A busy day campaigning today, after two days away camping with the Scouts. We have 5 votes here on 5 May (5/5!) – one for Calderdale MBC, three for Hebden Royd TC, and of course the AV referendum.
I was out at 8am delivering the main election address for my local colleague Hywel Morgan, standing for the first time (I think) as a serious candidate after many years experience as a campaigner, most recently in Oldham and Burnley. He also writes regularly for Lib Dem Voice. I was delivering mostly Labour-leaning areas so had a few negative reactions but plenty of people happy to take the leaflets. One chap told me he would never vote for a pro-European party which was a bit of a blast from the past – most people have other reasons for not supporting us these days.
This afternoon I was helping James Baker and Rory Laing run a Yes to AV stall in the centre of Hebden Bridge. Town was full for the duck race so we fielded plenty of queries about the system, and heard from a few people who had already (postally) voted yes. But the novel idea that James had was to get people to have a go by voting for their favourite food using AV. We collected the votes in a mock ballot box and counted them afterwards in the pub. The results were quite interesting – head over to his blog for the breakdown. Political geeks that we are, I think we enjoyed doing the count almost as much as drinking the beer. Oh, and we completely debunked yet another of the No campaign’s myths – that AV is complicated. Several children took part very enthusiastically, and none of them had any difficulties at all in numbering their foods in order of preference.
Late afternoon I did a bit more leafleting in the area which I currently represent on Hebden Royd Town Council. I am stepping down at the election for various reasons (more in a future blog post when I am no longer a councillor) but want to get some colleagues elected to continue the good work that we’ve done in control of the council for the last few years.
Walking home afterwards I was cheered up by some handwritten stickers that someone had stuck on every parking machine that I could see, pointing out that you don’t have to pay on bank holidays, which I thought was rather sweet.