It's been a long campaign. A fun one, but a long one all the same. Curiously, though, we've reached a rather odd phase, in that the limitations placed on candidates really begin to kick in at this point.
The absence of membership lists means that the opportunity to drive increased voter turnout is severely reduced, whereas in the leadership election last year, access to those very lists meant that the two campaign teams could use a range of methods to cajole those still to vote into action.
Tight control over the issue of e-mails (they all go out at once at a time not necessarily of the candidate's choosing) means that the ability to use the medium for a conversation with members or with the other candidates is lost.
The absence of formal hustings has taken away that 'gladiatorial' element that adds an exclamation point to the campaign, although I've not been wildly impressed with the informal hustings that have taken place thus far (poorly organised, poorly attended, and of limited value).
And so the campaign has continued in its usual efficient manner, with everything that be usefully done being done - many thanks to those of you who have contributed their time, support and enthusiasm!
I've focused on my role of support to Ros, making sure that she rests between engagements, making sure that the travel arrangements work, that we have somewhere to stay, noting the issues that resonate with members in different locations, doing all of the things that a good candidate's aide does.
What I haven't done is used this blog to act as a cheerleader for Ros. Everyone knows where I stand and, to be honest, it would be embarrassing if 'Liberal Bureaucracy' was seen to be a completely over the top, partisan stream of 'isn't she amazing' candyfloss. Instead, I've tended to report on the things that I've learnt in the course of the vast range of local party events that I've attended. There is no doubt that, regardless of what happens when the poll closes, I will have gained insights that will make me more effective at what I do for the Party.
And for those of you who have contributed to that education, many thanks!