Maria Carroll is Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Carmarthenshire East and Dinefwr in south-west Wales. She is about as plugged into the community as anyone could be, having worked in the NHS most of her working life and now running a village shop in the area.
Maria has been campaigning intensively door to door and, like many Labour activists since the campaign began, senses something special beginning. This is her account of her experience so far.
Nine hours later
Nine hours on the campaign trail isn’t of course unusual during a GE campaign. We get used to throwing every available minute of our time to gain a labour government and after all it’s not long since we fought the last one.
It’s only day four – or is it five, six or seven! After hours of organising, walking, talking, door knocking, letter boxes and more one tends to forget. But it’s different this time. Different to any campaign I’ve experienced.
In 2017 our campaign build and voter response grew as our wonderful Manifesto ‘For the Many, Not the Few’ resonated across the UK, bringing hope and key messages of a better way of delivering governance.
This time it’s different. Here we are a few days in, manifesto not yet out there – and yet the feel on the doorstep is already up there.
Up there with the post manifesto days of ‘GE17’.
Voters are more involved and interested in politics than ever before. Many watching Parliament live, news reports and documentaries more than ever before. Voters want this general election.
There is a clear and incredibly still-growing response on the doorstep to our plans. In 2017 we offered Hope now we offer something so much bigger and voters know it. The message from the public is clear: they want change and they want to end the nine years of increasing desperation felt by so many families.
So those nine hours I just delivered today have been exhilarating. And things can only get better because we have the manifesto to come yet!
So get on your canvassing boots. Join us. Feel the ground-shake that’s coming from bottom up as voters are looking for change – looking to end the days of this poisonous government that doesn’t care.
I promise you will have an uplifting time.
Today my nine hours were filled with incredible real life experiences.
- Emily a first time voter who just can’t wait to vote Labour
- Harri a pensioner, who wants to protect Emily and her generation from the kind of childhood he had. He was one of those children that went without until our unions and our labour governments introduced the change that meant kids from his block could go to university, could have a job in a workplace that offered protection, could negotiate a fair days pay for a fair days work. Harri wants that back for Emily and her friends
- Susan who wanted to vote Green but has been disenfranchised by a pact with a party she would never vote for, enthused by Labour’s plans for a new green economy
- Sarah a 50s-born woman who has been part of the most colourful and inspiring movement of women since the suffragettes and knows Jeremy Corbyn and John MCDonnell are supporting WASPI
- Peter and Mair who have been fundraising for basic equipment at their children’s school because this government is all talk on education but no action
- Ray, a local and successful businessman who treats his employees as they should be treated and who wants to be sure other employers treat their staff the same. Ray’s happy to share his profits at Christmas. That sure beats the experience of another voter once, when a Tory-appointed Chairman of our hospital gave every employee a mars bar for Christmas whilst pushing the Tory government to introduce local pay bargaining
Those stories are endless.
The doors of voters are opening wide to talk to candidates. To hear more of what we have to offer.
Women inspired by Dawn Butler, Rebecca Long Bailey and all those phenomenal women on our front bench. Good working-class families wanting a fairer more equal society.
Christmas is coming. It’s a Christmas election – not the narrow election the media and other parties want us to think it is, but about real-life issues and our future.
It’s about tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. About our children and our grandchildren who want recognition of the climate emergency. Not a government that simply didn’t dare oppose an opposition motion but a government that will take action on climate change not give way to the mass polluters whilst telling hard-up voters to pay more for energy and catch a bus that simply doesn’t run in their side of town.
Join me, join us. Come and feel the Labour fires reigniting in homes across the country. Just an hour of your time on the doorstep will and can change the way you feel about this election. It will make you realise you are really really part of something big, special and growing.
And our manifesto isn’t even out there yet.
There is no seat that’s not winnable for Labour, including mine. We are determined to bring Carmarthen East back home to Labour. We are determined to unseat Boris Johnson and deliver change. That change can only be delivered by a majority government. And it has to be labour.
If you would like to support Maria’s candidacy then you can donate here.
Let’s fill parliament with MPs that care.