Three New Year Resolutions for Candidates

As 2022 approaches, Candidates will be preparing for an important year.

Despite recent opinion poll turbulence an election in the Spring of 2023 is still very likely. Governments generally dislike going to the polls in Winter, when turnout will be lower, and they also avoid going the full five year term unless they absolutely have to because they lose control of the agenda as the final election deadline approaches.

A 2023 General Election means that candidates will need to be in place well in advance so we can expect 2022 to see selection contests ramped up as the major parties prepare themselves. Candidates need to be dusting off their application forms.

But what else should they be doing? Here are three good resolutions for the next generation of MPs in 2022:

Catch up with Politics – I know you are busy. There’s the day job and the family to occupy your time but you do need to get back into the political mainstream and find out what has been happening. A favourite selection committee question asks you what you would have done differently to your party in Parliament in the last few years. Saying it’s all been fantastic and you agree with everything they did may burnish your loyalty but it also shows that you haven’t been paying attention.

  • Hone your Political Brand – For safe seats, word gets around about who has been shortlisted. Selectors and your competition will not miss the opportunity to google you and find out more. Because bad news sells, they will be directed towards less than flattering stories unless you take the trouble to curate your image. This means a quick clearout of old social media at least. You will also need your own website if you want to promote yourself in a way that you can control.
  • Develop an Interview Plan – Selections are unpredictable and that’s part of the fun. However you do have a fair idea of what attributes they are looking for and which questions they will ask. You need to be thinking about your responses and gathering the supporting experience you will need to answer those questions. At least have an answer to the question Why are You the Best Candidate for This constituency? Also have a clear description of your Political Values and a solid plan for how your life will change if they select you.

I’m expecting a busy year supporting candidates and I’m looking for more clients. I don’t take everyone on but an initial consultation is free so contact me to book a session.

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