Saturday, February 21, 2009
Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson with the the team in Trimdon
I haven't had a chance to blog about the European campaign since Christmas, but work is well under way by Labour across the North East. I'm concentrating my work in the southern Durham and Tees Valley area - in the last few weeks I've been out with MPs Ashok Kumar in Hemlington, Dari Taylor in Bishopsgarth and yesterday (for the second time) Phil Wilson in Trimdon.
Yesterday was one of those days which makes you say "polls, schmolls". Virtually every house we called at had long-standing Labour supporters who were slightly surprised we were even asking how they'd be voting at the European elections.
Canvassing with Dari was a similarly positive experience. Given the national news background, I'd been expecting doom and gloom from residents - whilst there was a little of that, I found that people have really tried to understand the economic situation - they've had to, as their jobs, and those of friends and family could be at risk. Consequently, there was none of this "recession made in Downing Street" nonsense peddled by the Tories - residents understand that this is an international and not a purely GB situation, and the toxic role played by the bankers too.
So in what is apparently a LibDem ward, we got some really good feedback, and I even managed to recruit a new member! Today I'm off to Hartlepool, as the party there spearheads its Mayoral and European campaign ahead of June 4th.