Conservative Diary

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I know another Labour candidate who won’t be getting a Christmas Card from the Prince of Darkness

Eric Pickles 2 2010 Tea with Pickles - Eric Pickles' take on the election campaign

I have just completed another two days campaigning in the Midlands, it’s now over 10,000 miles since my campaign started and the questions on the doorstep haven’t altered a jot: Do you want five more years of Gordon Brown or do you want to put David Cameron into Number 10?

My Midlands tour, started bright and earlier in Lincoln with Karl McCartney on Bank Holiday Monday and ended in Coventry South just now with Kevin Foster.  I was looking at a mixture of seats, marginals and our new targets.  If you were in any doubt of the wisdom of our new targets, just look where Gordon Brown and senior Labour figures are also campaigning.  We are both going for the heartlands vote – Labour heartland. 

The added twist is that Labour are now openly preparing their leadership contest which will surely follow on Thursday - although there must be a question as to whether Ed Balls will be in a position to enter the contest. I am sure he’s mulling over his options in his contemplation suite bankrolled courtesy of the taxpayer.

But something peculiar is happening in Labour heartlands. There is a strange mixture of confusion and disgust by their tactics. The scare tactics on pensioner benefits and tax credits seemed to have some initial success but have now backfired on them.

I did a TV interview in Cannock town centre with our candidate Aidan Burley followed by a walkabout – a risky thing to do as the Prime Minister found to his cost in Rochdale. The hard-bitten journalists that followed us were genuinely surprised by the number of people that came up to pledge their support for the Conservative Party and were quite happy to be photographed endorsing our candidate.

Just compare this to the Labour PPC Susan Woodward who happily tweeted saying she was taking the day off to get ready for polling day.  I doubt that she’ll be very popular with Labour HQ when they read this blog and I very much doubt she’ll be getting a Christmas card from the supreme leader or the Prince of Darkness.

This morning I had the best start to the day by campaigning with Edward Timpson who many readers of ConservativeHome got to know through the Crewe and Nantwich by-election.  It was in Crewe Town Square that Mr Brown got a kick in the ballot box. Crewe and Nantwich showed that if people who vote for Labour all their lives vote for change, they get a Member of Parliament that they can be proud of, that will work hard for the constituency.  During my visit today I met many people who had voted Conservative for the first time at the by-election and were proud to be voting Conservative again at the General Election.

This election started as a tight election and remains so. Every vote is going to count. Every pledge must be followed through. We need to get ready to give that extra effort over the next 48 hours. If we do, we can get David Cameron through the doors of Number 10 and we can start to use his energy, values and leadership to get things moving again.

Eric Pickles


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