Twenty years ago today [7 May] I was a candidate, nervously awaiting the outcome of my first electoral contest …
My campaign in 1992 would have been recognisable to candidates from previous decades. Our volunteers delivered two leaflets and knocked on every door in the ward. The leaflet text was composed on a typewriter and the black and white photographs were turned into dots for printing by a photo bureau. The canvass cards for door knocking were made by me and my agent (Sean Emmett, cllr for Lockleaze since 2000) spending two evenings cutting up the election register and pritt-sticking each street onto card. The results of the canvassing were written up by hand onto triplicate carbon paper, to be used when “knocking up” supporters on polling day. All of this now belongs in the museum of electioneering.
Just a year later computers started to make a difference.
Read the full piece from Stephen Williams to find out how.
The same date also holds a significance for Norman Baker, as his website reports:
The 7th of May [marked] the 25th anniversary of the local MP, Norman Baker, being elected to office.
Norman was first elected to both Lewes District Council and Beddingham Parish Council in 1987 and two years later, in 1989, became a county councillor at East Sussex. In 1991 he became leader of the district council and held that position until he was elected as MP in 1997, becoming Lewes’s first non-Conservative MP since 1874…
Norman says: “It has been a real privilege to have served in public office for 25 years, 15 as the local MP. The town of Lewes and the wider constituency are unique and their diversity has made every day interesting and thoroughly enjoyable.”