Team2015

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Team2015 is a political campaign initiative by the Conservative Party UK [1] aiming to recruit volunteers for the 2015 general election. It was set up by Grant Shapps, Conservative Party Chairman, as a vehicle for organizing volunteers to campaign in the target 40/40 seats. The core leads of the team are Stella Kyriazis, Charles Spungin and the Party Chairman's Office. As of December 2014 there were approximately 40,000 volunteers who joined the initiative.

Background

Prior to Team2015, volunteers were provided through the membership of the party. However, as party membership has been falling [2] across all main parties [3] the Team2015 project is open to anyone who wishes to participate in campaigning, and being a Conservative Party member is not required. Team2015 was envisaged as a way of de-fragmenting the volunteer base of the Conservative Party, particularly those based in marginal seats, and to utilize the skills of these volunteers to the best of their ability. Also, the team encourages many different ways to volunteer, including both frontline and background activities. Team2015 was set up in the spring of 2013 and it will run up to the next general election in 2015.

Function

The team operates on the following ideas:

  • Volunteer members of Team2015 do not have to be members of the Conservative Party
  • Personal contact
  • Analyzing peoples' skills and utilizing these to best ampaigning practice
  • The initiative offers different levels of rewards according to the degree of effort provided by the volunteer

Reward scheme

The team uses a recognition scheme based on that successfully implemented for the London Olympics 2012 games. This rewards volunteers for the time and effort they put into the campaign. These rewards include a Team2015 badge, Team2015 certificate and a reception with the Party Chairman or a Government Minister. Top reward include meeting the Prime Minister at a reception.

Social media

Team2015 utilizes social networking platforms such as Facebook (Team2015Conservatives, and Twitter (@team2015). It enables participants to access up-to-date information on news and events, as well as providing insights into the day-to-day lives of Team2015 volunteers with pictures and videos.

Successes and failures

The rationale for the usefulness of the team was initially derided, even within the Conservative Party. Although some campaigning activities were implemented during the May 2014 Local elections, it is widely believed that the activities of Team2015 volunteers were pivotal in winning the Newark by-election.[4][5][6]

References