It’s official. The much-anticipated British General Election 2010 is coming. The BBC is primed and ready. In four weeks’ time, on May 6th, voters will leave their mark on ballot papers and elect the government for the next five years.
Brown, Cameron, Clegg et al are probably hoping that #GE2010 as it’s been dubbed on Twitter will see unprecedented levels of voter participation. Surely there’s nothing like a recession to make people vote?
But why on earth should we bothered at all?
GE2010 is likely to be a closely fought election. Despite the fears of a hung parliament or a coalition government, an election with no clear winner from the beginning of the campaign season is hugely interesting.
The last two elections have been a shoo-in for Labour, even the Foot and Mouth catastrophe of 2001 and the Iraq debacle which overshadowed 2005 didn’t really unsettle TB and New Labour. This time the future looks a lot more uncertain for Brown and his compadres.
The UK meets GE2010 in more turbulent times to the affluent noughties. The economy may be recovering but the recession is hardly over. People are still feeling the strain of falling house prices, redundancies and bankruptcies.
A generation of young people are beginning to find their voice and speak out. Whether it’s against the rise of extremist parties like the BNP or to criticise the main parties, there appears to be a growing number of twentysomethings preparing to cross their ballots.
For the first time in decades the Liberal Democrats could get a sniff of success. The chance of Nick Clegg walking through Number 10’s doors on May 7th is, let’s face it, unlikely, but 2010 could be the year his party get off the starting blocks. As a generation of disheartened, displaced and disenfranchised people realise the potential of their vote and use it, this could be the year of change.
Surely the British public will be inspired by the American Presidential election of 2008. Everyone dreamed that perhaps, just perhaps, the first African-American president would be elected. It might have been a closely fought battle but gradually it happened and millions of people watched as maps of America turned blue that November day. If this hasn’t roused a discouraged electorate, what can?
It’s been almost impossible for the last month to go anywhere without being faced with some reminder that there IS an election this year and YOU NEED REGISTER to vote. Bus shelters, TV, radio, even spotify. So what are you waiting for? Register. (You have to be on the electoral register 11 days before polling day to have your say.) Then sit back and wait for the rallies, the fights and the primed photo opportunities and make sure you go to the ballot boxes. Who knows what the next 30 days hold?
I know it’s been quiet around these parts recently but over the next few weeks I plan to document what looks to be one of the most enthralling elections of recent times and definitely of my lifetime.
As General Election 2010 creeps upon us amid a tornado of party political broadcasts and morale boosting rallies up a down the British Isles, face-to-face media combats and a generally public slanging match this blog will attempt to comment on the developments. At the very least there should be comment on the latest politician to receive an egg to the face. (My money’s on Nick Griffin.)
Stay tuned. To quote Terry Pratchett, “we live in interesting times.”
Brown, Cameron and Clegg image taken from independent.co.uk