This diary is written by a Parliamentary candidate contesting a marginal seat in May.
Is there a better insight into 21st Century British society than door-stepping?
You never know what you are going to get – it keeps me going. It would be fair to say that those who I am specifically trying to target are generally not in. Apparently pensioners are more likely to vote Tory; those at home on benefits will not. Those who aspire, and who are out at work probably will. That’s what Lynton says. Must be true. Nothing like a good generalisation.
I don’t really get this ‘targeting’ thing. Clearly it works, but are we not trying to govern for all, not just a few? If that’s the case we need to make our message as broad as possible and build a broad electorate, and going after the ‘privileged’ will not help. I know one candidate who will only ever visit those who he knows will vote for him. I know another who spreads himself around like confetti; he has a large personality, does not have much of a ‘party streak’, always seems to be in trouble with CCHQ (who isn’t?) and is going after those who never vote. It will be interesting to see who wins out.
The reception you get in 2015 is wild and varied. Some are pleased to see someone out and about. A lot are sceptical. A lot are also in their dressing gowns at gone 10am.
“I love what you are doing – go for it” Says one. So does another, until he sees the Conservative logo on my literature. Must make that smaller.
The truth is I don’t really understand why people wouldn’t vote for me. Deliciously naive it may appear, but our Conservative message is extremely strong, and to return to the days of national bankruptcy would be social suicide. Almost all our current problems stem upstream from a lack of money in our public finances – social mobility, social care, poverty, NHS, MOD capability, police, the list goes on. Surely then our most important issue we must get right as a country is our economy.
Our main opposition party proved, just five years ago, that they cannot physically control the economy. Their agenda is spending and unworkable ‘pledges’ solely to get elected (the energy price freeze worked well). What does Ed Balls genuinely believe in? What does Ed Milliband genuinely believe in? I’m sure they’re lovely blokes (Miliband, anyway) but I’ve never seen two such manufactured, unappealing ‘leaders’ in all my years. And I spent a considerable amount of time with ‘leaders’ from industry to finance. Surely people won’t vote for them again, so soon afterwards?
The main problem people seem to have with the Conservative Party, of which I am part, is that we are ‘posh’, run by ‘Tory Millionaires’ only ever interested in looking after ourselves. This is all patently false, perhaps only true in isolated cases like any big organisation. If my mother knew I was being called ‘posh’ she would be proud of me, given our family background. If we are indeed run by Tory millionaires who don’t give two hoots for anyone else, why do our party donors give such large amounts from their own pockets to fund campaigns, when they could as well go and spend this on boats and toys? Parties need funding – better to get people to pay who can and want to, rather than bleed unwilling workers on much lower incomes to contribute to a political party as part of a Union.
Who to vote for this time seems a no brainer to me, but I am not very bright and it clearly isn’t. There is something wrong when a Government with the tangible results of this one is still struggling to get ahead in the polls against such a weak opposition. What the problem is is hard to tell; what I do know is that I can’t affect it. What I can affect is my campaign. I can speak to everyone in the constituency before May. Not engaging them in one of these tedious surveys or ‘capturing data’ (am I a computer?), but engaging people one to one. Turning up, giving them someone to vote for. It’s not hard, but then again I am deeply inexperienced. I could be on the wrong end of a public humiliation – not for the first time, but perhaps the first one I will be sober at.
Must fly. Doors to be knocked. People to meet. Elections to be won. Calls from CCHQ to dodge…