My Labour Party colleague Anne Rouse and I spent an enjoyable couple of hours on Sunday morning outside the Coop on Aldershot Road handing out leaflets and talking to voters about the current political situation.
It was, in many ways, reassuringly normal. There were a few who were negative to our message – but that is quite normal when campaigning for Labour in Guildford and there didn’t seem more than usual.
There were a few strong anti-Corbyn sentiments, but when I responded to one man’s comment, “Your leader is not very Prime Ministerial,” by pointing out that neither was the current incumbent, he agreed with a sigh saying simply: “So where do we go from here?”
And that was perhaps the main difference between this session and previous ones, once we engaged with voters they rapidly admitted they didn’t know where to go or what was going to happen. Many were very worried about where the country was heading.
Several talked about how alarmed they were about the suspension of Parliament and how to counter the sharp turn to the right which seems to be turning our values upside down.
Some felt that this was a tactical voting situation, but when challenged to name a single Lib Dem policy outside of Brexit they failed to name one, suggesting that in their own way, the Lib Dems are now as much a single issue pressure group as the Brexit Party.
When people ask why we political people like doing this, it is quite simply we do it because we learn so much from talking to people. We had supporters, we had detractors, we had supporters who might not vote for us, people who liked our policies but not our leader. But no-one we spoke to felt confident about where our country is heading and many are worried for themselves and their children.
With the political situation changing so rapidly there is little those of us on the ground can really do except keep listening to our voters. In the end, this is our job, and Guildford Labour party will always listen – even to those who don’t want to hear our message.