Conservative Party leader David Cameron went out for a sunny Sunday afternoon, from his nearby West Oxfordshire constituency, and arrived in his enviro-friendly Toyota Prius at Swindon's Lydiard Park to bolster local support amongst some 200 friends and family in advance of Thursday's local council elections.
Preceding him on stage was gaffe prone shadow culture minister Boris Johnson, also on a short outing from his Henley constituency just down the M4. Bounding on stage he thanked the Swindon faithful for turning out and drew a laugh when he admitted the town is one of the few in the United Kingdom he has not yet insulted.
Winding the crowd up for the leader's entrance Boris said the local elections were the chance to send a valedictory raspberry to Labour, just as Tony Blair was about to disappear down the plug-hole of history. Introducing Mr Cameron he asked the crowd sporting placards proclaiming 'Vote Blue to go green' to welcome the "politest, most visionary, effective and the greenest and cleanest government."
Earlier he told Swindon Link that he was very impressed by the National Trust headquarters and thinks STEAM, the museum of the Great Western Railway, is 'brilliant.' He started to talk about a girl from Swindon he once knew before a sharp-eared gaffe monitor intervened.
David Cameron told the crowd that he wanted the town to be greener, cleaner and safer under the Conservatives. Referring to rumours that Prime Minister Tony Blair would finally take the final bow after the local elections, he said things would get worse. "I have to tell you that things will get worse before they get better. When Blair goes, Gordon Brown comes."
He said that the local elections were the chance for people to send a strong message of disapproval to the Government. "They are the start of a great battle for the future of the UK. We are the party that is promoting social responsibility, we trust the people at a local level to run services, and believe in a less arrogant government which tells people what to do.
"The reason our party is becoming stronger and building at a local level is because we're out there organising and explaining our message. Labour support is falling away because people are embarrassed to admit to believing in them."
Acknowledging the absence of support for the Conservatives in Scotland and limited backing in the north of England, he said he wanted to see the UK stay united. "Some people say it would be easier for the Conservative party in the UK to break up. But we are the party of unity.
"I don't want to be Prime Minister of England, I want to be Prime Minister of the UK and want us to stay together."