Friday, 16 April 2010

The secret diary of an election photographer - Day 11

You'd think that after Nick Clegg stormed the first Leaders' debate he might make it to the front pages. I'd love to whinge, but the truth is that virtually every paper did him justice, mostly relegating the volcanic ash and air travel chaos to secondary status.

The Times and the Telegraph both led with Nick's triumph. Only the Daily Mirror stayed doggedly loyal to Gordon Brown and, I think, looked ridiculous because of it.

Winning the debate does not, of course, mean that the Lib Dems will win lots more seats - but it is clearly a step in the right direction. Mind you, the joy on the Lib Dem bus when someone announced that we were up 14 points in the polls as a result was quite something (for the record, I believe that was among those who watched the debate. The overall jump was a little more sedate 4 or 5 points).

And so to action today. Nick was at his casual best. Tie watch chatterers will be interested to note that Nick was tieless all day.

To Warrington first and Jo Crotty, our candidate there. The visit was to the Warrington Wolves rugby league stadium where Nick gave a speech to the assembled activists and then went inside to see the work that the club is doing to help various sections of the local community. One such was a group of older people with arthritis who were taking part in their first ever tai chi class.

Another was a group of young GCSE students who benefitted from small class tuition - in this case in biology.

Because of the volcano, we then drove to Hull in the battlebus for a visit with candidate Denis Healy to a visit to the HETA academy which trains apprentices in various trades including electircal engineering. Nick gave a speech to around 50 apprentices before a bref tour to see what they get up to.

And then, after a long week, it was on the train home again.

This weekend shows no let up with a photo opp tomorrow morning and a speech on international development at the invitation of Christian Aid in New Malden on Sunday.

Anecdote of the day - Local Warrington councillor Trudi Wood was first off the mark taking advantage of the 'I agree with Nick' line that both Cameron and Brown used so much last night. Trudi gave Nick a special home-made rosette with the phrase on it to give to Gordon Brown the next time he saw him.

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