Leaders Update - One Week To Go #EU2014

Loz Kaye's picture

While we may be a party that does so much of its work online, we've never lost sight that voters are actual people out there in the country.

The weeks of the local and European Parliament election campaigns have seen us contacting and communicating with people in a far wider range of places than ever before.

We've delivered pallets loaded with Pirate leaflets in Warrington, been on hustings in Lambeth, Maria's been on radio Cumbria, I've been interviewed by a paper from Bournemouth, had tweets about energy policy from Stockport, we've fielded calls from Liverpool, sent off posters to supporters in Moss Side and Garstang.

Equally, we have received many messages from people who wish they could vote for us. And of course I wish they could too. However what all of these people want is not just a name on a ballot. They expect us to field strong candidates, like the ones we have now. They expect us to work hard for our ideas, and to campaign. I'm happy (and somewhat exhausted!) to say that's what we have been doing.

The North West European Parliament election is also the first national election we have fought on the platform we crowd sourced in 2012. Yes, we have had local votes and by-elections since then, but these have only allowed a public in very particular areas the opportunity to get to know us better. It's made a huge difference to the European Parliament campaign, as most of the incoming questions I have been fielding are nothing to do with digital rights, it has been about a European referendum, nuclear power, fracking, democratic reform, the rights of young people.

What we find is that when a wider public gets to know us, they like what they see. Well, that's pretty much most of the time. We're also honest about our positions- so we aren't afraid to disappoint the few who simply disagree with us on key points of policy. But the people who are getting to know us, are starting to want to vote for us too.

It's a hard job persuading people. I've been doing that to the best of my ability over the last few weeks, and will continue to do that over the next days. We all have a role to play in this. If you see someone unsure how to vote, point them at our videos, social media images and policy. It only takes a few minutes to help others to get to know us.

I love elections- which is probably just as well really. They're exciting, infuriating, challenging. But it is what we do. What we now need to do is to carry on the wave of interest in to 2015 for the General Election.