Sunday, 18 April 2010

Trying to live a normal life at an abnormal time

"You can't hide beat," according to the song.

Last night I sat up so long with my laptop doing paperwork stuff for the forthcoming local election that I didn't get around to going to bed. Then at 8.30 it was off to Hounslow Heath to collect my son from his cousin's, where he had been staying over, and a swift drive to Pinner for his last football league match of the season (in the event he was subbed early on as his asthma got the better of him and his side lost 4-1 - I'm not sure whether the two were connected).

Back home, quick sleep to try to recover from last night's data entry marathon, then off to visit several residents in Isleworth and Hounslow South.

In the meantime activists were out and about working in all three of the wards that we are contesting.

This is proving to be an unusual election. The general election being on the same day ensures a higher than usual turnout and yet there is still a great of deal of indifference and uncertainty on the doorsteps. More so, I would say, than is usually the case at this stage during a normal local election campaign.

Labour have been out and about but it all seems a bit half-hearted. They are doing more in Syon than they did last time, but then they did nothing whatsoever last time. In Isleworth they are all over the place, with 15-year-old hoodies knocking on doors and the same streets and the same residents on hostile estates being canvassed twice. Their almost complete rejection on "their" social housing estates seems too much for them to acknowledge, even to themselves, and consequently they are in denial.

At the general election the Lib Dems would appear to be riding on the crest of a wave following their success in the first leaders' televised debate. Whether it will last till polling day or not remains to be seen. In this constituency, certainly, there is plenty of political space for their candidate Andrew Dakers to move into (more observations about Andrew's campaign are to follow).

I envisage a local election turnout of around 45-48% in Isleworth and Syon, and as much as 55% in Hounslow South. It will be interesting to see whether voters' national preferences repeat themselves in their local choices, or whether electors are cute enough to differentiate between the two. My suspicion is that they will be.

1 comment:

Irritated said...

Perhaps Annie's recent whistle-stop tour of Ivybridge is an example of what Sir Robin has been calling her active and successful campaigning around her constituency ?

She's chauffeur driven to a certain pre-determined location and escorted by a ring of steel while she knocks on a few carefully selected doors.

All done and dusted inside half an hour and hey presto - minimum effort, major triumph !