We had a massive team out today for the launch of Tashi Bhutia's local election campaign in Luton & Wayfield. A by-election has been called for 3rd September after it was revealed that Dennis McFarlane was under investigation for "irregular benefit claims". Tashi, who was in the Brigade of Gurkhas, was selected by the Chatham & Aylesford Conservative Association on Wednesday to be their candidate and today we went out in force to let local residents know that it is time for a change.
Most of the team were delivering Tashi's introductory letter but I joined Tashi on the doorsteps canvassing. Out of a whole morning of canvassing we only found one person who said they were a solid Labour voter. There were a number of people who had previously voted Labour who were highly unlikely to do so again and some were very clear as to why - they don't like Gordon Brown, they are fed up with uncontrolled immigration, they were finding things difficult financially, and they certainly didn't like the way Labour treated the Gurkhas!
The message on the doorsteps this morning was clear - people felt let down and want a change. We are going to campaign hard to bring change to Luton & Wayfield locally, and then we are going to campaign hard to bring change nationally by winning Chatham & Aylesford at the next General Election.