Conservative Diary

« Tory lead at 11%, 7% and 5% in tonight's polls | Main | Prospect Theory and Type 1 Swingers »

Whatever the polls are saying during the campaign, the election will be won on the doorsteps of this country

Eric Pickles writes his latest exclusive daily take on the election campaign for ConservativeHome...

Eric Pickles 2 2010 Everyday I’m asked by even the most enquiring journalists what I think of the state of the polls. Well the answer is that ‘they go up and they go down’.  And of course in this election, the most ‘electronic’ of elections yet, people will follow the polls more keenly than ever.

But whatever the polls, I have always believed that this election would be won constituency by constituency, district by district, street by street – on the doorsteps of this country.

Over the past year or so I have visited just about every corner of the UK, canvassing in many places, to get my own feel for where our support lies.  But there is no place like your own patch for getting a feel as to what it is really like.

Starting off in Wales yesterday I saw the determination of Welsh Conservatives to win more seats from a washed out Labour Party. But today I was back home, walking on drives that as candidate and MP I have been walking down a few months short of twenty years. These have been years when there was uncertainty about the Conservative Party, at times hostility towards us, and more recently interest in our Party rebuilding.

We have always canvassed regularly in Brentwood and Ongar, so our records are good. Any good canvasser knows that the relationship on the doorstep is part science and part raw emotion. You can feel disenchantment or support well before you count the tally of responses. As you can imagine in a Conservative seat there was a lot of support, a readiness to display a poster and a desire to see the back of “that man Brown,” but this afternoon, in Priests Lane I came face to face with a lifelong Labour supporter who was going to vote Tory for the first time in her life.

Labour, historically, in Brentwood and Ongar has been squeezed by the Liberal Democrats; direct switches to us were comparatively rare. My team and I decided to go to areas of the constituency where the Labour vote is the highest, there we found more Labour switchers. People round here realise that Labour’s tax on jobs could kill the recovery.

Little sign of Liberal Democrat activity, I await the phoney graphs and the “It’s a Two Horse Race” leaflets with jaded anticipation.

It is as good as I can remember it locally, and the team out helping our target seat reports similar good news. Still we have a long way to go until May and still the polls will go up and go down.

Eric Pickles MP


You must be logged in using Intense Debate, Wordpress, Twitter or Facebook to comment.