Wednesday, 14 April 2010

The secret diary of an election photographer - Manifesto Day

A comparatively late start today as the big event was the manifesto launch at 9.30 at Bloomberg. This isn't the normal press conference location - and just as well. There were hundreds of journalists there (including five BBC correspondents but only one camera to film them all).

First up was Sarah Teather to introduce the event, followed by Danny Alexander who chaired the manifesto working group which wrote the document. Then came Vince Cable who gave gravitas to the numbers and finally Nick Clegg.

As I mentioned last night, the event was deliberately businesslike in its approach. No projections on disused power stations for the Lib Dems. In fact, Sarah made the point that Labour launched in a hospital that wasn't yet open and the Tories in a power station that hadn't produced power for more than 20 years. In contrast, the Lib Dems were launching their manifesto in the centre of financial journalism and fact checking.

I thought the whole event was very well handled and the journalists I talked to seemed very pleased with what they were getting from us. In particular, the Lib Dem manifesto has all the crucial numbers printed in the final pages - so there is no hiding place for our plans.

After the manifesto launch, we headed off to Oldham East and Saddleworth where we met up with candidate Elwyn Watkins for a visit to talk to staff and customers at Asda in Shaw. Nick spoke to a large crowd there and answered many questions on a wide range fo subjects before the inevitable round of media interviews.

And then to Manchester in preparation for tomorrow's first Leaders' debate.

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