Victims of our own success

When campaigning in by-elections in the 1980s and ’90s, you could always count on lots of people being in during the day because there was so much unemployment. Following a morning’s campaigning in sunny Crewe, therefore, I’m reminded of the consequences of high employment and 11 years of economic growth: hardly anyone was at home. A few years ago you could at least have depended on pensioners being home. But now they’ve all swanned off on their free bus passes.

Still, those who were at home were very pleasant and gratifyingly prepared to vote Labour on Thursday. I always worry about imposing on voters this late in a campaign – their frustration about having quite this much attention in a three-week period is understandable. But those I spoke to were remarkably philosophical about the whole thing, though no doubt they’ll be looking forward to the relative calm of Friday.

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