Sunday, 2 May 2010

Do visits = votes?

I'm on my way to Newquay this grey Sunday morning. David Cameron is meeting tourism leaders, holding a Q&A and setting out his stall for the final push. That overall majority alludes him still.
This is the third time he has been to Devon and Cornwall since the election was called, previously visiting Saltash and, in week one, nearby Plymouth. He was also in Exeter a week or so before the campaign proper began.
Nick Clegg, by contrast, has been down here just once, Redruth, on the same day as the Cameron Saltash egg incident. The Lib Dem leader is in Wells, Somerset today, but I understand will not venture into his party's heartland of Cornwall and Devon again this side of polling day. Vince Cable, who was down last week, will be in Cornwall on Tuesday.
The Conservatives have won the battle for faces in marginals, with almost every member of the shadow cabinet coming down here at least once.
Labour has been less prominent. Darling, Johnson and the two Eds - Balls and Miliband - are the most high profile but have stuck to Plymouth and Exeter.
Clearly, the visits mean press coverage. I wouldn't have got up at 6am on a Sunday to go to Cornwall unless a political big hitter was visiting.
Some voters may feel flattered, others impressed by a little political celebrity on their doorstep. It is also a big boost for the morale of battle weary activists.
But does it win votes in the seats where a big cheese rocks up for 20 minutes?
Would your vote be swayed by a party leader rolling into your town?
And will Gordon Brown make it down here before Thursday? Don't hold your breath.

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