Had a great day out delivering leaflets, first in Birtley then in Blaydon. Then it was over to Dunston Hill for a session of canvassing with our excellent candidate for Dunston Hill and Whickham East, Sonya Hawkins. She is relatively new to politics at a formal level, having been involved in very grass roots campaigning to date, so it is great to have her enthusiasm for the month ahead. We formed a dynamic duo on the doorsteps and I think residents were quite chuffed to be canvassed by both their local and parliamentary candidates at the same time.
Sonya hadn't done much of this before so I accompanied her for a few doors. The first two people were coming out of the shower. One was in his boxers only and the next in a towel! I felt sorry for Sonya but it got much easier from then on. Ten years ago voters were embarrassed on the doorstep to confess they voted Tory. Now it seems, it is Labour voters who are embarrassed. I found it hard to find Labour voters. I still don't underestimate the scale of the challenge the Liberal Democrats face in winning Blaydon. But it is "do-able" and people are really really sick of Labour and want a change here. It was gratifying to talk to people who normally vote Tory but realise that they have the chance of a lifetime to get rid of their Labour MP and are switching their vote this time.
After all this, I watched the Chancellors debate on channel 4. As always I was very proud of the good sense and straight talk of Vince Cable, our shadow chancellor. George Osbourne came across as very inexperienced and I do not think he is an asset to the Tories at all. Darling seems to be much bolder since it became known that Brown was trying to sack him in the last reshuffle. But he can't escape the fact that it is the last 13 years under Labour that this country went on a debt fuelled boom, all whilst every Labour minister promised "no return to boom and bust"!