Sunday, July 15, 2007

Southall campaigning tales

I went over to help in Southall on Saturday evening and the by-election and with it being the final few days, leaflets from the three major parties are in abundance along with a large number of posters displayed. From being in Southall today you also have the bizarre situation of a number of shops containing both Conservative and Labour posters, something I've never seen before in any previous elections I've been involved in and the list is long. Although the odd shop may display a poster in Mitcham and Morden you get very few shops putting up posters unlike in Southall where it seems to be a tradition. Clearly awareness of the by-election is growing and I cannot see turnout being rock bottom or as low as in some previous elections.

Out and about, I also had a bizarre encounter with some christian religious zealot who tired preaching to me about God along with his theories of religion in the world. He claimed to support Labour and being a man of God I take him at his word, but like any election you sometimes meet some very interesting characters and he was certainly one.

Large number of activists were also about and I also met Harriet Harman Deputy Leader of the Labour Party. The National Policy Forum which was meeting nearby at Heathrow also came in two coachloads to help. The one downside is that getting anywhere was not an easy task and not knowing the area I got lost a few times(not having sat nav I had to rely on my AtoZ), traffic in Southall is also a nightmare even on a Saturday evening but it's a very colourful and lively place.

The mood within the Labour party is pretty upbeat about our prospects and morale is high. However, we cannot be complacent as by-elections are never easy and present many challengers but in Virenda Sharma we've an excellant canidate.


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