I was out in Glasgow East again today, and this time I succeeded in getting Anne McLaughlin to stand still long enough to take a quick snap!
Anne is the campaign coordinator for the by-election, and she is doing a fantastic job. The media always refer to the SNP's by-election 'machine', and that machine is people like Anne, me and all the other activists that chap on doors to speak to people, post leaflets through letterboxes and climb up lampposts to put up posters (although with no head for heights I don't help with that one). Then there are the volunteers making sandwiches for all those returning to the campaign rooms for lunch and tea breaks, the people making up all the campaign packs, bundling the leaflets, blowing up and tying up balloons, inputting information, making calls, and too many more jobs to mention. And Anne's job is to coordinate the whole spectrum of campaign activity.
Anyway, enough of 'behind the scenes'. I had a great day campaigning today. Jamie and I met loads of people who are voting SNP, and pretty much everyone we spoke to knew about the by-election. There also seems to be a lot of people wanting to join the SNP, and so a fair number of membership forms are also being handed out on the doorsteps.
I'm not familiar with the parts of Glasgow that the by-election covers, and from coverage in the media you would think it would be quite bleak. It has problems, like most areas, but it also has a lot of positives too. One thing that really strikes me so far is just how friendly everyone is. I've met some great people on the doorsteps, and had some really interesting exchanges. Another thing I've noticed is the number of people who have met John Mason over the years as their local councillor, and there is a lot of goodwill towards him.
A few people have asked me what our chances are of winning this by-election, and so people are really aware of the potential to upset the Labour Party that has so badly let them down.
I think having John Mason as the candidate, a well-known and well-liked local councillor for a fair chunk of the constituency, the growing popularity of the SNP and a Labour Party in disarray may be a winning formula...