GE2017: Royal Mail Freepost


As we’re fielding candidates in the General Election, we get the benefit of a free delivery by Royal Mail (RM) to households in the constituencies we’re standing in. I’ve been through their candidate mail guide to check what we need to do and by when.

Below is the important information. I’ll be packaging this up into Trello cards for the boards I (will be) working on with @geeksareforlife to make sure each candidate knows what needs doing.

I’ll be phoning RM on Tuesday to ask some questions and make sure they’re aware of us. I’m hoping I can help by doing as much of the communication with them as possible so individual candidates can focus their efforts on the local bits.


We need to make sure we get this right, as it’s going to be an important part of our campaign. Here’s what I’m thinking in terms of the aims of the mailing:

  • Raise awareness
  • Communicate main policies
  • Promote crowd funding campaign (note that the guidance on free mailings states, “requests for party funds or party membership must be related to support in the election only”)
  • Recruit volunteers


We are allowed to do addressed or unaddressed. I suggest we keep things simple and do an unaddressed leaflet. We can keep the same format as the leaflets for the county council elections, with some adjustments to the copy.

I’ll be phoning RM on Tuesday to ask if we need to use envelopes or not, because that’s not clear.

@KevinK Can you confirm if you’re okay to work on designing the mailing please?

Tasks and deadlines

Deadlines marked with an asterisk (*) are deadlines I’ve made up. They may be changeable, but aim to make sure we’re giving ourselves breathing time.

  • Fri 5th May*: Confirm artwork.
  • Thu 10th May*: Obtain declaration from the Returning Officer to “pay” for the mailing before the notice of poll (required before 11th May).
  • Thu 12th May*: Confirm candidates with RM.
  • Thu 12th May*: Send artwork to RM for review.
  • Tue, 23rd May: Complete EL1 form.
  • Tue, 23rd May: Inform RM Election Manager that artwork is approved.
  • Mon, 29th May: Deliver mailings to RM

Specifications for mailings

  • 60g or under in weight.
  • The same size and weight – between 140-240mm in length, 90-164mm in width and no thicker than 5mm.
  • Single sheet if unfolded.
  • Either single or multi-sheet if folded, but they must retain their presented format.
  • “Election Communication” must be printed on the front of the envelope in at least 10 points font size.
  • Constituency, candidate name and/or Party name on the front of the artwork in at least 10 points font size.
  • Printer’s and Promoter’s details on the face of the artwork (name, full address and postcode for each).

Preparing the mailing

We need to;

  • Bundle into groups of 100 or less.
  • Securely (single or double) banded.
  • Be packaged separately for individual delivery offices.
  • Weigh 11kg or less if bundles are in boxes or bags.
  • Each box or bag must be labelled with:
  1. Drop Off Point
  2. Constituency name
  3. Delivery Office name
  4. Outward Postcode
  5. Total Constituency volume
  6. Political Party or Candidate name
  7. Box Number (x of x e.g. 2 of 5)
  8. Box Quantity
  • An EL1 Certificate of Posting form must be completed for every artwork checking code issued and accompany the appropriate mailing.

Contacts at Royal Mail


Oh I forgot to say… @Floppy if there is anything you think that might be missing based on already having done this once, let me know!


Haha, superb. I was discussing this timeline with @geeksareforlife last night as part of the candidate-wrangling. Thanks for putting together the detail Phil. So, AAARGH bloody hell, not long.


Drafts for GE2017 A5 folder Leaflets - I have no idea what main topics could be, so asking for input on 6 policies for inside & the copy. Also, I think a blurb about SN would be good on the back above the links. General comments welcome… :relaxed:


I love it!

On the policy things, I get that the X is meant to symbolise putting your X on the ballot paper, but it feels like it’s saying “no” to things too.

Fracking is super bad, we’ll all die


I broadly like the six you’ve chosen, I think. I’ll think a bit more about those though.


