So, the starting gun has been fired in the election campaign in what is being billed as the closest election campaign for 30 years. Certainly, the opinion polls are doing nothing to dispute that billing with YouGov tonight showing a 10% Conservative advantage in contrast to ICM in The Guardian showing just a 4% advantage. No prizes for guessing which the news media focused on; alot of hype will be generated around this election as the BBC, ITV and Sky build to win high audience shares. If you have ever watched Sky Sports; where they hype the most inane events to the nth degree you get the idea although this time the hype is justified.
If Twitter is anything to go by then moral in all three camps is high;something to be expected at this stage. Labour activists seem to have taken well to the underdog zeal while both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats seeming a little more laid back but still keen and determined. Morale matters more for Labour and the Liberal Democrats who are more dependent for different reasons on their activist armies; the Conservative problem may well be matching this zeal.
Going back to the polls; they show an unusually high degree of volatility which more than anything tells us how close this race really is so the other magic ‘m’ word will be momentum. Policies and psychology are going to going to be key but what a winning party will need to do is seize this election is to start setting the agenda; showing confidence will be the key to winning it from and unsure and hesitant electorate. My feeling is that people are genuinely unsure what to do and therefore ‘swing’ voters – by their very nature, the most unsure and unstable, will show a high degree of volatility down to polling day. Blogging will of course continue throughout the election but I would like to wish Labour comrades the best of luck.