This evening I was “knocking up” Labour supporters in Thurrock, Essex and reminding/encouraging/cajoling them to go out and vote for Labour candidate, Phil Smith.
I was in a canvass team with fellow West Hammers (CLP) vanguardists (and Newham Cllrs) Forhad Hussain and Ellie Robinson. We were joined by Ron from Hackney South CLP (see main photo left to right). There were a number of Newham Party members out and about in Thurrock today, including the Mayor Sir Robin Wales (and in recent weeks).
Since there are no elections in London this year the Regional Labour Party have allocated each CLP a key Council election outside London to help out.
We were working in Stanford East & Corringham Ward. During the Election last year the Tories won the council seat by only 1649 votes to 1620. So this should be winnable but I do worry about the turn out in such local elections when compared to the General election.
It was all quite quiet. I didn’t see a single political poster in any window or garden. I didn’t see any other canvassers. All the people I met were very polite but those who had already voted were unusually hesitant in admitting to me who they had actually voted for. I had a good conversation with a Ford worker about the NHS, pensions and “Sending a message to Downing Street” about his concerns.
The most excitement of the night came from the traditional arguments amongst canvassers of all political persuasions helping out in new places about “we are lost” and “what way should we go?” (see photo left above) I think from now on, West Ham Labour Party should describe the direct route to anywhere as the “Ellie Way” and the going totally in the wrong direction route as the “Forhad way” :). I was too lazy to do any map reading tonight.
It was still a good day. We met up with London Assembly John Biggs, Cllr Bill Turner from Tower Hamlets and Cllr Josephine Channer from Barking and Dagenham.
Update: check out some more photos on FB here
Update: Phil wins by 136 votes! Well done.