You stood in the 2023 Byelection in Mid Bedfordshire what surprised you most about standing and what did you learn from it?
The Mid Bedfordshire by-election was unusual because campaigning went on for so long. From the moment that Nadine Dorries first resigned (without technically resigning) we hit the ground and in total campaigned daily for 4 and a 1/2 months! By the time the election was actually called we were all running on empty and talking to the other candidates they were similarly exhausted. It was a trial of endurance.
As a Party much has changed for Reform UK in the 4 months since Mid Bedfordshire. Our two party system makes it incredibly hard for new entrants to break through but we believed from the 40,000 doors we knocked that we had more support than we ended up actually achieving. The last week of the campaign saw our competitors move up through the gears and we struggled to be able to compete with them. They spent the last week phoning their voters to garner their support and this ate into our base.
We don’t have the data to be able to compete, nor the manpower and resources. We are growing rapidly and building data as we go.
I discovered that in many instances on the doorstep, people will tell you how they feel and indicate that they will vote for you, but that that doesn’t always materialise at the ballot box.
We also struggled for column inches in the main stream press. In time we will overcome this handicap, but it is a significant deficit for us.
For those that don’t know you, can you introduce yourself and Reform UK as a party.
Reform UK are a broadly Centre Right Party, with small c conservative policies and beliefs, wrapped up in compassion for the lowest paid in society. We don’t really relate to the old left / right political definitions of parties. We are more the party of common sense, drawing from both sides of the spectrum with policies that will improve the standard of living for everyone. We believe in low tax, fiscal responsibility, secure borders and a strong military.
I never intended to be a politician. I am standing because when the Tories left me I had no one to vote for. Someone has to stand up for another way, a better way. So I threw my hat in the ring and here I am. Standing up for ordinary, hard working people who have been at the back of the queue in the UK for too long.
What do you see as the big concerns for the constituency and what issues do you hope to champion?
Mid Bedfordshire is geographically quite large, but rural. We have two towns and many villages and hamlets. We no longer have a single bank branch in Mid Bedfordshire. The constituency is also struggling with a lack of GPs and dentists. Our roads are a disgrace with pot holes everywhere. Bedford and Luton dominate our police resources so we very rarely see any police except for driving up and down the A6 between the two.
Mid Bedfordshire has seen more than its share of new housing in the last decade, but without any infrastructure services to support all those new residents. This results in the standard of living dropping for existing residents as they struggle for school places, operations, GP appointments, dental appointments etc.
People in Mid Bedfordshire feel helpless, that their living standards have dropped and no one seems to care.
For those eager to help, how can they get involved in the campaign? (if available please include Facebook, Twitter, email etc)
We are always happy to see volunteers eager to help us. You can find out more and get in touch via either www.dave-holland.co.uk or my Reform UK page https://www.reformparty.uk/mid-bedfordshire-constituency. You can also find me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/reformukmidbedfordshire/ and Twitter: https://twitter.com/midbedsreformuk.