Standing for Election or Re-election? Winning Campaigns, Winning Elections, Winning Re-elections

Winning selections, elections and re-elections – that doesn’t just happen.

Whether you are running for President, or trying to become a local Councillor, political victory comes from hard work combined with, and guided by, sound political strategy, messaging and tactics.

Of course, it always helps if you are a likeable and friendly candidate who gets well on with people, can relate to local people and their lives, aspirations and dreams and takes their job as candidate seriously.

There are 10-15 Conservative MPs – including me – who are only here because you gave us that little bit extra. Maybe 10%. Or 15%. Or 5%. The edge needed to win. The edge that took us from good to winning. You should shout about it more.— Conservative MP – 2010 intake

Perhaps you need a boost with your strategy, your focus, your political narrative or your campaign? I can help in all campaigning areas – online and offline.

I fought a seat myself over 10 years ago. I worked damn hard. I delivered leaflets,  canvassed religiously (and very badly), spoke about issues and took on the Labour leader of the County Council in a “safe” Labour ward. This is where you expect the happy ending. Where I just squeaked past him on the last recount.

No. He thrashed me. And it hurt. I hate losing. But I had learnt a lot.

First of all I learnt how much politics affects people’s lives. Then I learnt that hard work isn’t enough. And of course, I realised how little I understood of campaigning and winning elections. So I read about them, studied them, took part in them. I learned from people who were better than me – which was quite easy at the time as EVERYBODY was better than me.

Since then, I have worked on hundreds of selections, elections and campaigns – including the Cannock Chase 14.02% swing in the 2010 GE and being a Director of the NO2AV referendum campaign.

The “Safe” Labour Seat that fell to the Conservatives

Cannock Chase was target seat 198.The 2010 Cannock Chase election result was described by the BBC as a “staggering result”.  We achieved the biggest swing in the country (14%) from Labour to the Conservatives. This involved turning a “no-hoper” Labour majority of 9227 into a Conservative majority of 3195.

“Peter is an incredibly stubborn and demanding coach” Aidan Burley MP

The NO2AV Referendum

I was involved with the NO2AV referendum campaign from the beginning. My role changed during the campaign and my main task was to court and persuade Labour to join the official NO2AV campaign. Watching David Cameron and John Reid share a stage and campaign on the same issue was pretty special for me.

…We won big because we – you – got Labour on board. Your positive, appealing personality was crucial to those negotiations… Matthew Elliott, NO2AV Campaign Director


“Peter has forensic political antennae.”  Lord Bruce Grocott, PPS to Tony Blair 1994 – 2001, Govt Chief Whip in the House of Lords 2002 – 2008

 Peter is exactly the kind of guy you want on your side. His genuine, friendly and open approach have made him a favourite amongst Labour politicians voting No to AV – quite an achievement for a Conservative Party campaigner! Peter is the main architect of the deep co-operation between Conservatives and Labour people on the referendum’s No side, largely thanks to his shrewd understanding of people and sensitivity to the boundaries that lie between the two cultures that define mainstream British politics.

I have also been impressed by the success of his work with people from a minority background. 

On the No campaign, as in his work on the campaign against people trafficking, Peter’s deep committment to these causes shines through in all of his dealings with everyone, both within the team and without. He is an excellent team worker and takes the time to encourage others and make positive suggestions to maintain forward momentum. I have no hesitation in recommending him as a very creative campaigner and great fun to work with.

Rt. Hon Jane Kennedy, National Organiser NO2AV and former Labour Minister

The Prime Minister of Sri Lanka – Address to the United Nations

I spent 10 days polishing and streamlining the Prime Minister’s speech for the United Nations in 2003 and working on his delivery. On his return to Sri Lanka, The Prime Minister took over 8 hours to complete the 30 km drive from Bandaranaike International Airport to the capital Colombo due to the crowds who had come out to greet him.

According to 

“Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has returned to a hero’s welcome in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo. Tens of thousands lined the streets outside the airport to celebrate the return of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. Swarmed by officials and supporters at the airport….”

Getting Selected as a Parliamentary Candidate for the Conservative Party

Initially retained by the Conservative Party to develop a Getting Selected Training course in 2002/2003, I have worked with hundreds of prospective candidates in these sessions as well as with many candidates on a 1-2-1 basis.

My role is far more than that of a detached presentation trainer. I help you identify your USP, your strengths and your “voice” or brand as well as helping you formulate your message and map your strategy.

In this very competitive field, many say that they enjoy having an impartial friend and critic on their side, who understands the Party, campaigns and strategy.

The number of my clients who are now Members of Parliament increased by 34 in the 2010 election. Over 100 current Conservative MPs have been through my training courses.

Peter Botting was a formidable force in helping me get selected and then elected to Parliament. Working with Peter was an excellent experience in learning how to be a better speaker and presenter. I still use the things that he taught me in my everyday life as well as my professional life. Peter is a pleasure to work with all around. Top qualities: Great Results, Expert, High Integrity— Paul Uppal MP,


Without you I would not be here..— P – Conservative MP


I only applied for one seat. I was selected. Fought the seat. And won. Peter helped me from before the PAB. Invaluable— Conservative MP


Thanks Peter – every penny worth it!— J – Conservative MP


Peter smells the mood on the streets better than any focus group!— Conservative MP


There are 10-15 Conservative MPs – including me – who are only here because you gave us that little bit extra. Maybe 10%. Or 15%. Or 5%. The edge needed to win. The edge that took us from good to winning. You should shout about it more.— Conservative MP – 2010 intake

I was quoted in this article in The Economist on how Parties select candidates.


Winning elections for you

Specific areas where I can help you win elections or campaigns:

  • campaign strategy and battle plans
  • identifying and crafting your political narrative
  • identifying and articulating your personal narrative
  • surveys, focus groups and general message testing
  • speeches – content and delivery
  • question handling and preparation
  • associations and campaign teams
  • fund-raising and media
  • grass-roots campaigns
  • air war and ground war
  • online campaigning – websites, social media
  • personal branding based on substance. (I don’t do spin – if you are boring, you are boring!) The good people who enter politics for more than personal ego building are generally far more interesting than they at first think!
  • seat research
  • literature creation and printing
  • professional video filming
  • Getting Selected

I always thought that political consultants were a waste of money. Until I met Peter. Who is worth his weight in gold. I cannot stop thinking about what he told me – and I thought I knew my stuff.— A Conservative Party Agent

You are the most discreet person I know. Never mind in Westminster – anywhere.

Leading Westminster figure

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