Today was obviously a lot calmer and less hectic than yesterday but just as busy. A combination of good old fashioned campaign activity and some very boring stuff ... but if you are interested in what candidate really do, read on.
We started off with an early morning leaflet drop around Thorpe Hamlet and speaking to commuters heading for Norwich Station. It was a good chance to meet people but they are often in a rush so conversation was - erm, limited. We may go back tomorrow and have a great chance of seeing the same people, so maybe (suggested one gentleman today) we could have a conversation day-by-day one sentence at a time?
After that it was back to everyday life and a family trip to the dentist (politics doesn't get anymore glamerous than this does it?) and then into the campaign office. So what kind of things are we up to when not on the streets?
What is surprising is how quickly the backlog of people wanting to be called or emailed about issues builds up. Although some are policy based and easy to be answered, a much, much greater number I want to answer personally because it is important that people know what I think as well as what the party wants. This can literally take hours if you put the thought and effort into the replies and calls. I have to say that most people are Conservative-minded who want reasons to firm up their support. Everyone who I spoke to was very pleased that we had taken the time to get in touch and most are amazed I do it myself and don't get a campaign worker to phone them.
I am also taking time to call party members and key supporters to chat about how they think the campaign is going. Amazingly from a few sheets of calls, not one single known Conservative voter is switching to another party - a 100% retention rate isn't bad when other parties are claiming (wrongly) we are out of the race!
I also spend time working on a very special campainging event for Saturday and setting up a BBC interview next week.
My other job today was to go round and personally thank a number of our leafleters. As I rose up in the party through the voluntary wing of the party I know that people don't have to go the extra mile for your campaign so a doorstep visit and a thank-you from the candidate is appreciated. We are now moving onto our second (and in some areas, third) leaflet of the campaign so it is important we keep people motivated. I was especially pleased with a new volunteer from Bowthorpe who is ultra-keen and just wants us to keep throwing work her way!
From there I went off to Eaton to help the team there put out a leaflet - though sadly the rain cleared people from their gardens so not many people to chat to! From a rain soaked Eaton back over to Bowthorpe to meet 2 local residents to talk through their issues with the council.
And the last jobs of the day were delivering a poster to a new site in Town Close and getting a proxy vote signed. In both cases they had asked to speak to me before they would do it - fair enough, really - and I am pleased to say something must have been right because they did.
Back home - Emily still awake (secretly I am pleased!!) and blogging.
p.s. Day Two and still no response from LibDem candidate Simon Wright over the "Clean Campaign Pledge". It's starting to look suspiciously as if he either doesn't want to sign or is looking for a way out.