Yesterday evening I headed over to Putney to hear the MP for Wells, Tessa Munt, talk about winning elections to Putney Liberal Democrats. As you would expect with Tessa, her talk was full of energy and enthusiasm.
It also had a very emotional moment when she recalled how on the day she won her seat last year she knew there were people in her local party who had literally spent 50 years campaigning locally for a Liberal / LibDem victory – and how much she owed to them.
Her appreciation of how much candidates owe to local activists, many of whom have campaigned for the previous candidate, and the one before that and will go on to campaign for the next candidate, goes a long way to explaining why she was able to build up a winning team.
I remember slightly shocking a group of Liberal Democrat MPs in one training session a few years ago but putting up on screen a photo of a volunteer and asking them: ‘What will she get out of you winning the next election? You get a job, a good pension, to be a member of Parliament and to have staff working for you. She just gets to hear the result. You’ll win if you can make her overjoyed at simply hearing the result even though she gets nothing out of it compared to you’.
Tessa certainly had that ability.