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Week one

News - Election diaries

Lawrie Quinn, Labour, Scarborough & Whitby It's 6.30am on Tuesday 5th and here I am back at King's Cross after travelling down from Whitby yesterday. I am awaiting education minister Derek Twigg for the journey back to Scarborough, where he is visiting two much improved local schools.

Around midday we find that the prime minister has been to the Palace, and the General Election is on Thursday 5th May.

We only just make it back to Westminster for votes at 7pm.

Now the election has been called I start to think about the logistics of moving key documents back north. I'll have to hire a car.

It's Wednesday and the last Prime Minister's Questions.

I prepare a question about transport spending in Yorkshire to highlight the need for A64 improvements and spend 30 minutes bobbing up and down trying to catch the Speaker's eye with no success.

On Thursday 7th I collect hire car, pack up boxes of documents from Westminster, do some constituent case work and set off.

Around midnight I remember too late that I haven't paid the congestion charge.

The next day I make an early trip to my Scarborough office to drop off my payload from Westminster. In the afternoon I appear in a constituency profile piece for the BBC where I outline the key policy issues for Scarborough and Whitby, including my hope that Whitby will achieve UNESCO world heritage status.

Brian Pope, Conservative, Glasgow North Prime minister Tony Blair finally called the General Election last Tuesday and campaigning began. In the evening I was joined by a team of local activists and we set out campaigning on the streets of Glasgow North.

I met a little lady pensioner as we entered a small block of flats off Cleveden Road. 'I just don't feel safe going out any more, ' she told me.

I tried to give her some general reassurance and said we will put more police on the streets.

But afterwards I was angry. Is this really the sort of society we want- One where pensioners are scared to leave their own homes!

I have already called for more police and a zero tolerance on drugs in my election address, but this type of meeting just makes me redouble my efforts. For me, this is what real life politics is all about.

The campaign really kicked off in earnest on Monday, with the launch of the Scottish Conservative manifesto by Conservative leader Michael Howard at Glasgow's Hampden Park.

It states that a Conservative government will guarantee the security and sustainability of Britain's energy supply. I cannot help but think that this has, in part, been driven by the ICE's State of the Nation report and subsequent BBC documentary When the lights go out.

I have taken unpaid leave on Tuesday and will hit the campaign trail in the Kelvindale area of the city with the help of Scottish Conservative chief whip Bill Aiken, a real boost to my campaign. So off to another week in politics.

Chris Foote Wood, Liberal Democrat, Bishop Auckland At last, an end to the 'phoney war.' Why can't we have fixed-term parliaments like everybody else- It's too tempting for the PM of the day not to take advantage and keep everyone guessing, while at the same time dropping heavy hints. What a way to run a country!

I've already had loads of post and e-mails from all kinds of organisations, asking for my support. Quite a lot I already know, like CAMRA, the Countryside Alliance, the Children's Society, the National Pensioners' Convention, Arthritis Care and the Stroke Association - all of which I support.

There's a letter from the CBI, signed by Sir Digby Jones himself. Actually, it's a printed signature. You can't expect the DG to sign it personally. He's sent us the CBI Business Agenda and Transport Brief. Fair enough, but what's this- 'The government must begin to tackle the pensions crisis and work with business to address climate change'.

Way to go, Sir Digby! Join the LibDems!

The rofessional Contractors Group writes to me. Their questionnaire is complex and not easy to answer with a simple 'yes' or 'no', but I do my best.

The real campaign is under way!

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