Lots of folk out enjoying the sunshine in Islington today, Lib Dem campaigners included.
And Labour. Both parties had canvassers out in Barnsbury. I was with a Lib Dem trio calling along Liverpool Road when we saw our Labour MP (whose office is just off Liverpool Road) heading towards us. Let’s just say that the weather was sunnier than her expression…
Liverpool Road runs north from the Angel up to N7 and has a fascinating mix of buildings and residents along the way. There are fine 19th houses, small infills of modern flats, the old Royal Free Hospital (now housing), and the Samuel Lewis Trust estate built 100 years ago. There’s also a sprinkling of shops and local businesses, ranging from trendy yoga to traditional workshops, fine dining to greasy spoons, all in among the homes. Add in St Mary Magdalene school and church at the N7 end, and the Business Design Centre amd Chapel Market at the south, and you have a microcosm of Islington in a single street.
Some of the period terraces are whole family houses, others converted to flats. We canvassed several voters by yell as they leaned out of top floor windows. That’s why we have big Lib Dem logos on the clipboards… I was intrigued to see one house had a vintage entryphone, made by the “Sterdy Telephone Company, N7”.
Liverpool Road is named after Lord Liverpool, Prime Minister from 1815-1827. His time in office was marked by a radical surge for reform, with ordinary citizens demanding more rights and better representation. Lord Liverpool himself said of voting ““(I consider) the right of election as a public trust, granted not for the benefit of the individual, but for the public good.” So quite an appropriate place to be campaigning today!
Two hours later and we reconvened to compare notes: lots of supporters, lots of posters given out, and even a new deliverer recruited. As we finished, we saw a couple of Labour canvassers starting to call on Liverpool Road. Just after we’d already called round. And just as the Arsenal were about to kick off. Bad timing, boys.
Still they can count on one supporter at least. One voter was firmly Labour despite the party’s support crumbling: his name? Euan Blair….