and take photos before doing so as there are rules about excluding undelivered literature from election expenses. It’s therefore always a good idea to be able to prove what was disposed of after polling day.
- Take a leaf out of George Bush Senior’s book and say thank you to helpers, candidates, councillors, donors and everyone else. In particular, don’t forget the thanks to councillors who retired this time around and also to people who put up posters. In many areas the habit of putting up window posters has tailed away over the years, so thanking those who did and explaining why it’s valuable that they did is a good way to start changing habits locally.
- Organise a campaign debrief session. It can be a good idea to get someone from outside the local party to moderate the session. That can really help with both ensuring everyone doesn’t slip into groupthink on any key issues and also in helping navigate through any matters of local tension over what was done or why.
- Enter into the right computer system all those bits of data that didn’t quite get fully processed during the rush of the election and then polling day. Whether it is extra scraps of data from polling day, information about emails which bounced or sorting out information stuck hurriedly into the Notes field in Connect, it can all add up to a considerable chunk of data.
- Once all your data is safely in the systems, tidy up where data is stored by deleting or shredding those original scraps of information so that they don’t end up accidentally leaking personal data.
- Get the marked registers from the local council. These show who voted and so are very valuable information for future campaigns.
- Did you have keen helpers or supporters who are not party members? Ask them to join the party, and if joining isn’t for them, see if they’re willing to sign up as a registered supporter.
- When you’re ready to start planning next year’s elections, there is, of course, my book 101 Ways To Win An Election. (If you’ve read the book and enjoyed it, a quick rating or review on Goodreads or Amazon would be fab – that really helps the book get seen by more people.)