Thursday, May 03, 2007

Polling Day

Needless to say, it's been a very long day.

Candidates and party members in Haughton work as a team at election time, so I've been taking polling numbers, "knocking out" (trying to persuade Labour voters to go to the polls) and last-minute leafletting in the three Haughton wards.

I'm sticking to my resolution not to make rash predictions about the outcome of the Council elections. I would however make the following observations;

(1) The LibDems threw the kitchen sink at Haughton East, with a blizzard of leaflets containing all the usual fibbing polls and misleading comments that we've come to expect.

(2) As expected the Tories concentrated on Haughton North. For the most part their two candidates stood around the polling station sporting rosettes at Whinfield School, when they didn't have to return to work.

(3) Turnout was good. A very high proportion of the postal voters seemed to have returned their ballot papers (over 80% in Park West for example). After a slow start, voting was certainly brisk in Haughton North. I expect the turnout in several seats to be in excess of 40%.

(4) It wasn't difficult persuading Labour supporters to turn out. Alan Milburn joined us for a couple of hours at lunchtime, and he got a very good response touring Haughton North with Cllr. Tom Nutt and party campaigners.

A small piece of intelligence - the LibDems have apparently told the Northern Echo that they expect to do very well in Harrowgate Hill (a three-way marginal) and Hurworth, where they claim to have taken both seats. Perhaps more sensibly, Labour and the Tories are keeping their cards closer to their chests in public, although I understand the Tories have been very cocky privately about Labour losing control over the past few weeks.

After months of speculation and breast-beating by the opposition, however, the result of the count at 9am will be all that matters.


Ian White, said...

Alan Millburn joined us at dinner time, Ah did he Nick why was that?what was he doing all morning is the question? Shall I tell or will you?

Darlington Councillor said...

I think I may know...

ian white said...

I certainly do know!