For the last week I’ve undergone interweb cold turkey on account of being ensconsed in one of England’s safer constituencies, pounding the streets on behalf of a major political party.
Pretentious shroud of anonymity aside, the limited feeling I’ve picked up from middle England’s doorstep is, perhaps, predictable. Aside from the usual core of rock-solid Tories and Old Labour socialists (as well as a scattering of Lib-Dem loyalists) the most common feeling has been one of total dissatisfaction (bordering on disgust) with Blair. I say Blair rather than Labour, as the most common reaction has been “we have to get that man out”. Immigration is, sadly, a popular topic for concern, but residual anger over the war was stronger than I expected, especially given national polls which show it low down the list of concerns.
One powerful impression was of more active engagement than 2001. It would be downright stupid to extrapolate national feeling from such a tiny, unbalanced sample, but nonetheless it was encouraging to feel that people this time around are really taking an interest.