10 Things We’ve Learnt From The Election Campaign

It's the closest election in a generation, and even if we don't have a clear winner tomorrow, here's what we learnt from this year's election campaign...

Election 2015 - What Did We Learn

by Vicky Spratt |
Published on

Today is the day. The campaigning is over and it’s time to vote. Across the country around 50,000 country village halls and community centres are serving as polling stations until 10pm this evening.

So, as we wait to find out who will run the country for the next five years what have we learned so far from this election?

1.We might not have a one party, majority government again for a long time…

Britain is a no longer a two party country where it’s a simple choice between left and right, Labour and Conservatives.

There are now six parties being talked about seriously – Labour, Conservatives, Greens, Ukip, SNP and the Lib Dems. This is confusing but it’s also a sign that people aren’t happy with the status quo and that our political landscape is changing.

2.Women are really cool…

Obviously we already knew this, in politics I mean. Social media erupted when three female party leaders, SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon, the Green’s Natalie Bennett and Plaid Cymru’s Leanne Wood, three-way hugged on stage after one of the debates, leaving Ed Miliband looking awk by the side on his ones.

We responded to this, we liked seeing it, it felt refreshing and hopefully there will be more of it in the future.

3.Actually… Ed Miliband is kind of cool too

In the past he’s been trolled a bit for just being him. But in April a 17 year old girl started the hashtag #Milifandom which allowed other ‘Milifans’ to declare their admiration for the Labour leader. Now he’s a #Milibae.

Also, last night Stephen Hawking said he’d be voting Labour because he thinks Ed is the best person to be Prime Minister. Katie Hopkins has already said she’ll leave the UK if he wins. So…

4. Celebrities talking about politics does make a difference…

Speaking of which….as much as we’d like to think they don’t, the opinions of celebrities do actually seem to matter.

Ed Miliband hanging out at Russell Brand’s house was a pretty big deal. He might have called for anarchy, revolution and told us not to vote but, ultimately, Brand succeeded in one thing…he got people, people who might not normally talk about this stuff, talking.

His late interview with Miliband was great, it was one of the few times it felt like we were seeing a politician say something meaningful during the campaign.

David Cameron was very dismissive of Ed’s decision, saying he was ‘too busy’ to hang out with the comedian. That be as it may, the MiliBrand interview has had 1,230, 116 views on Youtube…anyone catch David Cameron’s Buzzfeed interview?

5. Scottish Independence is still a thing and it does affect you

Last year’s Scottish referendum got people excited and engaged. They might have decided to stay in the Union with us (for now) but the question about Scottish Independence still looms large.

If the SNP (Scottish National Party), lead by Nicola Sturgeon, gain seats today, and they might, then stronger SNP presence at Westminster will affect us all. It’s also not impossible that we could end up with a Labour/SNP coalition if this happens.

6. David Cameron really wants to still be prime minister after Thursday. But he can’t say tampon out loud…

David Cameron has said he’s “pumped up” about the election. He feels “bloody lively” about being our Prime Minister again after today, apparently. But, it seems, there are some things he’s not been able to get so excited about.

Back in April the Prime Minister was at BBC Radio 1 by a group of listeners and he really seemed to struggle with one particular question…

When asked 'Is it morally right to charge tax on tampons?' he got in a bit of a fluster and answered without actually bringing himself to say the word tampon once.

'I wish we could get rid of this, there's a real problem,' he said.

When pressed to sort it out he continued '…I would like to live in a country where these things were not charged VAT on and if I could do it tomorrow.'

Dave, over half of the population of this country use ‘these things’, so maybe a good one to practice pronouncing?

7. Ukip’s support is fading…

For a while UKIP seemed to be doing pretty well. But then, it all began to fall apart.

They’ve slipped in the polls and even the Daily Mail (!), who had previously championed the party’s policies on several issues, said 'if Ukip candidates were as sound as most of their policies, this paper would be tempted to support the party.'

But, they aren’t sound at all and they’ve shown their true colours again and again.

Candidates have publically quit the party over 'bullying.' Another wrote on Facebook that the respected journalist Yasmin Alibahi-Brown 'needs a good shag' and would love 'a big black thing up her arse.' Charming.

And finally, just yesterday Robert Blay, UKIP candidate for North East Hampshire, was suspended for allegedly threatening to shoot his opponent.

Nigel Farage has admitted that the party does have some 'bad eggs.'

8. Young people are not actually disengaged at all…

Politicians are actually just really bad at engaging us. We might not join political parties in the traditional way that generations before us did but that doesn’t mean we aren’t interested. We want more from politicians than empty promises and meaningless spin.

The online discussion generated by Russell Brand’s comments or Rick Edwards’ book proves this.

9. When you vote today you probably shouldn’t take a selfie…

Just in case you were wondering (I was) it’s not technically illegal to take a selfie in the polling booth before or after you’ve voted. However, it’s probably not a great idea because it is illegal to reveal how someone else has voted, which could easily happen in a badly aimed selfie.

The Electoral Commission says: 'Due to the potential breach of the law, intentionally or not, we strongly advise against any form of photography taken inside a polling station.' So maybe wait and take an 'I just voted' pic once you’re back outside.

10. On a serious note… stories breaking around the world have felt a bit more important…

This election is very important. There’s no doubt about that. And we have to turn up and vote today.

But, there have been moments when non-election stories have put the mud-slinging between political parties in our country as they clamour to be in charge into pretty harsh perspective… refugees drowning in the Mediterranean , police shootings in Baltimore and earthquakes in Nepal.

Like this? You might also be interested in:

Still Undecided Who To Vote For? Here Are The Alternative Parties Running In The Election

We Spent The Day At Sky News To Find Out What Will Happen On Election Night

What Party Should You Vote For To Help Women?

**Follow Vicky on Twitter @victoria_spratt **

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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