So that’s it. The election campaign has (all but) finished. There’s only today left for the seemingly ceaseless promising and politicking.
I say only today but if the polls are believed then there will be a few days of horse-trading and 24-hour news coverage of tired men in suits coming out of buildings.
That’s a weekend we can all look forward to ...
So who will win? That’s harder to say as it appears the winner may not be the winner. I don’t think I’ve made myself clear.
Throughout this election campaign the leaders of the two main parties have been at pains to point out they are aiming for a majority and to not enter in any sort of coalition, as was the case after the last election.
The smaller parties, on the other had, have been keen to point out that there will be a coalition and the main parties are fooling themselves.
It is this second view which has gained traction in both the media and public perception and now it appears everyone believes there will be a coalition.
This is a sea change in British politics. Before the last election no-one could envisage two parties joining together to run the country.
Now no-one can’t believe it won’t happen.
Prophets of doom a few years ago predicted the demise of the British economy and the end of the world as we knew it if no single party took power. These days, all the notion of a political marriage of convenience brings is a shrug of the shoulders and a minor raise of the eyebrows.
But does this political plurality benefit the voter or are we even more disenfranchised from the Westminster elite?
It’s hard to call. The honest answer is that in most constituencies your vote doesn’t actually matter.
So should we go the whole hog and change the voting system to something, in theory, fairer like AV where your votes is worth more?
Well, we had a vote in 2011 and the public rejected the change from our current first past the post system out of hand.
The referendum on changing the voting system would have resulted in the business of government becoming ever more fractured with coalition being the norm rather than the exception.
And yet here we are with voters saying we don’t want a change to the system that would result in more coalitions – and then going and (seemingly) voting in such a way to deliver a coalition.
Has party politics changed forever in the UK due to the coalition?
I don’t think so. Coalitions seem to be the rage when the times are bad but when times pick up it appears that whoever delivers that upswing will get a landslide.
That’s why this election is so important. Whoever wins this time is likely to make more cuts to begin with but will see a better economic position over the new few years.
That means that it could be you are voting for a government for 2015 to 2020 but in theory you could be laying the building blocks for at least a decade of one party being in power.
If your choice wins, all well and good, but if they don’t then it could be a long decade.