Saturday, April 29, 2017

John Rentoul joins Tessa Munt on the doorstep

John Rentoul has been down to Wells to meet Tessa Munt as she campaigns to win back the seat she lost two years ago:
She won the seat in the first place by a remarkable voter-contact effort. With a clicker counter in her pocket, she says she spoke to 49,500 voters in the five years before the 2010 election. 
The day after she lost the seat in 2015, she was back out on the doorstep, talking to people and trying to win it back. She has been working for two years for an election in 2020: the Prime Minister has just brought the target date forward. 
I followed her around for a morning’s canvassing and, even allowing for her choosing favourable territory for the benefit of a journalist, the results seemed promising for her. 
The church-going woman, who was worried that Farron might be homophobic, was reassured by Munt’s liberalism, and possibly by her exclaiming, “Such a good church!” (I checked in the pub whether Munt thought gay sex was a sin – “I’m afraid I don’t, no; it’s been going on for ever, hasn’t it?”) 
We came across several people who had voted Conservative in the past but who said they would now vote Lib Dem. All this was recorded on Munt’s iPad, a technology upgrade from her clicker.
The figures, including the current opinion polls, make this a steep hill to climb, but as Rentoul says:
If anyone can make a spectacular Lib Dem comeback, I suspect Tessa Munt can.

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