With Harriet Harman's redjackets in Glasgow North-east
Red bomber-jacketed flunkies make a dash up towards a Glaswegian doorstep. Clearly a senior member of the Cabinet out on the stump doesn't actually knock on doors herself.
A couple of primary school kids on BMX bikes look bemused at the commotion in a cul-de-sac in Balornock in the north east of the city - and ask, entirely reasonably, what on earth is going on.
"Harriet Harman's here!" gushes one of the red-attired Labour Party workers excitedly, as if he was introducing the final acts on the X-Factor. "You what? Who?" comes the entirely predictable response to the fleeting appearance of the Leader of the Commons and the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.
So, the by-election circus has arrived in Glasgow. Beaming candidates. Gleaming rosettes. Screaming babies. All competing for space on the same pavement. Messrs Brown, Cameron and Salmond have already been; so too have assorted ministers and their shadows - and plenty of others to boot.
This is a poor part of Glasgow - and there's a welter of statistics to prove it. Almost one in three adults here are on benefits. Almost half have no educational qualifications.
Rob is standing outside Coia's Cafe on Duke Street. He's unemployed - and uninterested in the by-election. I ask him how long he's been looking for work. A pause. "20 year" he says matter of factly.
Nearby, Margaret Thomson, pinny on, dashes purposefully between tables at the Sighthill Community One Stop Shop. The shop stands in the shadow of 1960s towerblocks thrown up cheaply and now condemned as damp, dilapidated, dangerous and due for demolition.
It's two quid for fish and chips. It's 60p for a cup of tea. It's free to ask for advice on filling in forms, jobs and health. Margaret brought her family up in a tower block that's recently been pulled down. She cried as the concrete collapsed. The emotional wrench of regeneration; her family home gone. But she was glad it had. She insists people here deserve better homes than tower blocks that became landmarks of deprivation.
Outside North Glasgow College, students chat and smoke in front of a very polished symbol of change here. It's a new campus. So new, the carpets have that still-new smell. Ronnie Knox, the Principal, is energetic, enthusiastic and fiercely proud of his college and this area. Education is north east Glasgow's passport to a better future, he believes. And he'll tell anyone who'll listen.
Give it a few years and memories of this by election will be fading. The beaming candidates and gleaming rosettes will have gone. The screaming babies will be at school. And, I suspect, Margaret and Ronnie will still be here. Doggedly fighting for an area they love.
Chris Mason is a politics reporter for BBC News
- "People here would vote for a donkey if it was next to the Labour box on the slip" - Laura Kuenssberg met Glasgow North East electors for BBC News Online and Scotland correspondent James Cook wrote a profile of the constituency.
- The Telegraph covered Eddie Izard's visit to the constituency and The Times has a story about Gordon Brown's letter to constituents.
- The picture, a study in doorbells D, is by Tim Young and is used under licence.