Tuesday 6 April 2010

Living in a marginal (1): under starter's orders in Hampstead & Kilburn

Just a brief one tonight. We're truly off this time, and it's official, not that much will change in Hampstead & Kilburn where the election race is nearer its conclusion than the start.

Yesterday Nick Clegg was in town. I switched on BBC News 24 and saw Ed Fordham nodding earnestly as Clegg answered various questions on...I wasn't listening, actually. The yellow battlebus was in the background. Pretty standard fare.

At least he was on the constituency. I caught a glimpse of Chris Philp on Newsnight this evening; he had clearly decided not to bother campaigning in H&K today, preferring instead to try and grab a posing opportunity with David Cameron somewhere on the South Bank. Is being on the ground that important? Not really, I must be honest, I was looking for a cheap dig.

The Liberals have definitely got the edge when it comes to leafleting though. It's close between them and the Tories, but I got a glossy this morning (the most positive Fordham communication in ages, rather than anti-Philp) as well as an envelope of Sarah Teather related gear (I find her pretty ghastly myself). Why the material banged on about Dawn Butler I don't know - surely that just muddies the waters further? I spotted a large yellow diamond board on Brondesbury Park (junction with Sidmouth Road), too. H&K was also mentioned in today's Standard as a Lib Dem target seat.

Hard to tell, then, how things are going here but it clearly remains a close fight with both Labour and Tories pouring resources in - clearly it's there for the taking. On a personal note, I see that the referendum on alternative vote won't be taking place but Labour have pledged to push on with it if they win the election. This is a desperate shame that it's fallen through but hardly surprising. It's prettymuch a deal-breaker for me - the most critical issue of all at the election - and I'll be interested to see what the individual candidates' views are on the issue at the next hustings. Hopefully none of them will feel too constrained by party policy.

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