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Getting selected - an article for Progress Magazine

Saturday, March 1, 2003

Progress magazine March/April 2003





The shortage of safe seats for would-be Labour MPs at the next General Election will make the forthcoming selections hard fought. As I discovered, if you want to be an MP these days you need to be inexhaustible and have skin as tough as an elephant. Forget shopping, socialising and TV - your task until selection day is to sell, sell, sell - yourself! Oh and by the way you are about to become mortal enemies with your fellow candidates.  If you aren’t prepared for this, ask yourself - have you got the motivation to win?


The selection process is now a two stage affair. You need sufficient support amongst the activists to get some party branch nominations in order to be interviewed for the short-list. But then, remember, it’s a one member one vote ballot. You don"t have to convince only the activists, you have to meet as many members as you can. Every vote counts! Which means knocking on doors: come rain, come shine.


Hard work? Only the hardest, most gruelling thing I’ve ever done and I’ve been campaigning in elections since before I could vote. Worth it? Definitely for me - it’s a real privilege to represent people in Westminster, but not everybody likes it. So before you set out on this road, be sure you really want to do it. Remember when the going gets tough, the harder your selection, the better story you’ll have to tell when you meet other new MPs two or three years from now.


Meg Munn MP







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