On Sunday I attended an election hustings at the new home of the Arcola Theatre in Dalston, organised by the excellent Hackney Citizen. The eclectic panel comprised (from left to right) Hackney North and Stoke Newington candidates Diane Abbott (Labour), Simon De Deney (Lib Dem), Amy Gray (Conservative), Heather Finlay (Green), Keith Fraser (Ukip), Vanessa Hudson (Animal Welfare Party, actually standing in for the indisposed Jon Homan) and Jonathan Silberman (Communist League). The woman in the middle is the Arcola's Feimatta Conteh, who made a fine job of chairing the event.
Who will win on 7 May? Abbott, obviously, because ours is a very safe Labour seat, but her margin of victory and the order in which the others finish will be interesting. The Lib Dems came second in 2010, the Tories third and the Greens fourth.This time, Lib Dem support across London is way down, and though the Greens are only at about 5% in the polls Hackney North is one of those places where Greens are numerous and active and where voters can safely put their cross next to the Green candidate without having to worry that doing so might help a party they don't like - usually the Tories - win.
I've written a column about the hustings, concentrating on Abbott and her hopes of contesting next year's London mayoral election for The Guardian. Read it here.