Today’s polling day! And I’ve been busy most of the day helping the Yes campaign leaflet parts of Leeds for the final push. Mostly the university, but with some leafleting taking part in the city centre, especially near the train station.
The response I got was surprisingly positive. Discounting the people who shrugged me off — it’s Leeds, they probably thought I was advertising for a new bar — there was a lot of interest and support in a Yes vote. Only a handful of people said they had already voted no. I did work on the currents of “yes to democracy”, “yes to people power”, “make your MPs work harder”, and “if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us!”. This was quite effective in swaying floating voters.
And more importantly, I helped convince older voters, the ones more predisposed to vote No. After Labour voters, it’s the single biggest focus constituency for the Yes campaign.
Unsurprisingly, the No campaign haven’t been on the ground as much. Perhaps some hubris? I met only one No campaigner, a student and Conservative candidate for Headingley ward. We actually did talk for quite a while and we have common ground: we both believe in the expansion of democracy, for example, and she supports STV. And, most importantly, she was voting No not because of Clegg or £250 million or the BNP: she was voting because she didn’t think it was the right change.
So, with all this considered, the vote may be closer than polls suggest.