Each week a different PPC provides us with an insight into life as a candidate and gives us a flavour of their own campaign and interests. If you are a candidate and are keen to be featured, please email Jonathan Isaby.
This week’s diary is written by Nick Hillman, who was selected in December for Cambridge, where sitting Lib Dem MP David Howarth is standing down and he has his sights on gaining the seat, which last held for the Conservatives by Robert Rhodes James until 1992 (at which election it was gained by Labour). You can read more about Nick's campaign on his website, donate to that campaign here and follow him on Twitter.
Monday 25th January
We welcome a new volunteer who is joining us for six weeks to learn about politics. Our first task is a canvassing session. We find many supporters, though we also find the Labour vote holding up. At least Labour voters often willingly say who they support, so we get clear information. We also chat with a former Lib Dem activist who complains his old party runs Cambridge like a one-party state. He may not vote for us, but he certainly won’t vote for them.
In the evening, I speak at a Burns Supper fundraiser. It is only my second full speech since becoming the PPC and my nerves show, but I get the chance to thank the outgoing PPC, who is an old friend. The dinner is to help get a second Tory councillor in Coleridge ward, and we have a strong candidate in Andy Bower.
In my speech, I express hope that election day 2010 will be more successful for me than the last one. In 2005, I was mugged while getting out the vote and – after leaving the police station – found the front wheel and saddle of my bike had been stolen! I also mention the time I met Margaret Thatcher which, as she was rather rude to me, won a laugh.
Tuesday 26th January
Our Association Chairman, Dr Sarah El-Neil, and I have been working hard to get our first proper piece of literature for 2010 ready. We are in essay-crisis mode. The biggest problem is that we have so much to say that it is hard to boil it down to the essentials.