I met a UKIP voter today. He said he is going to vote UKIP because "what has happened to Britain since 1997 is all the Conservative party's fault... you should have got rid of Labour by now". I have to admit that I struggled so much with this logic that I had to leave him to his Beer, perhaps Iain Dale. will be able to explain. In the past 6 days of constant campaigning Mr Beer has been the only person to try to defend UKIP to me.
We were enjoying a blustery bank holiday in the village of Stilton at the northern tip of rural East Anglia where many, many hundreds had gathered to watch the annual cheese rolling competition - along with fairground, candy-floss, tombolas, plant stalls and carnival atmosphere that is so much part of British summers. Half a dozen Tories in blue rosettes could not have been given a warmer welcome - from young to old.
On Saturday I was in Thurrock - at the other extreme of the East of England. A stones throw from the Dartford Tunnel and the shoppers paradise of Lakeside, I was knocking on doors with Jackie Doyle-Price who is fighting a Labour stronghold for the next general election. I didn't meet a Labour voter all morning.
Finally this evening I was canvassing in a "Lib Dem stronghold" near Cambridge (actually not a lot of LDs here either). It constantly amazes me that people who say they are voting LD have no idea about their international policy on Europe. When I explain that our local LD MEP not only supports the Lisbon Treaty but also helped draft it - and that he wants to join the Euro - their support seems to melt.
One undecided voter asked me what I would do with the National Debt - "we will have to work our way out of it" I said. People know there are no easy answers but know that it is time for some straight ones.
Addendum .... sorry correction I did meet a lady in Thurrock on Saturday who had voted Labour all her life but she then admitted she had told her 17 year old daughter the night before that it was time for another Margaret Thatcher ... she suggested that I shouldn't count her as a Labour voter any more.