2010 General Election Diary Day 24: The last week is the longest time in politics

You see, this is why more people should be reading my blog. As I noted on Tuesday, when I’d been at the opening of the postal votes here:

even if I had seen how people had voted, I’d be committing an offence by telling you how they did

So, if Kerry McCarthy had read my blog the other day, she might have thought twice before tweeting what she’d seen at her postal vote count.

The big question, though, hasn’t been asked. As James Graham noted, what idiot decided it was a good idea to waste the candidate’s time by sending them (or not stopping them going) to the postal vote opening? There’s an almost infinite number of things that a candidate could be doing that would be more useful to the campaign than that. Like Gordon Brown being in Rochdale yesterday – are they really running a campaign that thinks they can gain seats? – it’s down to a Labour candidate being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Just one link from me today – Mat’s latest post has a round-up of lots of things that are worth reading and seeing, so go see what he has to say today.

As for me, I’ve spent another day helping Stephen Robinson, the Liberal Democrat candidate in Chelmsford. It’s nice to be able to go and campaign somewhere else, just to help remember that this is a national campaign, if nothing else! There’s a really good atmosphere around Stephen’s campaign, and yet again, I’d advise anyone who is in Essex and looking to help elect a Liberal Democrat MP to get down there and help out. About 300 deliveries from me, as well as helping out the team in the office, takes my total up to 2,700 deliveries so far for the campaign…and I’m not going to start keeping count of the number of leaflets I’ve folded as well.

Still two hours to the final debate, and it’s already crowded out all other news from the TV. I’m almost tempted to watch The One Show in protest – especially as the BBC have wheeled out Quentin Letts from whatever pit of slime it is he normally lives in.

2010 General Election Diary Day 9: Frit, frit, frit!

Here’s a chance for the BBC to show true political impartiality – next Monday, from 8.30 to 9pm, they should show Jeremy Paxman sitting quietly in a chair with an empty chair opposite him. Occasionally, they could flash up the caption ‘You’re watching a Panorama special: Jeremy Paxman interviewing David Cameron. David Cameron has declined to appear. Next week, we’ll do the same with Gordon Brown if he doesn’t turn up.’

Of course, they could just reshow his interview with Nick Clegg. I’m sure there are many creative ways to fill the empty half hour of TV.

Talking of Nick Clegg:

Yes, today’s main election news story was the launch of the Liberal Democrat manifesto, which (with fingers crossed and wood touched) seems to have gone rather well, with a great reaction from the press and other commenters. My favourite? A tie between Ben Goldacre‘s ‘Lib Dems giant win on science‘ (echoed by the Times here) and Greenpeace’s executive director John Sauven describing it as “the most progressive environmental policies of all the major parties“.

In short, a rather good day for the Liberal Democrats, capped off by a great performance from Nick Clegg, which bodes well for the debates, particularly his grasp of the detail of the party’s policies. Tomorrow night’s debate could make for some very interesting viewing.

Meanwhile, campaigning goes on here in Colchester. Unfortunately, a couple of long meetings this afternoon meant I couldn’t get out on the doorstep today, but got out this morning to deliver 120 more leaflets, taking my total up to 120. And without being on the doorstep, I still managed to pick us up another vote – the first I’ve ever done through Twitter. After talking about how the Lib Dem broadcast embedded above features Brian Eno’s ‘An Ending (Ascent)’ (and you can hear the album Apollo that it comes from on Spotify), my friend Frank (author of the excellent TV blog Cathode Ray Tube) Tweeted how that was the final clincher for him to reject the Labservatives.

22 days to go, and less than 24 hours until the first debate begins and we wait to see just how it effects the election. But I’m sure the news channels will have journalists talking to other journalists within moments of it finishing to tell us exactly what we thought about it.