THE group of young people supporting North Swindon candidate Kate Linnegar are chatting excitedly about the progress of their campaign on a bright and sunny Saturday in Redhouse.

Supporters from Swindon, Labour members from Oxford and Ms Linnegar’s brother from London have gathered to rally residents as election day draws ever closer.

The afternoon starts cheerily enough, with a couple of happy dog-walkers waving and wishing Ms Linnegar good luck as they stroll past. But the first door she knocks in my presence is opened by a middle-aged man who spots her red rosette, tells her in blunt and unprintable terms to go away, then slams the door in her face.

Ms Linnegar said: “People being unpleasant can really affect how you feel, but you must not let it, and always remember that such hostility is very unusual.

“Even if we have opposing views initially, it’s still possible to have a pleasant chat and even find common ground by the end of it.

“A lot of people are still undecided at this late stage – persuading them is how we win. No matter what party you vote for, we’ve all been affected by cuts to the NHS and education.

“Everyone is so different so I love having fascinating conversations and hearing their stories.

“Some people say ‘Oh, you’re the lady who sorted out the IMH surgeries that affected thousands of people in North Swindon’.

“Many just appreciate that you’ve come to see them in person, and every house where someone isn’t in when you visit feels like a missed opportunity.”

The next property is more promising, with a family of lifelong Labour voters greeting Ms Linnegar warmly and chatting about their plans for the day.

Elsewhere around the neighbourhood, a cautious resident keeps his political allegiances close to his chest.

A neighbour explains he voted for Labour when Tony Blair was in charge but has voted Conservative ever since because he hasn’t liked any of the other party leaders.

Current leader Jeremy Corbyn is the reason why Ms Linnegar joined just over three years ago and is now campaigning for the first time as Labour’s parliamentary candidate for North Swindon in a bid to oust Justin Tomlinson.

She said: “I used to be in the Green Party and would campaign against the bedroom tax but didn’t get fully involved in politics until I heard Jeremy talk.

“I agreed with so much of what he was saying about the positive difference we can make and I think there is every chance of winning now. Just because Justin is well-established does not mean he can’t be unseated.

“Our support last time just kept growing and growing – I think if we’d had two more weeks, we would have won. MPs with bigger majorities than Justin’s were unseated by Labour in other areas in 2017 and there’s a lot of unknowns in this election, it’s all to play for.”

MORE: Could another surge of support could see Labour win south Swindon?

Social worker Joel Lovell, 26, decided to help Ms Linnegar campaign for the first time to shine a light on the struggles he and his colleagues are facing – and the improvements that Labour could bring.

He said: “I work in a severely-underfunded and under-resourced public sector. People don’t realise the full extent of the crisis we are facing in adult social care and I wanted to make this a priority because the Conservatives have no plan to tackle it, there’s nothing in their manifesto about it.

“I’ve thought about helping out for a couple of weeks but by the weekend, I’m knackered. However, this is the last chance to make a difference so I made sure to join them today.

“I was a bit apprehensive but everyone’s been very polite, regardless of who they’re voting for, it’s quite fun, and I’ve enjoyed talking to them about my experiences.

“I want a transformational Labour government that invests properly in our public sector and I imagine a lot of people my age feel the same way. We need to conserve the environment and the NHS.”