THE LABOUR HQ is a whirlwind of activity down in Tilbury. The office is crammed with people on the phones, stacking newspapers, sending letters, updating websites and stretching every sinew in the fight to defend the majority of 6,375.
Carl is keeping it local. The campaign hinges on the hundreds of campaigns he has been at the centre of for the last twenty five years.
We get the same feeling from Carl as we do from Stephen Metcalfe in the neighbouring constituency, that this is their time. They are neither complacent nor under-estimating the standard and challenge of the opposition but they feel that the signs are good.
With both campaigns it is the team that counts and every day they have had people out in the wards, securing every vote.
Carl’s campaign has been canny. He appears to have kept a politically respectful distance from Gordon Brown while bringing in a plethora of political heavyweights such as Hilary Benn, Alastair Campbell, John Healey and David Miliband.
Still nineteen days to go and anything, as they say, can happen but Team Carl feel they control the agenda, the pace and the runes. We will see.