On the hill above Greenock town centre, the view towards the horizon is stunning. Blue sky, a cool breeze and the mountains on the other side of the Clyde.
But in front of me is a terrace of boarded up houses. Graffiti is daubed on the walls. There are eight shattered windows on the third floor of the towerblock behind me.
Every lamppost is kitted out in the uniform of a by-election: a multicoloured array of election posters, an identity parade of smiles. If the competition for lamppost space is an indicator, perhaps this is going to be a close race.
Labour had a whopping majority here at the Westminster general election a year ago. The MP for the Inverclyde constituency, David Cairns, was more than 14,000 votes ahead of his nearest rival. Mr Cairns died of pancreatitis, aged just 44, last month.
Also last month, the Scottish National Party secured an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament. Now they claim they can smell Labour embarrassment in the summer air. The by-election is on Thursday.
In a local community centre, half a dozen pensioners gather for a cup of tea, some lunch and a chat. A small stereo is playing in the background and there is a jovial atmosphere.
Tom is 87. He says when he was younger you could give up your job at lunchtime round here and have another one in time for the afternoon shift. But the shipyards of the Clyde provided more than just a job. They provided purpose and pride. It's a pride you can still see in Tom's eyes now.
Ann and Sandra are keeping an eye on the pensioners. They are both angry that so many people here are hooked on drink, hooked on drugs, hooked on benefits.
But it doesn't mean they can't understand why it's happened. Sandra tells me that for too many teenagers in Greenock, their lives are over when they are 16. School's finished, she says, and so are they. They have nothing to do, little to live for.
New jobs have come to Inverclyde, in IT and call centres. But for many they don't offer a job to be proud of, they don't offer a job that will last, and they don't offer a job for everyone. Little wonder employment is the big talking point in this by-election race.
The broadsheets might be full of polemical musings on Scotland's constitutional future, but no one has mentioned independence to me here. To borrow and adapt from President Clinton, it's the jobs, stupid.
Chris Mason is 5 live's political reporter. He covered the build-up to the Invercyde by-election for 5 live Breakfast, on Tuesday 28 June. You can follow Chris on Twitter.