One of the main problems with candidates is that they start to believe they are going to win. This might be reasonable in some cases but should never be encouraged for fear of them becoming lazy and complacent.
Many candidates have come back into an HQ and told me they are going to win or that it is very close, and usually the best way to deal with this is to ask them if over 50% of those they spoke to actually said they were going to vote for them. As long as they cannot honestly say yes to this you are probably on safe ground.
But, one of the moments that most made me get big headed, as a candidate, was when I was given the task of ‘touring the polling stations’ in the 1994 European Elections.
This might, to my regular readers, seem to be something that I would, as an agent, discourage, and indeed it is. But, knowing the size of the Euro-constituency and the complete absence of knocking up to be done, myself, Tim and Martin toured the polling stations to occupy ourselves, as well as visiting the committee rooms across the constituency.
As we entered one polling station Tim marched up to the polling staff, introduced himself and shook them by the hand and the introduced me, ‘this is John Ault, the Liberal Democrat candidate!’
Very ceremoniously, the polling clerk stood up and gave a genuine bow, I mean actually a deep, from the waist, bow.
After slightly amused looks between the three of us, at the spectacular moment, I shook him regally by the hand and asked him how the day was going. Never sitting down he told me that polling was swift.
Retreating back to the car I wonder if he ever heard the laughter from Martin and Tim, though clearly the chap had spotted political royalty in the making, I had to put up with ribbing for the rest of the day, and had my head rapidly deflated.