So the election has finally begun for real.
I’ve been watching the news channels for most of today. Catching all the traditional election kick off activities. From Brown heading off to see her Maj, to the Downing Street statement, shots of the party leaders amazing ability to catch trains, and handshakes and small talk with nervous and bemused voters.
My impression was, before I headed out to the launch meeting for Liberal Democrat candidate Qurban Hussain’s campaign for Luton South, was that the first day belonged, by a whisker, to Gordon Brown. He has the advantage as PM of calling the election so the attention will initially be on him anyway. But I thought the Labour campaign had done a good job in getting the right tone and I thought the visit to the Morrison’s supermarket was well judged.
Nick Clegg’s start was also very good. Clear messages, good use of Vince, and I thought choosing the meeting with young people in Watford gave an excellent impression. However, Clegg’s language sounded slightly too rehearsed at times. I expect this will loosen up as the campaign progresses so I am not worried.
The weakest performance was from Cameron. I thought being filmed going for a jog was pretentious. The windswept ‘soap box’ moment on the banks of the Thames felt out of place. The visit to the hospital, while smart politics, seemed to lack the energy that Brown’s visits had. Maybe the rally he was about to speak at before I left made a better impression?
Overall the sun was shining. The politicians, of all parties, seemed wide eyed and bouncy. I can feel the political hack in me getting excited. Maybe I’ve caught election fever already?
Will the electorate feel the same level of excitement over the next few weeks? Possibly not and there is a long way to go yet!
This content was originally posted on my old Strange Thoughts blog.