Last weekend, I drove to Llandrindod Wells with a couple of friends Holly and Mike, and a boot full of six foot wooden stakes and boards. We were helping out in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election, where the Liberal Democrat candidate Jane Dodds stands a good chance of beating the Conservative candidate, the former MP who was recalled from Parliament after pleading guilty to providing false information over Parliamentary expenses.
Helping out at by-elections is really good fun. Particularly in such a beautiful part of the world. One of the things I like best is that I don’t have to think – I just turn up at HQ, tell them what I’m prepared to do, and they give me a job. These days I’m pretty experienced at campaigning but if I needed training or help, or to get set up with my phone apps, I could do that too.
Over the course of three days, I did delivery and canvassing (talking to voters and asking them how they’ll vote), but mostly I did putting up stakeboards . And I got to chat to other volunteers from all around the country, as well as Pete the local councillor running the Llandrindod office.
Outside of the campaign, I got to stay in a reasonably priced hotel (free accommodation is available with local members), sample some great pubs and restaurants in the town, and generally relax and have a bit of a break from day-to-day life. On our last day, we picked up some campaigning in Rhayader, which allowed us to visit the Elan Valley Dams – we only had time for the first one but it was beautiful nonetheless.
Jane Dodds is running a great campaign, but it’s going to be a close-run thing. We need another great Liberal Democrat MP in Westminster, not a hard Brexit Tory. What Jane needs more than anything else is more volunteers on the ground. There are two weekends left in the campaign and I’m going to try and get down for at least one of them. If you’re reading this, fancy meeting people, learning new skills and seeing a beautiful part of the country, please try to get a car full of people from wherever you are to go along!