This time next week it will all be over and we’ll know what voters have decided. Whether one party has done enough to persuade the public to give them a mandate, or whether no one party has been persuasive enough to win their trust for the next 5 years.
Its been another busy campaign for the Labour Party across East Lothian and Midlothian.
In East Lothian we’ve been out campaigning to re-elect Fiona O’Donnell MP.
Fiona has proven to be a hard-working MP, not afraid to vote with her conscience, as her vote against the re-newel of trident showed. Fiona is someone who party members respect and like. That has been shown throughout the campaign, as members have come out in large numbers to support her.
In Midlothian we’ve been out working to elect Kenny Young.
His enthusiasm, drive and commitment has galvanised the local party and again members have been out in large numbers to support his campaign.
Across both constituencies we’ve seen new and long-standing members, both young and old out campaigning hard, knocking on doors, making phone calls, delivering leaflets and holding street stalls all to support our candidates.
Of course Midlothian and East Lothian doesn’t exist in a bubble and we are all aware of the opinion polls and the accepted wisdom in some parts of the media, old and new, that the Labour Party in Scotland is a dying party.
But seeing the activity, enthusiasm and commitment from party members both here and around the country the view that this is a dying party is one that is hard to reconcile.
In the candidates we have we know that both Fiona and Kenny are dedicated and hard-working and given the opportunity will be committed to serving their constituents.
As party members we’re campaigning on a manifesto, that for many of us, goes to the heart of why we joined the party, social justice:-
- Redistribution through fairer taxation – introduce a 50p tax rate on the top 1%;
- Creating jobs – by taxing bankers’ bonuses;
- Tackling working practices that exploit workers – ending zero hour contracts.
And in Ed Miliband we have a leader who has stood up to vested interest, whether that’s been Rupert Murdoch, the power companies, or when it came to it the USA over Syria.
He’s endured a highly personal right-wing media onslaught, yet emerged from it with his reputation enhanced.
The more David Cameron shied away from the public through avoiding the televised debates, the more Ed Miliband occupied that space and engaged with voters.
So, in these last few days before the polls open on Thursday and with a significant number of voters still to make up their minds it would appear that there is still all to play for.
The reality is that only David Cameron or Ed Miliband can walk through the door of number 10 on the 8th May.
I want that to be Ed Miliband – Vote Labour on 7th May.