Been out canvassing around Welshpool today with Emma Greenow, one of our four Conservative Euro-candidates. We took coffee at the Church House, where the Powys Eisteddfod Committee were holding a coffee morning. Lots of people there. Emma's mother, Sarah was along as well. I genuinely felt that we were very welcome. This was only in part because Emma and her mum are very charming people. I also thought that no-one felt any negativity whatsoever towards us, despite the public loathing of politicians that I see reported on in the media. After coffee, we delivered leaflets around housing estates in the town. We didn't knock on doors, but met a few people who were out and about. Again not one word of anti. We spoke to one resident at length who is just about to emigrate to Australia. His name is John Howard, so he won't have much trouble striking up conversations in his new home.
I already thought the criticism we've seen about three of the Conservative candidates living outside of Wales as parochial b*******. Today emphasised the point. I already knew that our top candidate, Kay Swinbourn is a first language Welsh speaker from Llandyssil, who currently lives in Ledbury, and our second candidate, Evan Price, has a property in Crickhowell and has very strong links with Wales. I was walking down Berriew Street with Emma and her mum, when Sarah pointed towards one of the shops (Aqua Sulis), and told me that she was born there. She used to live above Jones, a draper's shop in the town. No wonder Emma has such a love for Wales, and is keen to represent a Welsh constituency.
Another reason that people were pleased to meet Emma was that she was the first Euro-candidate who has been out canvassing in Welshpool (that I know of anyway). The reason that there is going to be such a low turnout on Thursday is that no-one knows the candidates. Wales is such a big constituency that there is no way that candidates can be widely known. That's proportional representation for you. I very much hope that the Conservatives defeat the Liberal Democrats in Montgomeryshire. If I'm going to create the momentum I need to win the General Election, we need the victory on Thursday. In theory, I was out supporting Emma today, but I felt as if Emma was supporting me. This is good. Mutual support is what friendships are made of.