If you’ve somehow missed the fact that there is an general election taking place next week then well done you. But in what has been dubbed the most difficult to call election in decades, this is one of the most important times for our country with the power truly in yours, the voters, hands.
Because of that the campaigning has been furious this time round with politicians on your TV screens, in your newspapers and on your social media feeds every day and every hour. With election debates on TV, manifesto launches, bust ups on current affairs shows [Ed and Boris I’m looking at you] and as much spin as possible without making us all feel a little sick, it has been an intense ride so far.
But even though those politicians are in your faces 24/7, there is still a) not a clear winner to be deciphered from the polls and b) a truly successful campaign strategy from the 3 main parties. Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems have not seemed to gain the overwhelming support that you thought one of them would have by now but why exactly is that?
I think it’s a mix of things from disillusionment with modern day politics and politicians, a turn away from the political elite, people being fed up of hearing politicians blaming each other for everything and no real fire in any of their campaigns. Each main parties campaign has focussed on statistics that no one really understands, talking about the bad points of the other parties manifestos/promises and talking about their own policies but giving us no clear idea or information on how it will work and how it is going to be financed.
The reason the smaller parties, especially the SNP, are thriving at the moment is because their campaigns have real fire, when you watch Nicola Sturgeon in those debates you feel as if she actually cares about the future of the country something not seen so much with other leaders.
UKIP and the Greens are two other parties that have been snapping up more voters, whether people agree with their policies or are using them as a rebel vote to stop the main parties. People see the SNP, the Greens, UKIP and Plaid Cymru as more honest with their policies and their leaders in the election debates stood up to the political elite calling them out on their policies and lies.
As the election campaigning rolls to a close it is difficult to see if any of the major parties will pull a decent lead and I think now we have to except that there will be a coalition of some kind come next week. But one thing that it would be nice to see over the next few weeks is more positivity, less focus on other parties pledges with more on their own instead and less statistics in exchange for more fire and enthusiasm.
It’s starting to happen in the Labour camp with a great new campaign video where Ed Miliband talks about his past, his reasons that he is in politics, his want to become Prime Minister and his passion for the job. It is a great start but I feel like this could be too little too late especially when no major parties have even started campaigning in my area of Sheffield yet bar a few leaflets through doors.
Are leaflets and campaign videos enough? Where are the politicians on a local level? Are statistics what we want to hear? What would persuade us once and for all to vote for a specific party? And how are those undecided, floating voters actually going to vote on May 7th?
I’m not sure what the answers to those questions are but if one thing’s for sure, make sure you use your vote next week. Now more than ever it is extremely important to have your voice heard whether it is for a big party or small. Pick the party that speaks to you to the most and vote, vote, vote!