I had my first experience of frontline canvassing in a marginal at the weekend, when I visited my mum in the west country for a few days. She lives in a village in Nick Harvey's North Devon constituency, a key target seat for the Tories. As a lifelong Labour and former activist she is torn between wasting her vote on the Labour candidate or voting tactically to keep out the Tory, Philip Milton. On Monday we found some Lib Dem canvassers on the doorstep and very cheery in that way Lib Dems have to be. They explained why it made no sense to vote Labour in North Devon and the clincher was when one local Lib Dem said, "You really should vote to keep Milton out, I should know, I'm his cousin."
Well, it was almost the clincher.
As we went for a last stroll around the village before returning to London, we found Nick Harvey himself walking towards us. "Here's his chance to persuade me," said my mum.
Harvey certainly looked the part of the grand Westminster MP as he swept past us., leaving my mum open mouthed and his 4972 majority one vote less safe.