When you have access to all the information about the next local elections in your area, it will be easy to see the election process itself as being between the date that the election is officially called which is usually at the end of March, and Election Day itself, which is usually the first Thursday in May.
This period – between the date when the Election is ‘called’ and the day of the Election is the formal campaign period, when all political and electoral activity has to be carried out under the requirements set down by the Electoral Commission under Electoral Law.
There are very specific rules about what you can do, say and spend during this period, and I will come back to this later.
What you shouldn’t do, is fall in to the trap of thinking the only time that anyone is running for an election, is during the formal election period itself.
Anyone who is going to get elected and be a good councillor and then get re-elected as a good councillor, will understand and respect the fact that everything they do has the potential to have an impact on the result of the next election. However, what a good community representative wont do, is only focus on doing things that they believe will get and keep them elected – as regrettably most of today’s politicians sadly do.
Yes, there is a difference and you should be under no illusion that if you do your job well and always keep the best interests of the people you represent – or aim to represent firmly in mind at all times, you will gain the support of people you didn’t even expect, and even when you don’t achieve the results that you might have hoped, in terms of doing what’s right and maintaining your integrity and the relationship you have with your electors, you will always win.
So whether the next election you can run in is this coming May or is in a year, two years or even three years time, if you are committed to representing local people and doing what’s right, your work needs to begin right now.