Taking The Pulse: Pendle
It's grim up North. At least, if you've been a Conservative in recent years.
The next stop on my tour of marginal constituencies taking the pulse of the electorate is Pendle, a seat that the Tories have not won for 23 years.
Yesterday, in Cardiff, I asked voters whether they wanted five more years of Labour. The answer was expressed with quite a lot of anger.
Today's question for the voters is: Do Conservatives understand people like you? The emotion this time was uncertainty.
Some electors here in the North insist that the Conservatives have never understood what they call "working people". Others can't forgive what they think Margaret Thatcher did to the North. Still others liked their fellow Northerner William Hague, and would vote for him if he were leader, but don't warm to David Cameron.
We've also been speaking to voters who do think the Tories are changing - and beginning, in fact, to understand the working class.
One theme came up with women we spoke to, including, tellingly, a single mother. They liked what Mr Cameron has had to say about the family. The same goes for some of those among the nearly one-in-seven voters in this constituency who are Asians and mainly Muslims. Equally tellingly, though, many say it is all they really know about what the Tories stand for.
As in Cardiff, electoral statistics tell a story of Labour decline and of Tory failure to take advantage. Between 1997 and 2005, Labour's vote-share here fell from 53% to 30%. However, the Conservatives lost votes: 165 of them in those eight years - though, thanks to a low turnout, their vote-share did creep up.
What gives Tories hope here is that they gained control of Lancashire County Council for the first time in almost three decades.
The message I detect on this part of my tour is that it is simply not enough for voters not to want five more years of Labour; the Tories have to do a great deal more to convince voters that they stand for something better instead.
Our next stop is Dudley, and the question: Do you favour spending cuts, and do you favour them now?
PS. Thanks to those who pointed out that my figures for city councillors in the Cardiff North constituency were out of date. The current figure is 13 Conservatives, five Lib Dems and three Independents. And sorry for the error on the Pendle dates - now corrected.
Update 10 Feb: Here's the Pendle package.