Today the voters of Hardwick Division go to the polls. Win, lose or draw this has been a worthwhile experience for me. This election is difficult to call as the cross-winds of local and national issues collide and confuse the picture. It feels a bit like being on the X Factor and waiting for the calls to come in. Nervy, elated, a bit helpless.
Our campaign has been really strong - three leaflets and every door knocked on (3500 in all). The only hiccup has been our clash with another candidate who has wrung as much advantage as he can from an early and very promptly and professionally-dealt with problem in our campaign information. When problems are sorted quickly and apologies offered you expect people to accept this and move on, not milk it for all it is worth.
I guess that is politics. However,I refuse to play that particular game. My rule number one upon deciding to do this was to be myself, not get pulled out of shape. To do so is stressful and self-defeating. And it doesn't make you look good.
Today I have lots of people out as Tellers, Drivers and Callers. We have well over a thousand people to ensure turn out for us. I have been touched by the levels of support I have received, meaning that I have not had to deliver a single leaflet or do anything that is not voter-facing. My team of 15 volunteers does all of it for me, leaving me to talk to people. There has been a great atmosphere in the camp, and, as I may have said before, the spirit in the campaign reminds me of the early days of Speaking Up.
Better run, I have to run round the Polling Stations now and show my face. Win, lose or draw, this has been great fun. I recommend it to anyone.