An early train to the South West and we are soon in Plymouth, joining Luke Pollard (Plymouth Sutton & Devonport) and Alison Seabeck (Plymouth Moor View) as they welcome Harriet Harman and the Pink Bus for some local campaigning. They and 30+ activists brave the blustery weather to promote our local conversations with the voters of both Plymouth constituencies. As you can see it was a tad windy.
Plymouth is also important for the Labour movement, as the harbour marks the spot where four of the Tolpuddle Martyrs landed on their return from exile – their fight for freedom and justice continues with our efforts this week in government, and day-to-day in our work.
The morning continues inside with opportunities for more conversations with local residents and a welcome cuppa; before a street walk through the Barbican area of the Plymouth seafront. After a quick bite for lunch, a traditional pasty of course, we are off to Efford ward; thankfully inland the rain has stopped and we can keep warm with a speedy team door-knock – Luke and colleagues have perfected the Ford Focus door-knock, essential a team of four or five that can fit in his car! It works well, a good number to work from a single board, and allow Luke as the candidate time to drop-in on conversations as they happen. A good Labour response, a small number of people wavering to Ukip, but more concerned about the future of the Navy and the dockyard – the dismal coalition record on defence has left those working in the dockyards nervous about the future.
A quick regroup and we are out again with our stalwart local councillors to cover another three streets, a little hillier now which helps given the cool of the late afternoon. Nice to hear people acknowledge the good work our councillors have done for them, as well as committing to vote for Luke come Thursday. As we head back to the train the prospects look encouraging for Plymouth to return not one, but two Members of Parliament, a Parliament that should deliver a Labour government!
Hywel Lloyd is a Co-founder of Labour: Coast & Country
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, the Labour: Coast & Country.