Hove

The final announcement from your in-flight team

First published on ProgressOnline

As everyone passes through customs at the end of Operation Flight I want to stop and thank everyone who made this possible.

First, your cabin crew, the Progress staff and volunteers who have taken a lead in the nine seats Labour is targeting where the incumbent Conservative or Liberal Democrat member of parliament is standing down.

In addition the 15 Labour MPs and MEPs, especially our chair John Woodcock MP, who took the captain’s seat and led the campaign days from the front.

Close behind were the Progress strategy board members – those you have decided to elect to lead the organisation. Based across the country, many doing the hard graft of being a councillor, they show Progress at its best.

The support from Labour Students, LGBT Labour and Community Union as they pilled in behind was crucial to the success of the day and shows how vibrant our movement is.

The party staff – we have excellent organisers – they do our party and our politics proud and these events always take more organising that anyone ever acknowledges.

Finally the 213 volunteers who turn out in all weathers and knocked those doors. That is nearly 500 volunteer hours.

Together we started 4526 conversations. Broken down by seat that is:

Brent Central: 693
Cardiff North: 794
Cannock Chase: 413
Dudley South: 350
Erewash: 498
Hove: 930
North Warwickshire: 202
Redcar: 192
South Ribble: 454

Our candidates across the country are the heros of this election campaign. I do not know anyone in the 106 target list that is not going above and beyond to get Labour that extra MP. Everyone in Progress was proud to be out campaigning with their #OpFlight Labour candidate. They have all had different flight paths to Labour but the destination is the same: a one-term Tory government brought to an end and a Labour majority to make this country fairer, stronger and working for all.

This week our leader Ed Miliband promised we would make four million conversations. In just nine seats we started well over 4,000 today. Lots done, lots to be done but either way bring on 7 May.

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Richard Angell is director of Progress

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Operation Flight

Operation FlightFirst published on Progressonline

Richard Angell explains Progress’ new campaign to capitalise on the coalition MPs abandoning their seats

It is clear that the Tories do not believe in David Cameron’s premiership. There has long been sniping, if not the threat of outright revolt. Many of his members of parliament, though, are voting with their feet. Two have taken their ball with them and gone off to play with the United Kingdom Independence party. Louise Mensch quit for New York and handed her seat to Labour’s Andy Sawford. Among the 29 who have announced they are standing down, eight are doing so after just one term and seven are in Labour’s list of 106-target seats. Each might have their own given reason but what Cameron cannot deny is that this is a historic abandoning of their posts. Worse still, it is a damning critique of the first Tory government of the 21st century. (more…)