YOUNG black men from council estates in west London are probably not the first to spring to mind when conjuring images of Tory-voting stereotypes, let alone Conservative politicians.
But Shaun Bailey, flying the blue flag for Hammersmith, counts himself among them and believes people could be in for a shock come the election.
One of the biggest surprises he says he has encountered around the borough has been the number of people in the most deprived, traditionally Labour wards who are willing to put their support behind him.
Fatigue with the Labour Government is running high, he believes, and he can immediately connect with the issues faced by the people he encounters in Shepherd's Bush and the White City and Edward Woods estates, who share similar experiences to his own growing up in a council flat in North Kensington.
"I am those people," said Shaun. "I come from a single parent family, I'm black and young, and I'm local. I've never once had to sell who I am or justify myself. Most people who I meet immediately connect with one aspect of my history.
"I'm part of the issue, so if we solved housing in Hammersmith, that would suit me. If we solve the bus routes, that would suit me.
"We meet a lot of people who've never voted Conservative before, who say they're prepared to this time. At the very least they say they're not voting Labour. We've had a much better reaction in areas where we thought we wouldn't be well received."
Housing is one of the borough's key political battlegrounds, with Labour insisting that thousands of tenants are at risk due to Hammersmith and Fulham Council's plans to knock down and rebuild many of its estates using private developers to create more 'mixed' communities.
Critics have accused the council of social engineering, but Shaun is wholeheartedly behind the plans and claims Labour's opposition is simply scaremongering.
"If this is so wicked, how come several Labour councils have already done it or are in the process of doing it," said Shaun, who believes overcrowding and a lack of modern housing stock are issues which urgently need to be addressed.
"We have an opportunity in Hammersmith and Fulham to address some of these issues - never in the history of west London has there been such a big site available for development.
"In three years, the Conservatives have built more council housing than the Labour group did in 28 years. Central government is talking about creating mixed communities, but local Labour politicians don't want to deliver it because it will mean they lose their seats."
Housing aside, Shaun's campaign is based on tackling unemployment, crime and education - three areas which he feels can be tied into the big push for redevelopment.
He says his work with the My Generation charity, based at the foot of the landmark Trellick Tower in North Kensington, means he is keenly aware of the difficulties of separating young people from the crime which often surrounds them.
"What generates the most crime is low incomes and unemployment, and that's the area that needs to be addressed the most. For me it's about dealing with the cause, not the symptoms," he said.
"Regeneration is a massive opportunity to create employment - I don't think we've had an opportunity like this for a generation at least. We need new, better schools in our area, because we're not exporters of children to schools elsewhere, which is something I'd like to turn around.
"We need to create opportunities that allow people to set up businesses that employ local people. One of the good things they did with Westfield was to make them provide training for local people. Anybody can build a new building - you've got to ask people what they are missing to make them successful, and then try to put that in place."
Shaun's main opponent in next year's election will be Labour's Andy Slaughter, who has served as an MP in Ealing, Acton and Shepherd's Bush since 2006.
His constituency boundaries are being redrawn to encircle Hammersmith and Shepherd's Bush, and whom Shaun describes as a tenacious campaigner.
But he believes the wind is in the sails of the Conservative Party, and that positive feelings in Hammersmith can be seen as a portent of wider national acceptance.
"This myth that the Labour Party is for poor people and for black people is exactly that, a myth. In order to be for poor people they have to keep you poor - the last thing they want is for you to advance in the world," said Shaun.
"Quite frankly, I think Hammersmith and Fulham has started to change slightly ahead of the national picture. London is often ahead of the game, and Hammersmith in particular.
"I always tell people that Hammersmith is exactly like London - it's really multicultural with real riches, real poverty and a real contrast in class, in colour, in culture and in religion."
While the furore about BNP leader Nick Griffin's appearance on Question Time provoked an outcry, Shaun believes the BBC made the right decision, though he is worried by the extent of local membership.
"You can't ban Nick Griffin, that's where his support comes from," said Shaun. "Unfortunately, I think the BBC had to do what they did because they can't afford to ignore him. Democracy is messy and uncomfortable and you have to get used to that. I still think that, on balance, as a nation we're not as racist as we used to be. People who are deeply racist are never going to change their views.
"But people who are truly concerned about particular issues - their views can be changed."