Well what a manic few days we have had here in the office!
It’s been four days since the resounding success of Nick Clegg’s performance in the first of the leaders’ debates in Manchester, and here in the campaign office we’re only just finding time to reflect on the occasion.
It all started on Thursday morning when we welcomed Nick Clegg to Mauldeth Road Primary, there was a fantastic response and since then we have been inundated by the media including BBC news, ITV, BBC Radio Manchester, BBC FIVE LIVE, the Guardian and a personal visit to the office by Sky news having abondoned coverage of Gordon Brown to come and visit the office here in Didsbury!
Michelle Clifford and the Sky news team interviewed local resident Sufura Zafar down at the office who was in the audience at the first leaders debate in Granada Studios. Sufura had popped into the office on Friday full of praise for Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems admitting she had never really heard of Nick Clegg before the debate and had always voted Labour. Sufura was overwhelmed with Nick's performance stating it was a breath of fresh air to hear a politician answering the question directly and being so upfront and honest.
Following a hectic weekend, which saw the launch of my campaign for re-election on Saturday and members of the team continuing our work out and about in the community, I’ve welcomed the chance to consider the impact of Nick’s contribution to the many Lib Dem candidates, supporters, staff and volunteers campaigning tirelessly across the country.
We were pleased and proud to welcome Nick to Manchester Withington ahead of the debate, and there’s no doubt in my mind that after the spirited Q&A session we had with pupils at Mauldeth Road Primary, anything Brown and Cameron had to throw at him would have been pretty tame.
Nick’s success in Thursday’s debate came as no surprise to me at all. He’s always been straight and honest with the electorate, and it was this that I think came over so well. But we heed his sensible call to keep feet firmly on the ground, with the plaudits and positive poll info currently coming our way. We still have a lot of ground to cover in our campaign in Manchester Withington, and on a national level, and if there’s one thing we should be clear on, it’s that we should never attempt to second guess the electorate.
We’re hearing a lot of scare stories from the Labour camp at the moment – I would urge voters in Manchester Withington and beyond to remember that the choice of which party to put their trust in is theirs and theirs alone. Roll on May 6th, and let the people - not the politicians – decide.