Thursday, 29 April 2010

One week to go!

Canvassing Lisburn market with Mark Francois, shadow Minister for Europe

By this time next week the polls will have closed, and we will be awaiting the results of the count with bated breath.

And this has been the most fascinating election I have ever been involved with. It is the first election where the key issue on the doorstep has been the economy. That scarcely ever was mentioned in any previous election campaign; and it is our party that has made sure it is mentioned, because it is our party, and only our party that will have the opportunity to influence economic policy in a new parliament.

Yet again we are driving the agenda, and others would like to follow.

I am meeting more and more voters who tell me they voted DUP last time, and will vote for me this time. I am also meeting lots of voters who still have not quite decided who to vote for. Sometimes we take the democratic process too much for granted. I have great respect for all the hundreds and thousands of individual voters across, in my case Lagan Valley, but in total across the whole country, who are taking their right to vote as a serious duty, and giving careful thought and consideration as to who they should vote for.

As we move into the last week of the campaign, I am so grateful to the great network of volunteers who make up my campaign team – you know who you are, and thanks.
Thanks too, to the Conservative part of our partnership for being so supportive.  On Tuesday I was canvassing in Lisburn market with two members of the shadow cabinet, Owen Patterson and Mark Francois, shadow minister for Europe.

People in Lagan Valley have been following the leaders’ debates, and for the first time we are able to offer them the opportunity to vote for one of the national parties, and that is what they want. The challenge is for the other national parties to offer the same opportunity next time round. Then we will truly have normalised politics in Northern Ireland.

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