Monday, April 12, 2010

Campaign Diary - Day Seven

Now my feet are really starting to hurt!

A day on the campaign trail has taken me all over the constituency today, starting off in the South Park area and heading up Newmarket Road delivering letters which tell people why I decided to stand for parliament. This letter has got a response so far and is relentlessly positive and goes into what I hope to achieve as an MP.

I then went over to the studios at Radio Norwich to pre-record some election clips and then the horror of a Pop Quiz and some questions about the constituency. I thought I knew very little about pop music, but clearly teaching in a High School and having small children have benefits because I did rather well. I got all the constituency questions right - good job given the fact I live and work in the City!

This afternoon we had a number of visits to do and I particularly enjoyed dropping by one residential home - not least because of the excellent tea and biscuits (first sit down I'd had all day). IIt was good to have time and comfort to discuss issues that you rarely get on the doorstep. These "coffee morning" style events are also good because the audience are self-selecting and they choose to hear from the candidate. Clear from discussions that the actions of the City Council are damaging Mr Clarke's campaign and many people are frustrated with being told by one party that other parties cannot win! We managed to get around 5 events this afternoon at whirlwind pace - well done to the team who managed to keep up!

And this evening we hit the doorsteps in Town Close and found a very good response. A lot of people still concerned about the possibility of a hung parliament and what the LibDems would do. One lady put in best when she said she couldn't wake up with a LibDem MP but to find Gordon Brown still there! There was genuine anger about the LibDem campaign but people very much welcomed our positive campaign. In addition, education was a big issue and so too was the economy. One businessman I spoke to said he had his head in his hands over Labour's NI rise. People seemed very pleased to see us and it felt very good on the ground.

Home just in time to watch Nick Clegg getting the Paxo treatment on the BBC. I am afraid his answers on tax, a hung parliament, immigration and the NHS were very poor indeed. He was much better - and much more passionate - on education. Clegg doesn't come across as a very strong media performer, but I was told by someone he was deliberately poor to reduce expectation for the debate. Can it be true ...?

I'll be thumbing through Labour's manifesto later so will let you know what I think!

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