Sunday 11 April 2010

....the first week's impressions

This was the week when the question asked most often changed. After two years of "What are you doing here – there's no election yet, is there?", the response to my appearance on doorsteps has seamlessly morphed into "How come we only see you people at election time?". Not even a brief respite between the two.

There is still a huge amount of anger about politicians in general, and MPs in particular. And all of us are tarred with the same brush in the eyes of many. I wonder how on earth some of the MPs who were guilty of the worst excesses can have managed to avoid hearing that same sort of feedback themselves. Do they never talk to people? I've had to promise a number of people that I neither possess, nor intend to acquire, a moat or any ducks...

It looks as if many of those voting in this election are likely to be doing so for negative rather than positive reasons – and I wouldn't be surprised to see quite a low turnout. Amongst those expressing any sort of preference between the two main London parties, the split between "We have to get Labour out", and "We mustn't let the Tories in" seems pretty even to me. But I've found very little positive enthusiasm for either of them. Disillusion with Labour has not been replaced with any fervour for the Tories, who are just not trusted still. The next UK Prime Minister – whoever it may be – needs to understand that he will have been elected primarily because he isn't the other one. A sad reflection, really.

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