Dear elector

At the end of a long campaign, the last thing you need at this point is a “hard sell” from your local Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate.

You don’t need me to tell you that you are more than capable of making up your own mind how to vote, based on all the information with which you have been bombarded by the parties and the media in recent weeks.

So I am not going to seek to tell you who to vote for. That is obviously your decision. Naturally, I hope that you will vote Liberal Democrat, but the choice is yours, and a high-pressure sales message is the last thing anyone needs at this late stage of the game.

So let me instead content myself with saying that it is an absolute honour to be standing for Parliament in Hendon for one of Britain’s three main political parties. People fought and died for our right to do this in this country and I am very grateful for the opportunity to stand.

I have enjoyed every minute of it, particularly speaking at hustings meetings organised by churches, synagogues and mosques. These meetings have been well-attended and I’m proud to have had the chance to put my case to so many of you. It’s also been a pleasure to meet so many local people on the doorsteps, on street stalls and on the phone; if we haven’t met, I hope that you have either received my leaflets or been able to follow my activities online and in the local press.

Before the election was called, I was looking forward to going in to bat for my party in Hendon, knowing that I was up against some formidable opponents and that the local Lib Dems’ resources are not limitless. And then, during the election, something very special has happened. Thanks in large part to the great appeal of Nick Clegg, people have come forward to support me in ways that I might never have anticipated. Whether it’s through delivering leaflets, spreading the word to their friends, or providing the resources for the best possible campaign, a whole host of new supporters has flocked to the Lib Dem cause in Hendon this time around.

I am immensely grateful to those people and for the expanded local campaign which they have made a reality. What they have done (with a little help from Nick Clegg and my party’s national campaign on television!) is very simple: they have given the people of Hendon a choice. No more need people say that they might like to vote Lib Dem, but we can’t win; the polls show that Lib Dems can win, and we will win if people choose to vote for us. In other words, nobody who wishes to vote Lib Dem need feel constrained by the need to “Vote Tory to keep Labour out” or “Vote Labour to keep the Tories out” – instead they can, if they wish, “Vote Lib Dem to put the Lib Dems in”.

But that’s not up to me, it’s up to you. I am confident that there is a lot of good will towards the Lib Dems in Hendon at this election, and I do believe that this good will could well translate into a lot of votes for my party. Whether that is true, and whether that is enough votes to actually deliver me victory, is the voters’ choice, not mine. I will simply end by saying that if you like what you have read about my campaign, then please consider electing me as Hendon’s next MP – three-party politics means that this can happen if you wish it to happen. If Nick Clegg and Vince Cable have inspired you with the wish to see Liberal Democrats in power, then why not vote for us? It’s over to you!

Thanks very much for taking the time to read this.

Matthew Harris

Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Hendon