Isabel Hardman

On the road with the Tories

On the road with the Tories
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The Conservatives are holding another one of their road trips tomorrow, this time to Chester and Cheadle, where about 120 activists and MPs will hold a 'day of action' where they canvass and campaign in the constituency. The last one was in Enfield a few weeks ago, where the sitting MP Nick de Bois is fighting to hold onto his 1,692 majority.

The City of Chester is held by Conservative MP Stephen Mosley with a 2,583 majority, while Cheadle is currently a Lib Dem seat, with Mark Hunter sitting on a 3,272 majority and the Tories in second place.

Obviously these campaign days help those MPs or candidates fighting in the respective constituencies. But they also galvanise activists because they find themselves, unusually, surrounded by many other like-minded people who are making a day of campaigning. The mood in the grassroots seems, according to MPs returning from the doorstep, to be pretty serene at the moment. But these road trips are another way of cultivating a good mood - which is never a bad thing given the European elections could, if the party hasn't prepared properly, upset the grassroots again.

Grant Shapps will hold another road trip in Newark at the end of May, with MPs being pressured by the whips to make multiple visits to the constituency ahead of the by-election.