I’ll re-work the X s then. Any suggestions/help on what to write under the headings would be appreciated :grin:


Some ideas below, although some are clearly too long. Also a SN blurb suggestion at the bottom. I’d want @Floppy to review all this first!

I’ve also including links. I’d like if we can create those and have them point to pages we’ll make, specifically for this election, summarising our current policy.

A Free NHS

Free to use and free from political interference and profiteering. We don’t trust politicians with the NHS - we’ll make it independent and protect it’s funding, ending the cuts and privatisation.

Great Education for All

We want an end to school cuts, a reversing of tuition fees, properly paid teachers, state-run schools not unaccountable acadamies and a curriculum run by teachers, not politicians.

An Economy for Everyone

Tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy are harming our economy - we’ll reverse them and tax on ability to pay. We’ll abolish council tax and introduce a financial transactions tax. HRMC will be properly funded to close down tax avoidance and evasion.

Protect the Environment

Humanity is killing the earth. We will honour our commitments to international agreements on climate change, end fossil fuel subsidies and fossil fuel extraction and invest heavily in renewable energy.

Redesign Democracy

Our system is unfit for purpose. We’ll make seats match votes with proportional representation, abolish the undemocratic House of Lords and let the people write a new constitution for the UK.

Invest, Invest, Invest

Instead of starving our economy through austerity, we’ll invest in it! The minimum wage will be a living wage, we’ll create a national investment bank instead of handing out free money to big banks and we’ll invest in new jobs in green technology not white elephants.

Something New blurb

Something New grew out of our frustration with politics. We do everything completely in the open and our manifesto is continually evolving based on contributions from everyday people like you. There’s no playground politics and we want policy based on evidence, not dogma. Let’s replace the system with Something New.


@philipjohn What are those links to? getting the ole’ 404


Updated: Draft 2 :sunglasses:


Nothing yet :wink:


I’ve realised we have nothing about “representation, not party politics”, which I think we should, but I worry about how that squares with putting policies on here :slight_smile:


I like it, it’s bold, especially that big black front page! But I agree that our main USP is not the policies (though they’re important to show people what we are standing for), but the way we do things. We could slim down the policy area slightly and lead with something that talks about how and why we do things in the open; basically that we believe that openness and working together is the way of the future.

Oh, and should we include explicit Brexit policy? Everyone will ask…


They will, and I’m struggling with this because it isn’t yet clear in our manifesto and I think an explicit “no to Brexit” policy isn’t the right thing.

One of the reasons I proposed clear majorities for constitutional change is because I’ve been thinking about having a policy to re-run the referendum in the context of that proposal. E.g. “37% voted for Brexit last June, but we think a clear 50%+ is needed”

#14 is clear that we will aim to abort the Brexit process, and what we would aim for if that wasn’t possible.

Maybe: “We don’t think the UK should leave the EU; if we have to, we will aim to remain part of the EEA and EFTA.” Not sure about how to phrase the referendums bit.


Yep, and that effectively accepts Brexit. I.e. it does say “if we get into power, we’ll rejoin the EU” which would be a fully anti-Brexit policy.

I do like that policy, it just doesn’t give us the ability to say that we’d rejoin the EU, if that’s what we want our answer to be.

should we include explicit Brexit policy?

Having sent myself round in a circle :slight_smile: I guess the answer to that question is yes, and we should pretty much copy/paste from the manifesto.


That’s true, I didn’t add that. Propose it as an addition :slight_smile:


So what’s the verdict?

What are we putting in about Brexit?



“We don’t think the UK should leave the EU - we’re better off working together. If the UK does leave, we will aim to remain part of the EEA and EFTA. If we stay, we’ll campaign hard for reform, greater democracy and more transparency.”


OK. And re ‘Representation, no party politics’ ? Shall I combine stuff from the page?


Something like…

We believe that people should have the power to make decisions and guide politics. That’s why we make all our policy completely openly, so you can have your say directly. We want to fix our broken democratic system, and move towards something that better reflects the will of all the people. That starts with proportional representation, but in the future we want to make it easier for citizens to get involved in politics at whatever level they want.