Your guide to the 2015 General Election campaign

PA-21466316

- Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

The election campaign officially starts at the end of March – but the battle for hearts, minds and votes started long ago. Political editor Annabelle Dickson sets out her guide

Lesser spotted politicians suddenly appear out of nowhere

 In the coming months you will be unlikely to turn up an event where there will not be a politician pressing the flesh or kissing a baby.

MPs and potential candidates, who might not have been seen for months, will suddenly pop up out of nowhere.

 


You may also want to watch:


The well-timed Government announcement

Governing parties, rightly, are not allowed to dish out bucket-loads of cash in the immediate run up to an election.

Most Read

There will be a period, known as purdah, where the rules will prevent central and local government making big announcements and using taxpayer-funded civil servants to help.

In the past this started the day the election was announced by the prime minister.

This time we know the date of the election is May 7, and therefore parliament will be dissolved on March 30, if not just before. Until then, the ruling coalition can lawfully dish out cash for coastal communities, money for Local Enterprise Partnerships, and there is still the pre-election budget to come.

So expect well-choreographed announcements, where coincidently (or not) the areas benefiting are held by sitting MPs face a fight, or the ruling parties fancy their chances.

And plenty of accusations of pork barrel politics.

 

The re-announcement

There will be announcements – but there will also be re-announcements. With a limited pot of cash, there is limited wriggle room for big giveaways. Politicians will be repackaging announcements about big plans announced years ago.

 

Local links

Not all the contenders for Westminster will hail from the patch, but they may wish to give that impression.

Beware the literature or letter not quite making it clear that an address is a constituency office, rather than home mailing address.

And prepare for the tenuous local link – the distant relative, support for the local football team, or nostalgia about family visits all those years ago.

There will be some asking for your vote who are “not from around these parts” – but they may want you to think they are.

 

Difficult issues will be dodged

There will be announcements – but there will also be re-announcements. With a limited pot of cash, there is limited wriggle room for big giveaways. Politicians will be repackaging announcements about big plans announced years ago.

 

May 8 - the calm after the storm.

All will go quiet in the days after the election.

But there is a strong possibility there will not be an outright winner.

The circus might well start again later this year.

 

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus