The Lib Dem leader, Nick Clegg, visited Eastbourne today on part of a tour of the country to try to convert any last minute waverers in the final few hours before voting starts tomorrow. Eastbourne is one of the marginals that the Lib Dems hope to win and given the number of poster they have up around the town, I'd be amazed if they don't. The current Conservative MP, Nigel Waterson, has made himself rather unpopular with many voters by supporting the introduction of parking meters and traffic wardens in the town. I feel this may well come back to bite him tomorrow...
There was quite a reasonable turnout from the public along with a strong media presence. If the film crews were hoping for a "microphone moment" (just to add a bit of balance you understand), the closest they got was that it kept cutting out every few seconds. This must have been pretty irritating for Mr Clegg, although he certainly didn't show it.
Having seen both David Cameron (very smooth, very convincing) and Gordon Brown (very... well, very Gordon Brown), it was interesting to see Nick Clegg at work. He comes across extremely well.
The only thing that concerns me about Nick Clegg doing so well is the idea of a hung parliament. It's not the politics of it that I have sleepless nights about, it's just that if Gordon were to somehow get back into No 10 he would grin at us. I don't understand why his image consultants let him grin, it's creepy. You could use his grin to frighten bad children (although I'm sure that legislation has already been introduced to prevent this). It's the sort of grin that only Roald Dahl could have thought up. It's like something from a 1950's B horror movie - "The Grinner from the Black Lagoon", "Grinzilla" , "Attack of the Grinning Leeches". I think the answer is to be "tough on grinning, tough on the causes of grinning".
The only minor fly in the ointment for Nick Clegg's visit is that a local Lib Dem activist was arrested last night for allegedly stealing Conservative party posters from around the town - not the brightest move on the eve of your bosses arrival.