Thursday, April 26, 2007

I love the sound of whining Tories....

A week or so ago i spotted the Tory candiate in Aberconwy whining on a website about Plaid's use of the previous result for Conwy (where 80% of the Aberconwy voters were in 2003) and our use of an opinion poll we published.

Got home from a hard day on the campaign trail and found the Tories have a big add on the back of the local free paper.

They have graph showing the predicted result of the general election in Aberconwy. This shows the Tories second. It is an analysis conducted by Rallings and Thresher. Of course the add forgot to mention that the Rallings and Thresher analysis of the likely assembly election result shows Plaid ahead and the Tories third.

To be honest I just thought it shows how desperate the Tories are. Their canddiate missed the big issue (the downgrading of the local hospital) and was silent on it whilst Plaid Cymru were campaigning last summer. Indeed he joined other Tories in their "campaign" against the "bed tax" (which was never going to happen in Wales) instead of fighting the hospital closures. Given tonight and tomorrows opinion polls I suspect the Tories in North Wales regret slavishly following instructions from Central office instead of responding to the needs of the local community.

Opinion Polls: An apology

In the recent past this blog may have given the impression that getting excited over opinion polls was a bit passe.

Indeed prior to the last poll we may have called into question the validity of opinion polls in Wales.

In the light of tonight and tomorrows opinion polls we would like to say sorry. Clearly opinion polls are very important, very accurate and reflect just what we are seeing in our canvass returns.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Perhaps its the weather....

Where ever I have been in the last week have had an incredibly friendly welcome. The canvassing returns vary from good to stunning ...but then all candidates say that.

The body language, name recognition etc is very very good. People seem keen for a change and as expected the different campaign ideas we are using this time seem to be working.

Older hands claim that we are having the best response ever...better even than 99. Not having been involved in that campaign I cannot be sure but the feeling in parts of the constituency is the same as in Rhgos on Sea a year ago. The weather is also as good. Virtually everyone says on the doorstep "well at least you have the weather for it".

I have fought one euorpean election 3 westminster elections and four council election campaigns as a canddiate. This is the most enjoyable campaign I have fought for over 20 years.

Campaigning in the sun is fun:)

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The NFU Dyserth and back in Denbigh

Tuesday night I was in a hustings event in Rhuthun hosted by the NFU. In all honesty I was not at my best in a difficult environment. It was fun listening to Mark Young, Matt Wright and Karen Sinclair and I learned a few things listening to the farmers. The most valuable lesson of all however is being reminded of the need to be properly prepared before such events.

Today I was in Rhuddlan then Dyserth delivering leaflets. Shirt sleeve weather and in Dyserth the views were as fantastic as ever.

Another afternoon and evening canvassing in Denbigh decent returns in what would otherwise be a Tory area. The work we have done on the hospital campaign seems to be paying off. We have a big piece in the Rhyl Journal and Denbigh Free Press this week the response to which will be interesting to see.

Various Plaid people now getting excited about Clwyd West as well as Aberconwy. It is clear to me that there is still a significant part of the electorate that will vote, wants Labour out but has yet to decide between the opposition parties. It may come down to who runs the best campaigns over the next few weeks. I suspect there will be very varied results for Plaid. Some parts of the Valleys we are picking up significant support but other areas things are not as positive. Thursday night's opinion poll will be interesting but given that support for all the opposition parties is patchy I wonder how accurate it will be. Mind you if it shows us close to Labour I wont be complaining.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Its finally happening...

After two years, thousands of leaflets a good few letters to the press, press releases and endless meetings it finally seems like the election proper is here.

I was out in Denbigh asking people to vote for me on Thursday. This is the first actual canvassing we have done in Vale of Clwyd. This is the time that Candidate itus sets in and we all become convinced we are going to win.

It is very easy to get carried away. We were in an area we would expect to do well in and we did. Given that they had not had any of our election literature yet I thought there was potential for some of the genuine undecided to switch our way. There was very clear evidence of switchers from Labour and indications that a few people who have voted Plaid "in the distant past" then voted Labour then stopped voting were likely to come out for us.

Like all candidates I have worked out what vote I need to get where in order to win. Denbigh is a key area for us and I was happy enough with the canvass returns. The key issue will be getting a high enough turn out in our better areas. We have a month to do it and looking at our campaign literature(the best I have everhad in both style and content in any election) am convinced we will be in the hunt.

however I am a candidate and bound to say that. How do I convince both of my readers? Well I have conclusive proof that i am doing all I can throwing everything into the campaign etc to ensure I won. Today I made the ultimate sacrifice...I went out and bought a suit. My wifes comment was "oh you must think you can win if you have spent money on clothes!"