One of the most difficult aspects of list selections is the incumbency factor, and it now acts to dissuade potential candidates from running. For, let's face it, a credible MEP has the advantage of recognition, and a profile across the Region which is, in electoral terms, worth its weight in gold. And, unless you have a similar reputation, you're going to have to go out and earn it.
Publicity is a good idea, but it's harder to get than one might think, and remember, you're trying to persuade party members, many of whom aren't terribly active. So, whilst attending a lot of events around your Region is a good thing, what you do when you meet people is key to your success.
Making friends and influencing people is the name of the game, and if you can persuade people that you are a 'good thing', you might be able to persuade them to help out with your campaign. Twenty telephone calls that they make to members on their patch is twenty calls that you don't have to make, and if someone they know tells them that you are worthy of their support, they are certainly more likely to vote for you, or at least give you a higher preference.
And in a Region like the East of England, stretching across six counties, having someone in each Local Party, or even just some of them will help. Remember, there'll be probably just one hustings, in our case at the Regional Conference, and less than 5% of the electorate will be there, and so, unless you can find some way to reach the others, the only things they'll see about you is the manifesto. Believe me, there isn't that much that you can say in a manifesto that will make you stand out from the crowd.
It does, of course, depend on the quality of your opposition, and the reason you've chosen to run, but whatever the motivation, you need a plan, and you need it now...