No to AV Referendum Campaign

No to AV Referendum Campaign Case Study

The national referendum on changing the way we vote in the UK was the first referendum in the UK for decades. Matthew Elliott was asked to run the No2AV campaign and asked me if a win was possible. He thought it was but most people he spoke to disagreed. I was one of a handful who said it was and I told him how based on an Excel sheet of numbers I had worked on the day before. Over 50% of Labour voters needed to join what was generally perceived as a Conservative cause.

Matthew took on the campaign and gave me the job of courting Labour MPs, Peers and councillors. Storytelling about why this was good for them was part of my approach. Labour “big beasts” John Reid, John Prescott, Charlie Falconer, Margaret Beckett and David Blanket joined the No campaign.

Marc Stevens ( Web Design Media )

“We won big because we - you - got Labour on board. Your positive appealing personality was crucial to those negotiations….. That … was your crucial contribution to the campaign.”

Matthew Elliott, Campaign Director No2AV
Marc Stevens ( Web Design Media )

“As Chairman of the “No2AV” campaign I worked closely with Peter on the cross-party and non-party campaign against changing Britain’s voting system. He played an outstandingly successful part in this campaign, in particular by winning the confidence and support of Labour Peers, MPs and councillors despite the official opposition of the Labour Party… The key to the success of the No campaign was the ability of politicians… to rise above partisan politics and put the interests of the country first, and Peter’s contribution to this was invaluable.”

Lord Leach of Fairford, Chairman of No2AV
Marc Stevens ( Web Design Media )

“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 commitment 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

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