Out on the campaign trail with Jo Swinson

The Spectator’s Isabel Hardman went up to East Dunbartonshire to go campaigning with Jo Swinson recently. Her piece is pretty balanced and fair and gives quite an insight into Jo on the campaign trail

Now, I know what a whirlwind Jo is and how much work she gets through and how many doors she knocks on. I went across to help many times during the 2005 campaign. She was so disciplined and even if she met her own high targets, she wasn’t happy unless she’d done even more.

Her campaigning experience comes across in Hardman’s profile as does her name recognition:

Swinson is also a proper local campaigner. Everyone we meet seems to have had a problem that she’s sorted out. ‘You fixed my drains!’ is something several householders exclaim as they open the door (they mean she got the council to do it, I assume, though Swinson does tell one man she used to be a girl guide, which makes me wonder if she has actually personally fixed some drains too). Even the voters who aren’t backing her say ‘I’ve got to say, you do a lot for this area. Well done.’

She also behaves like someone used to pounding pavements. When we’re knocking on doors in a sheltered housing complex, she makes sure that the fire doors don’t swing noisily shut after her, instead shutting them gently herself. This is the sort of thing people who don’t bother to knock on doors very often don’t do, because they don’t realise how much striding noisily through someone else’s property annoys them.

Hardman reckons Labour MPs are so non-plussed because they’ve never had to campaign, but it’s clearly Jo’s forte.

She also observes accurately that it will be the willingness of opposition voters to vote tactically that will be critical. Labour voters haven’t had to be used to that. The Tories in East Dunbartonshire and I expect that they will be turning to Jo in droves:

Most of the people we meet say ‘I’m Labour, dear,’ and look baffled at the idea of giving their vote to another party. They don’t much like Nicola Sturgeon – save one woman who knows the SNP leader personally – but the question, Swinson says, is whether they hate the SNP enough to resort to tactical voting to keep the party out.

You can read the whole thing here. And you can always donate to Jo’s Crowdfunder appeal, or help her campaign. This is one feminist horse we need in the Commons.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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One Comment

  • Good article 🙂 let us hope we see MANY women Lib Dem MPs after May 7th. If your near North London, come and help Lynne Featherstone, another impressive door step campaigner with a high level of recognition with the electorate, for all the case work she has done 🙂

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