There are no MPs for the next thirty-eight days. Parliament was dissolved in the middle of the night, so if you see someone using the title MP you can let loose your inner pedant and correct them. Or report them to the proper authorities if that’s your preference.
Yes, after an extended build up that’s put Hollywood’s current trend of teaser trailers for trailers for blockbusters to shame, we’re finally into the full 2015 General Election campaign. I was looking back over my blogging from the last election yesterday and noticed that from dissolution to election day was only 31 days, so yes, election campaigns are getting longer nowadays.
Which means I’m going to be trying to find something to say and blog about for thirty-eight days in total. Hopefully, the campaign will generate some issues to keep me going – though I’m worried about the big lull in activity that the Easter weekend will no doubt bring – but please forgive me in advance if I end up doing a post on something banal and dull like the colour of leaders’ ties, what it must be like to spend days on the same ‘battlebus’ or minor opinion poll variations.
I’m not planning to do a series of posts that just recaps what’s happened in the day – that’s what newspaper website liveblogs are for – so I’m going to try and blog about any interesting ideas that have come up during the campaign, or obscure things that I think deserve a bit more coverage. I’m definitely planning to look at some of the micro and niche parties who’ll be competing in the election, because it’s a phenomenon that interests me. There’s something very noble about people putting hundreds of pounds into election campaigns that will likely return votes at a very poor ratio to the amount spent, and it’ll be interesting to look at some of those motivations.
The big difference from last time is that this year I’m not as involved in the campaign itself, so I’ve got a bit more freedom to talk about things, but won’t be regaling you with tales of things discovered while doorknocking or delivering. I’ll still be doing some delivering to help out friends, but nothing like the amount I was doing last time around.
One other thing worth remembering that there are a lot of council elections going on at the same time as the general election, as this year’s coincides with one of the biggest sets of council elections in England. The higher turnout will have an effect on these elections, and even if councils have fewer powers than most people think, they’ll still have a big effect on the political landscape for the next few years. It’ll be interesting times for the smaller parties and their presence in local government – can the Greens stay the biggest party in Brighton and advance anywhere else, and will UKIP end up in charge of a council somewhere? Not that there’ll be much coverage of the council elections during the campaign, but they’ll be an important part of it for a lot of people they’ll be just as important as the Parliamentary ones.
I’m going to stick to my guns and not make any public predictions about the election result and aftermath, but this does look like being a fascinating campaign, even if that fascination may end up being in who ends up winning the race to the bottom, and then who buys the mining equipment to go deeper. Sometime at the end of it all we’ll have a new government in some shape or form, and then we can begin speculating about 2020.