The First Green MP in the House of Commons

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1. The long campaign trail
2. Skills and tips
3. Assessing the campaign      

The long campaign trail
Working on Caroline Lucas’s successful General Election campaign in Brighton was certainly a marathon, not a sprint. From the moment I started as Constituencies Co-ordinator for Brighton and Hove Green Party early in July 2008, aged 23, until the election in May 2010, it was consistent hard work, whether preparing for the national conference, deciding on when and where Caroline should spend her time, or organising action days and canvassing.      

Caroline Lucas

Caroline Lucas election - photo: Stephen Lawrence

Everything seemed quite chaotic towards the end, despite the two years that I had spent building up to the moment. I remember having to shift my attention from managing canvassing to erecting estate-agent boards (not something I’d planned for!). The last week or so saw me and our treasurer driving around Brighton on a mission to replace our stolen estate agent boards with new ones.      

No-one could have underestimated their importance. I’d decided: we had to win both the poster and the estate agent board fight in order to win the election. What we needed was confidence and momentum, and posters and estate agent boards made sure that we were visible, on the ground. We might not have made it on to the leaders debates on the telly, but you certainly couldn’t miss us on the streets of Brighton.      

Election day itself passed rather smoothly: people were telling, I had a runner on an hourly loop picking up telling sheets, and lots of volunteers to ‘knock-up’ and telephone ‘knock-up’! Before I knew it, the day was over, and I hurriedly made my way to the count.      

Once in, we made sure we were all using our time wisely by sampling the votes and making sure they were counted correctly. I couldn’t imagine us losing, but I couldn’t quite see us winning either, it was a very bizarre time. Then, some eight hours later, at around 6 a.m., the result was announced. Ecstatic doesn’t really describe how we all felt: we had done it and political history had been made – I’m not sure it’ll ever properly sink in actually!  

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