A happy campaign

Three candidates

Three candidates

Whatever the outcome Thursday I am pleased that Labour’s campaign in Southend West has been a happy one. Politics and campaigning can be arduous, and tempers can flare, but I have managed a happy ship. I am also pleased that Labour has a bigger presence in Southend West than it has been for some time. I have been lucky, I have had some very good people come forward to help, for which I am most grateful. I heartily thank them all.

It has had its surreal moments. I am not sure what David Amess was thinking when he decided a horse-drawn carriage was an ideal vehicle to parade about in. I am wondering whether Brian Otridge can answer every question with a reference to Europe or immigration (“What would you like for dinner dear?” “I don’t know, but it better not be made by Bulgarians.”) I was called dishonest for not including all my middle names on my election material, yet said Tory-woman seemingly unconcerned that David Amess does likewise.

Some things do stick in my mind. The Liberal Democrats must be hoping for a saved deposit and not much else – their support is all but invisible. UKIP’s campaign has been lacklustre, whilst the Green’s idea of personal statements by their council candidates is to make them all identical. The Independent Group appears to have forgotten that they are part of a team of three running the town. There is a discernible wobble in Conservative support. I have seen no evidence that the English Democrat candidate has done anything.

If new media has any influence then Labour is on for a landslide in Southend – ours is by a country mile the best presence on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

In terms of number of activists, it is hard to tell. You hear stories of other campaigns which are struggling because of lack of activists – whereas our pool is growing. If you count posters and garden boards the Conservatives are ahead, but we are not that far behind. We are being out-spent, but our strength has always been those who help us, not how much money they have.

I will be able to say, after Thursday, that Labour has had a good campaign in Southend West. An honest, fair, and not personal campaign. Our presence is one of trying to win, not to be a spoiler for other people’s ambitions.


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