As we head into February, it’s time to take a look at another first time Conservative candidate standing in the local elections this May. This time, we’re down in London, in the borough of Hillingdon, where James Hamblin, a 33-year-old software developer, is standing in the West Drayton Ward. It is currently represented by one Conservative and two Labour councillors. In throwing himself into his election campaign, I wanted to know what he was hoping to gain from standing.
‘A chance to represent local residents on the issues that matter to them, and valuable experience in running a campaign.’ he said. ‘Secondly, a voice on important local issues that I care about, such as housing, social care, and how to better deliver local services.’
This is a very locally driven campaign, and James is motivated by the chance to meet and talk to local residents. ‘On the campaign trail, this is one of the best experiences, even better when there’s the chance to actually resolve an issue for a resident’. However, there’s a downside: ‘I’m not looking forward to fighting to dispel the myths of Labour, especially in John McDonnell’s seat,’ said James, ‘but it needs to be done.’ If that isn’t a motivation for a campaign, I don’t know what is. The residents of Hillingdon deserve better than a man who wants no conservative to leave the house without being challenged. And James wants to stand up against that.
James is dedicated and enthusiastic about his election, which I’ve witnessed over the past few weeks. He’s out on the doorstep several times a week, working hard to make a difference for the residents he’s hoping to represent. His inspiration comes from John Major, who said in his autobiography that ‘drive is as important as intellect.’
For other young people wanting to get involved for the first time, he advised to ‘Take the plunge, because you never know where you might end up. If you’re unsure, definitely go for it.’ You will never truly know unless you try, and ‘the process is both easier and harder than you might imagine.’ I’m sure when I speak to James after his election, he’ll have come across so many things he didn’t expect. But most importantly, passion is the key ingredient. ‘This will take you a long way. You can learn the ropes as you go, but passion is what people ultimately respond to more than anything else.’
I have to say, he’s completely right about this. Even if you don’t succeed, you will still know you’ve put your best efforts into your campaign. James is truly practicing what he preaches, throwing himself into his first ever election. The best campaigns I have worked on are ones where the candidate has the driving enthusiasm for it, which motivates the whole team in turn. James’ enthusiasm for his campaign shines through here, and it’s clear to see that he wants to make a real difference to local residents. If you live near his area, and want to help such a wonderful individual in his efforts, please get in touch. He also looks a bit like James Cleverly.