Nomination day - it's a special day in Belizean politics when a formality becomes a kind of political festival as the mass parties roll out their machines in all 31 constituencies - in an effort to convince voters that they have the support and the momentum going into the election.

The tradition for the past few years has been that the PUP crowd goes to their respective nominating offices in the morning - and the UDP goes in the afternoon. So this morning at about 18 government offices countrywide - the PUP candidates for that area went in at 10:00 in the morning. 7News was in Belize City, Cayo and Corozal to see it - and Jules Vasquez begins our reporting with the PUP crowd in Belize City.

Jules Vasquez reporting
The PUP had to march in the rain today - while the party leader led the singing but the crowd of six to eight hundred was still spirited as it headed to the CB Hyde Building at the end of Mahogany Street.

Jules Vasquez
"Has it ever rained on a nomination day?"

Rt. Hon. Said Musa, PUP Candidate - Fort George
"Its the first time I believe. Which is a good sign. Showers of blessing for the PUP."

Dr. Francis Smith, PUP Candidate - Pickstock
"Feeling very good Jules, despite the weather as you see the people are out in full force. Perhaps would have been even bigger if it weren't for the inclement weather."

Paul Thompson, PUP Candidate - Albert
"Well it's been two terms of drought and today we had the rain fall. So a good day is coming. It was a good experience."

Francis Fonseca, PUP Candidate - Freetown
"It feels good. Showers of blessing. We feel good about it. The campaign has been going very well across the country, so we feel very good, we feel very spirited and very proud of our candidates getting nominated today. There is a sense of history for us here today. We believe we are on the verge of forming the government of Belize."

And while the crowd showed great heart to trod on through the rain, the numbers while respectable, were far from overwhelming.

Mark King looked on in bemusement from his headquarters - while the GSU stood guard on corners, guns at the ready. But for these party supporters of a different colour - nobody needed to police their teasing each other.

This kind of crowd has been pretty consistent for the PUP in the last 7 years where they've been on a losing streak - but today the party leaders were unfazed- and offered no excuses; they say they'll have the numbers when it matters:

Jules Vasquez
"But the crowd was not overwhelming. Nice spirited crowd but not overwhelming. Is that something that concerns you?"

Francis Fonseca, PUP Candidate - Freetown
"To be honest with you I didn't see the crowd at all. Because I came in at the very last minute and as soon as I got into the parade, we moved off from the very front. So I have to confess that I absolutely no idea if there were 100 people or 1,000 people behind. But you know, you understand these things even better than I do Jules the numbers. We feel good. I can sense that we feel good."

Jules Vasquez
"The nomination day we count the crowd. Because who got the crowd is going to have the swing on Election Day. The PUP crowd was not overwhelming. Nice spirited, good sized crowd, but not 1998. I am saying is this something that concerns you?"

Cordel Hyde, PUP Candidate - Lake I
"It's been a long time since 1998 and it's been a long time since the People's United Party has won a general election. But you see the rain brother. People came out in the rain to participate in this process. Doesn't really fazed me. At the end of the day people know what they are feeling, what they are experiencing and for a vast majority of people, things are hard. At the end of the day, I think people are going to vote how they feel. They are going to vote with their heart and so we are looking forward to November 4th."

Francis Fonseca, PUP Candidate - Freetown
"In this country there are more PUPs that UDPs. That's a well-established fact. We have to make sure our people come out to vote. That's the message for the next 3 weeks - getting out the vote."

And while it wasn't a numbers game - for this veteran - who got nominated for a 10th time for Fort George - the number ten sounded good enough:

Rt. Hon. Said Musa, PUP Candidate - Fort George
"The last time I am being nominated."

Jules Vasquez
"And so how does it feel? You have your cadre of very long time supporters here."

Rt. Hon. Said Musa, PUP Candidate - Fort George
"I feel very proud of all our supporters on nominators today. They have stood by me all these years, many years. Some of them have been with me from the beginning."

And while the old PUP leader felt a sense of history, in the here and now, the PUP badly needs a slump breaker - and so while today's showing was surely spirited -the bottom line is that politics isn't about sympathy, it's about numbers - and it's left to see if the PUP can bring out those numbers on Election Day.

Francis Fonseca, PUP Candidate - Freetown
"We will form the government Jules and I think we will do so in my view certainly with not less than 18 seats."

Channel 7