How to influence your parliamentary candidates: A guide for freelancers

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We’ve all faced it. Canvassers knocking on your door at the worst possible time or targeting your letterbox with a barrage of pamphlets.

But with parliamentary candidates seemingly keen to listen to the issues impacting you and canvassers reporting back with what has cropped up on the doorstep, could this be turned into an opportunity for you to influence them?

Below, we review the key questions to ask your candidates on the doorstep whilst also outlining other ways to influence your parliamentary candidates ahead of the election.

Questions to ask your candidates or canvassers

“What about self-employment? What would your party do for us?”

It seems an obvious one to ask, but many candidates and canvassers may not have yet considered how their party would support the self-employed.

We’ve seen from the published manifestos that many detail can be lacking when it comes to coherent plans to support the self-employed, so this could be the ideal question for getting self-employment on their radar.

“Would you as a candidate personally support calls to abolish IR35/provide parity to self-employed mothers/tackle the scourge of late payment on freelancers?”

At this point, it’s worth raising the key issues that are impacting you as a self-employed individual.

Instead of asking how their political party may seek to tackle these issues, asking if they would support these calls as an individual candidate is often an effective way of getting them invested in a particular issue.

Similarly, sharing your personal story about how these issues have impacted you and your ability to operate as a self-employed individual can really help to get your case across to your candidates.

“Do you think the self-employed are important to the economy and wider society?”

This is a good one to get your candidates thinking about the contribution of the self-employed. They may not have considered the way that the sector enables clients to grow, supports wider economic growth whilst also being at the forefront of technical and scientific breakthroughs.

Contact your candidates

One other option is to email your candidates directly. At IPSE, we’ve been sharing our Manifesto with prospective parliamentary candidates and we’ve found many candidates to be very receptive to the key asks for the sector.

You can find the contact details for your candidates here. It’s important to include your address and impress the need for them to champion the self-employed on your behalf as a potential constituent.

Again, any personal stories you can share about the impact of government action (or inaction) on your self-employed business is a great way of getting the message across.

Social media is also a good option for contacting your candidates, although bear in mind that these accounts may not be run by the candidates themselves. Consider tagging your candidates in posts that ask for their position on certain issues that are important to you and your business.

Our manifesto for the self-employed 

There are 4.3 million self-employed people in the UK. Their voice must be fairly heard at the 2024 general election. 

IPSE's manifesto for the self-employed calls on political parties to make the self-employed a policymaking priority, unlocking the full potential of this dynamic part of our economy.

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Our Manifesto

Today, one in every 13 workers in the UK are self-employed. We’re calling on our political parties to make the self-employed a policymaking priority, unlocking the full potential of this dynamic part of our economy.

The Courage Economy


IPSE fights for what is right for you and your business. We campaign to Government and industry leaders to build a better world so you can grow your business and be happy and healthy in your everyday life.

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Meet the author

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Joshua Toovey

Senior Research and Policy Officer