Conservative Diary

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Results of the CF consultation published

The consultation of CF members was an excellent initiative. The geographic impartiality of the internet, combined with the significant number of responses (768) make its results authoritative. I'm particularly pleased that CF Diary got such a positive rating and that the results have been published here for all members to see. For once we actually have some facts on which to base our opinions on the state of Conservative Future, and I'm sure this and other blogs will digest them over the coming weeks.

Message from Christian Walker (Exec member for Communications):

Have_your_sayA big thank you to everyone that replied to the consultation.  The consultation with members was the first for a long time and was carried out with a zero budget but despite the knock-on drawbacks of this in terms of format it has provided information that will inform work this year and next year's NME in addition to the Communication Strategy I have been working on.

There were multiple aims of the consultation including getting people thinking about CF – how it operates, how they can contribute and how they would like to see it develop and also inform membership priorities. 

Until the new membership database is fully operational determining the number of CF members is difficult but it is widely agreed to be around 15,000.  768 replies were received to the consultation therefore it had a response rate of 5%.  Consultations of this sort would hope for a response of between 5% and 10% therefore while the response rate is not great it can be argued it is a representative figure.

Click continue to see the results in detail...

Without turning this update into a block of statistics the consultation results can be broken down into the following areas:


79% of respondents had attended a CF event with events in general receiving a positive rating by 95% of consultees (between 5 (Best) and 3 (Average).  However there is certainly room for improvement with a long list of events suggested especially at a local level.  These included more informal non-political events with paintballing, camping and surfing trips (the latter gets my vote).  Involving an MP or a political commentator at an event was also a popular resource.

Campaign Days

107 people responding to the consultation had attended a campaign day (national or local level) with a majority of people receiving arrangement information in plenty of time.  Although 32% cited that not receiving this information was a difficulty in making travel arrangements.  A further area to improve was in relation to timing with those travelling a considerable distance needing to plan both getting to and away from campaign events.


The results for satisfaction with communications were less clear with the largest rating of 35% being ‘3’ (average) with almost equal numbers rating it as 5 (Good) and 1 (Poor).  Reasons given included emails not returned from CCHQ and details on websites being out of date with the Area Chairman emails still being a working lottery.  Local communications were rated as being less successful with a majority of consultees rating local communications as poor.  Reasons given include the email addresses on the main website but also bad experiences with local association offices.  On a slightly more positive note 55% of people received responses to emails with comments within the questionnaire stating contact with elected members at both local and national level were positive.

Communication Tools

The main website was rated slightly better than I expected with only (!) 51% rating it as poor with a range of more positive ratings.  CFTV and Radio were included to inform if they should be reengaged but 64% (CFTV) and 55% (Radio) rated these as poor tools with later comments stating these reached a narrow audience and did not appeal to everyone with requests for more non-internet based resources.  The most popular tool was CF Diary (77% rated it as 5 - best), this was the only tool of communication included within the consultation that is not the responsibility of the NME or the party.  It was included to bench mark the popularity of blog sites alongside more traditional forms of communications.  The Bulletin received a full range of ratings with no clear overall rating however it is clear there is a great deal of room for improvement with comments calling for the format to be reviewed and a number also stated they would like to see it posted out to members.

Issues and Reports

For the first time this year members of the NME have updated people through reports on CF Diary and this has proved very popular with 25% rating them as ‘5’ (best) and 42% rating them ‘4’ (good).  Resolving issues received a mixture of responses with many consultees giving details however a majority 61% received rated responses as being between 5 (best) and 3 (average).  This result was also mirrored by the resolving of issues with 65% of consultees having had issues satisfactorily resolved.  Comments included having a protected blog area on the main website where area chairs share ideas and organising more area chair events.


In summary the general satisfaction with CF was as follows: 39% rated it ‘5’ (best), 13% rated ‘4’ (good), 9% rated ‘3’ (average), 17% rated ‘2’ weak and 22% rated ‘1’ poor.  A range of reasons were given including problems communicating with CCHQ and issues relating to obtaining details on events.  The lack of good local events was also highlighted by a few.  A larger issue raised was the respect CF earns within the wider party.  The lack of respect was also reiterated in the relationship between local offices and CF branches - something the NME are trying to address through proving the worth of CF with the marginal seats initiative.


The results will be included as an appendix within the communication strategy we have been working on this year.   However in the meantime, as I will report later in the week in my update we have progressed with certain issues for example the Bulletin with recent problems now resolved.  The results and comments will inform this NME and the next one. 


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