If Labour is to have any chance of winning a fourth term then a sound, well thought through political strategy is important but some good old fashioned localised tactics are absolutely essential. In 2005 the Tories won a number of seats (including that of Shrewsbury where I stood as the Labour candidate) by applying some effective local tactics. With just under (probably) two years to the next election Labour needs to get back to being more tactically aware and astute.
So in order to win or retain a marginal seat in 2010 it is - in my humble estimation - important for CLPs and PPCs to do the following:
1. CLP must select early and wherever possible choose a candidate with previous experience.
2. CLP and PPC must adopt a 'long term' approach to campaigning - there is rarely a 'silver' bullet in a local campaign.
3. Adopt a policy of 'extreme 'localism' - does your hospital need to charge for parking? What is policing like in particular wards? Are there car parking issues on a particular street?
4. Focus the campaign of local community issues as opposed to the large macro issues.
5. Highlight the person first and the party second.
7. Draft in as much professional campaign support as possible - from unions, regional offices etc
8. Adopt a policy of positive campaigning - resist the temptation to slag off your opponents.
9. Hard working families like hard working candidates - provide local people with evidence of your endeavours and of the impact that you have had and are having.
10. Target all areas of the constituency and not just traditional heartland areas.
What have I missed? What do you disagree with?