Three hours today knocking doors for the Lib Dems on my Patch. This work is always best done in twos and I am accompanied by an energetic pensioner Martin who is still knocking out half marathons in his late 60 s. It's the day after the final debate and as I expected our immigration policy isn't playing well. A few say it has put them off. Although Bury has few immigrants people tend to worry about the issue almost as much as the economy. It comes up at every other door. The policy itself electorally speaking, while honest and imaginative is like cyanide on the doorstep. Personally I would prefer a much safer line if we are serious about winning middle England.
The good news today was that there is little real enthusiasm for the Tories. Although Cameron won the final debate, comfortably I felt, they don't appear to have the necessary traction to win outright. It's feeling like 36 30 28 with us just ahead of Labour, who appear to have lost respect. Locally they risk fourth place behind the Greens.
Also encouraging were the numbers who said they were definitely with us thus time. Although Cleggs early impact has waned the debates have irreversably changed the election into a three way race. Locally the Tory MP David Ruffley has a ten thousand majority so it is a relatively dead election as the result is foregone. The best hope is taking him down to four or five. Hardly a motivator to vote let alone campaign. But we do and we must.
Today was a lot friendlier than last year when expenses was breaking. It was all we heard and people didn't want to know. That seems to have softened a year on. Out all day Tuesday and Thursday when at last we will know. Cameron will I believe start to pull ahead this week. It's really about whether or not he gets just up to the line or remains well short. I predict a slightly-hung Parliament with the Tories 20 short and needing the Unionists but not us to govern. We shall see.