General election 2015 ratcheted up a gear when deputy prime minister Nick Clegg came to Carshalton and Wallington to lend his support to Tom Brake.

What had been billed as an opportunity to highlight the good work of apprenticeships and Mr Brake's St Helier campaigning took on a different mood when those opposed to the construction of the South London Incinerator and the potential closure of the hospital wards jostled for position with his supporters for prominence during the televised speech.

Perhaps sensing the hostility from the gathered opponents, who roundly booed the deputy PM upon his arrival and throughout his two-minute speech, questions from the media were cancelled during the hospital visit.

Instead Mr Clegg took questions during an earlier visit to The Bakery, in Beeches Avenue, which has been run by the same Stenning family for 42 years.

The choreographing of the Liberal Democrat support, which included people being handed shipped in placards and being told where to stand, did threaten to become unsavoury when one campaigner decided it would be better to face away from the crowd and hold up these signs in face of blind Labour Party candidate Emily Brothers in an apparent attempt to obscure her Labour colours.

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Ms Brothers had been assisted up the slope for safety reasons.

This pattern of behaviour could be seen elsewhere so that Liberal Democrats supporters, many elected councillors, would gaggle around wherever signs supporting others were being brandished in an effort to block out any suggestions of dissent.

Speaking to the crowd Mr Clegg said Mr Brake "should and will be elected as your MP”.

He said: "Tom has been campaigning here for a quarter of a century. 25 years.

"25 years more than the parachuted candidate from the Conservative Party.

"Secondly Tom's record in campaigning for St Helier's Hospital behind us, keeping it open, keeping the maternity ward open, keeping accident and emergency going, is second to none."

He spoke of the 20,000 plus signatures in support of the campaign, calling it a "fantastic achievement" before leading a charge against the Conservative Party that had made it "quite quite clear" that they want to cut money on local nurseries, schools, colleges and that only a vote for Tom would protect them.

Earlier that day the Lib Dem 'battlebus' rolled into Carshalton Beeches to visit The Corner Gallery and The Bakery.

Michael Stenning, 69, who took over the former bakers in 1972, said: "Tom Brake popped in to say he was coming down but they didn't tell me that Nick Clegg was coming too.

"Nick spoke to people about some of our apprentices.

"He came across as a very nice person, talking to people and taking questions from others.

"Because it wasn't advertised most of the people there were just passers-by."

Mr Clegg's dramatic exit, where he was ushered into his black tinted-window car, lacked the gravitas a potential world leader may have hoped for; his car stopped at the first red light it hit five metres after setting off.