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David Cameron launches the 2015 Conservative Election Campaign in Corsham Wiltshire UK

Preparing for Power – Episode 4: The governing party

Oliver Letwin, Harriet Harman, Gus O'Donnell and Nick Macpherson reveal how they approached the work of government during an election campaign.

A general election is getting closer – and whoever forms the next government needs to be prepared. The campaign will dominate time and resources, but the job of being in government begins almost as soon as the votes have been counted. Preparing for Power, a special six-part series from the Institute for Government, takes you behind the scenes to find out how our politicians, their advisers and officials block out the noise of a general election campaign to get ready for what comes after.

Episode 4 explores how the governing party prepares for an election while continuing to govern, with ministers, civil servants and special advisers – including Oliver Letwin, Harriet Harman, Gus O'Donnell, Polly Mackenzie and Nick Macpherson – revealing how they approached the work of government during an election campaign.

How does a governing party balance a gruelling campaign alongside running the country? What are the advantages of being the party in power as the election approaches? And how can a governing party make the most of those final months before polling day? Veterans of the 2010 and 2015 elections share their stories.

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