Are you buying it? When it comes to John McDonnell the answer, for voters, is often “yes” when it concerns his sweeping plans for nationalisation. The policies are popular. However, the other key question is less about McDonnell’s specific plans than his act or routine. This is, after all, a man who once waved Mao’s little Red Book in the House of Commons and in 2012 celebrated students smashing up Millbank in a riot. However, since becoming Shadow Chancellor the revolutionary has more often favoured a quiet charm offensive aimed at business leaders, reminiscent of New Labour’s “Prawn Cocktail Offensive” of the 1990s.

Still not all are reassured. Having acquitted himself without obvious dishonour on Andrew Marr at the weekend McDonnell on Radio 4 today faced a more sceptical questioner in the form of John Caudwell, the billionaire founder of Phones 4U. McDonnell’s claim that the current system was “collapsing around our ears” cut little ice with Caudwell who insisted that he was more than happy to pay his fair share but he said he believed that today’s Labour was “creating a divisive message”, and that he would not have started a business in the country McDonnell wanted.

McDonnell went on to lay out just what he wanted in a speech this morning outlining Labour’s first hundred days. The usual round of nationalisations of the railways, Royal Mail, water providers, energy companies, and BT Openreach was touted. These newly nationalised services were to be controlled by local authorities and People’s Assemblies. A National Transformation Fund Unit and National Investment Bank would also be set up to funnel cash to infrastructure projects and small businesses.

Given Labour’s current polling numbers none of this looks likely to happen – unless Labour is the largest party and the Tories blow up on polling day. In this atmosphere rumours are beginning to circulate that after another loss Corbyn will step down and McDonnell will set himself up as interim leader, despite having previously denied interest in leadership. It is noteworthy that the Labour leadership group is already preparing to try to hold onto power after defeat.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson was busy touring the Northeast today – an area Corbyn has conspicuously failed to visit. However, whatever hopes he had that the worst he would have to face would be look undignified as he posed with fish in Grimsby were dashed. He faced some predictable criticism of his comment at the weekend – “You’ve seen quite a large number of people coming in from the whole of the EU […] able to treat the UK as though it’s basically part of their own country and the problem with that is there has been no control at all and I don’t think that is democratically accountable” – but given his courting of the Leave vote it seems dubious this will cost him much.

Potentially much more damaging was his reaction when confronted with a picture of a four-year old boy with pneumonia forced to sleep on coats due to a lack of beds at Leeds General Infirmary. The interviewer – Joe Pike – who confronted him with the image declared Johnson had been reluctant to look at it. Johnson did look and then put the reporter’s phone in his own pocket.

With accusations flying of Johnson not caring, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock was sent to the hospital. There he was met with protesters. It was alleged on social media that one of the protesters punched an aide of Hancock’s and was apparently subsequently arrested. However, footage seems to show the physical contact was accidental. Screenshots which allegedly showed local Labour party activists had bussed in the protesters were later thought to have been faked. This will add further rancour to this febrile mix.

Likely wishing to avoid the risk of such a scene himself Johnson also cancelled an appearance in Bishop Auckland following reports of protesters. This is the second time Johnson has cancelled an event due to protestors.

Still those looking, or hoping, for a last minute moment that will swing the polls will likely be disappointed. With the Conservatives maintaining a healthy lead in most polls their position looks relatively secure. At most the sheer unpredictability and fluidity of current politics might mean a slight needle twitch could make all the difference between a firm majority and falling short.

For the Lib Dems it appears to be too little too late after Jo Swinson signalled a softening stance on the Liberal Democrats previous promise to unilaterally revoke Article 50 if they gained power. While this position was always a moot point given the fact their prospect of achieving a majority, was always zilch she is making a concession to those many Remainers who found the position too undemocratic for comfort. Still it seems unlikely to rally their poll numbers. They have declined in this campaign from the giddy highs of the mid-20s to now sit in the low teens.