When David Cameron became PM in 2010, it became law that the election would be held every five years on May 7th. No more tedious speculation from the pundits before the date was announced. What we got instead were four months of campaigning that has plunged most of us into a coma. By May 7th it’ll be surprising if voter turnout hits double figures.
Closer to home, things have been more restrained.
A month ago, the Libdems sent me a jolly newsletter alerting me to the fact that my MP had done a Number of Good Things. Since then they’ve sent two more, plus a polite personal letter (not as polite as the ones my Nigerian bank manager sends).
To date, the Conservatives have managed to squeeze out one leaflet. The others have produced nothing. Presumably the dog ate them. Or perhaps the messy pile of leaves in my front porch is a subtle message from the Greens.
I’m not entirely sure who all the candidates are. I know the Tory is a smiley woman, which was a surprise; I’m not certain many local Tories know that women were allowed to vote. She seems to be a doctor because she has her photograph taken in front of Westmorland General rather a lot. Come to think of it, the LibDem's Big Tim is there so much he’s probably a qualified surgeon by now.
I do know that the original UKIP chap resigned - but then UKIP gets through candidates so fast it’ll soon have to start importing them.
It’s time I found out more. Who are they all? Do they have any policies? Do any of them have an original thought in their head?
Tonight at 7.15 I will confront them all personally at Kendal College. Not on my own (the blog isn’t that influential) but as part of an audience at the Westmorland Gazette debate. I’ll tweet my impressions (@colinshelbourn) and you can follow along via the #WGdebate hashtag.
In tomorrow’s blog, we’ll look at how the candidates performed.