Saturday, April 17, 2010

Half way (nearly)

For all those people who keep asking 'how is it going?' I offer a 'half way' campaign bulletin.

I have been doing politics here in Torbay for long enough to have developed a pretty clear idea of which way the wind is blowing.

At this point in the last election in 2005 we stopped talking about winning, and instead the language became 'we will give them (the Liberal Democrats) a run for their money'. This was because it was pretty clear we were not in a winning position at this point. How did we know? Well by the middle of a campaign you have spoken to many hundreds of residents and citizens, from your side of the political fence, from the other side and from the undecided middle ground.

At the last election by now you could see that many on our own side were looking for reasons not to vote Conservative, so when you met them they were critical and fault finding - often blowing up relatively small issues into a big reason why we didn't 'deserve' support. "It's that Michael Howard..." or "I normally vote Conservative but..." There was anger there, and disappointment, and sometimes just a smidgen of guilt.

Those 'on the other side' felt confident in their decision by half way through that campaign; they would be happy to tell me they were supporting the other guy, or voting Labour. Often they would wave kindly when we asked for their support and say "no, but thanks for calling" or say as we left "good luck (you will need it)" They were certain of their intent and comfortable with it.

People in the middle would mostly offer kindly advice; they would look at the posters and the rosette and say 'I think you have a bit of a job on there, mate' - they were still undecided who they would vote for, if anyone, but usually clear that it wouldn't be me!

How is it different this time? Well clearly our own side are in a very different place, electorally speaking. Conservative-minded folk are desperate for a change of Government and ready to do almost anything to bring that about. So supporters who have been absent or 'resting' for years are back with a bang, posters are in big demand, we have more volunteers than jobs at the moment and I get waved at, constant toots of support and thumbs up whenever I wander round with a blue rosette on. Even when I tell supporters about policies they don't like much they wave it away as an irritating detail instead of the deal breaker it once might have been.

Those on the other side are much harder to find now. Instead of looking me in the eye and saying 'I will be voting for X' they tend to say they are still not sure, haven't decided, or 'well, you are all the same.'

And people in the middle? There are more of them this time, more floating voters than ever before and they want policy detail, they want leaflets, and they want the figures and the facts. Above all they want to know what we would DO. What will you DO about immigration? Tax? My benefits? My Bus Pass? My School?

They are interested, really interested. And crucially they are interested in Conservative policy. That is SO different to what the polls and the newspapers are saying - the undecideds are involved, they are engaged and in most cases they will vote.

The polls now clearly say 'hung parliament'. I can't speak for other places and I don't know what the rest of Britain is doing. But I am certain that in this corner of England people more desperately want a change of Government than ever, and they know the only way to get one is to vote Conservative.


sjp said...

don`t give up your day job,
sanders will be returned in torbay!
cameron still does nt get it, MP.s expenses scandal, looks who`s still in the shadow cabinet
francis maude - chief house flipper & tax avoider - 38K REPAID
micheal gove the same 32K REPAID,
plenty more, in your party,
who wants these type of sleazebags in parliment - answer no one!

pot and kettle said...

SJP you are a hypocrite like all yellow perils.

what about your MP who has made wrongful claims for rent, generated local headlines like 'who ate all the pies' for claiming hudnreds for food with no receipts and who employs his wife and mates in the council on our money but wont say how much he pays them.

Oh yes, and who duffs up supporters from his own side at conference

Or the other local one who pocketed a £10k 'incentive' to have his rent put up - rent that we are paying? After he furnished it in luxury at our expense

And all from a party who took £2m of stolen money from a crook and then refused to give it back to it's rightful owners.

Really smart dragging up expenses aren't you?

Anonymous said...

Ha ha I bet sjp is wishing he hadnt written that - my paper this morning is full of cleggy naughtiness with his own expenses. Pride before a fall, mate.

Anonymous said...

with a bit of luck it would be nice to have a tory mp in torbay because the tory party is good change i hope a lot of people vote for marcus to be mp he will be a great mp aswell