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Sunday 12th April 2015 , Twickenham.

Lib Dem canvassing afternoon with Vince Cable.

Vince Cable is running again as the Lib Dem candidate in the family friendly seat of Twickenham. He has represented the constituency as its MP since 1997.

I’m told by staff at his constituency office that he and a group of Liberal Democrat volunteers will be mustering at Fulwell station before meeting local people on the doorsteps of 4 nearby streets.

Canvassing is a carefully coordinated process which identifies the correct doorbells to ring, specific voters who might need a prod on the 7th May and ‘the holy grail’, constituents with placard worthy gardens.

There are enough members of the Twickenham Lib Dem team to facilitate a fast paced door stepping operation . I find myself making a lot of sketches of Mr Cable’s back as he races up pretty, tree lined streets or stands expectantly under front porches.

Within a gated driveway I make a sketch of Mr Cable seen from over the soft top of a brand new Mini Cooper as he receives words of support from the vehicles’ well heeled driver. I notice the ‘Vince’s canvassing bag ‘ luggage label hanging from his yellow rucksack. He canvasses most days.

Mr Cable tells me that speaking directly to the voters, face to face, is still the best way to win support for when Election Day comes around.

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Canvassing with Vince Cable

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Scotland April 2015-10  Scotland April 2015-5  Scotland April 2015-4

10am Sunday 5th April.

West Edinburgh Liberal Democrat campaign HQ.

Liberal Democrat Michael Crockart’s young team of student volunteers are busy addressing blue envelopes when I arrive at their campaign HQ just by Edinburgh Zoo. As well as the only Pandas in Britain,  the constituency of the ex police Constable who seeks re-election, also contains The Chinese Embassy, Edinburgh airport, Murrayfield Rugby stadium, several farms, and judging by the sweet smell of burnt barley in the air, a brewery or two.

Mr Crockart is host to a press call for  the Secretary of State for Scotland Alistair Carmichael.

Mr Carmichael has taken a break from campaigning in his constituency of Orkney and Shetland to answer questions from the press about the cabinet inquiry into Nicola Sturgeon’s reported comments to the the French Ambassador.

Drawing inside a campaign office gives me a good opportunity to try and capture a view of electioneering in the UK as a practical, pragmatic and ‘grass-roots’  process. I include campaign posters and press cuttings  in my drawings as a backdrop to the activity.

A big bunch of daffodils sits in the middle of a large communal campaign table. A spring election has certainly allowed the Lib Dems to ‘luck out’ florally.

I can’t help but think of the campaign office of Charles Palantine in the movie Taxi Driver as I draw the scene of happy, well educated, hung-over volunteers stuffing envelopes on the morning of Easter Sunday.

I take the bus back to town  for church.

West Edinburgh Liberal Democrat campaign

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  Hyde, RUSI, -3  Eclipse, Occupy, Breakfast, -5

8.30 am Friday 3rd April 2015.

Liberal Democrat poster launch at the Hare and Hounds Pub, Hyde, Cheshire.

The Liberal Democrats latest poster campaign is already visible when I arrive at a foggy pub car park up above the small town of Hyde in the freezing rain.

In addition to the media, the Lib Dem candidate and Lib Dem supporters a silent troupe of elderly Labour Party supporters holding red  ‘Vote Labour’ placards pop up from behind a dry stone wall on the other side of the road.

I make some rapid drawings of Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander as they speak, eschewing  umbrellas, to the cameras of BBC North West.

The pub doors open shortly after Clegg and Alexander have motored away and a small  West Highland terrier reluctantly pops out to see to its morning duties.

The landlord kindly provides some very welcome hot coffee.

Liberal Democrat poster launch

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  Lib Dem launch 'diamonds'   Lib Dem Launch ' at the door of the brightly coloured bus'   Lib Dem Launch ' plackard whacking'

29th March 2015  W.Oxford & Abingdon, Albert Park.

The Liberal Democrat Party  election campaign launch takes place at picturesque  Abingdon on Thames  in pouring rain.

Famous for it’s Long Alley Almhouses, Christ’s Hospital of Abingdon established Albert Park in 1860. The entrance to the park is the backdrop to the Lib Dem’s gathering and, along with The Victorian church of St Michael and all the Angels and red brick detached victorian houses, to my drawings of the event.

Local supporters and their candidate Leyla Moran gather under brightly coloured umbrellas and await  the arrival of their  ‘battle bus’ and party leader .

The party have commissioned  2nd year Chelsea School of Art  illustration student , Lisa Chisolm, to design the bus exterior . A very good idea. Ms Chisolm arrives with Nick Clegg on the battle bus. Her designs form several diamonds each depicting a key election issue. The diagonally printed orange Lib Dem placards are good props to draw as supporters have to hold them in a slightly awkward fashion to orientate them correctly.

Mr Clegg addresses his cagouled supporters from the daffodil dotted park entrance. He is dressed  in casual Sunday attire.

Accompanied by the press, supporters and the local candidate, the party leader strides off carrying a placard and a rubber mallet. My lightening sketch of him hammering the placard into the shingle flower bed at number 11 is comprised solely of the mallet, the placard and Nick.

Back at the battle bus I  make  several sketches of the party leader and Leyla Moran as they speak in an unhurried manner to the press. Ms Moran  hopes to unseat the current Conservative MP, Nicola Blackwood, in the key marginal seat of Oxford West and Abingdon. She is wearing a daffodil pin on her lapel, a nice visual link I can use in my sketches to the verge-side daffodils which are now looking slightly trampled.

Liberal Democrat Election Campaign Launch

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