On Sunday Politics there was the discussion on whether ornot a long political campaign is going to benefit the parties and it got methinking. This week will bring us within a 100 days of the general election andI, like many others, am still undecided on who to vote for.

Personally I think the number of safe seats is reducing andthe number of swing voters is increasing. This means that on the whole theparties need to make their message the strongest and most appealing overallrather than just targeting the specific portion of society that relates totheir political stances.

The lines have become very blurred over the years withthe parties no longer being left wing and right wing but instead centre rightand centre left. The main problem being that while some of their policiesoverlap it is the more extreme policies which we often hear trumpeted.

It is this uncertainty that leads me to be in two frames ofmind towards the long campaign. To be perfectly honest it is probably safe tosay that most people have a low threshold as to how much politics can be pushedin their faces before they get bored.

So that means if a campaign runs for too longyou may find people voting on part rather than all of a campaign, you also riskencouraging apathy and leading to low turnout at the polls.

Whereas the other side of the coin, is that by extending theamount of time where a full campaign is being run you have time to actuallyhear about and learn all the policies that the parties are going to stand for.

Italso means that rather than being swept away by a month of promises andhyperbole, we get three months of measured delivery offering the chance toquestion and investigate.

The European Elections last year are probably responsiblefor this move towards longer campaigns. Since then, all the parties havestepped up their game. It was rather a turn up for the books when UKIP overtookall three main political parties.

It has also led to some rather sweepingstatements to be made e.g. Labour: "we are going to cap gas prices", TheConservative's: "we promise an EU referendum", and even the Liberal Democrat’s: "wewant to invest in the NHS". Yes, these are all lovely promises; however, myquestion is how are they are going to go about them, where is the money goingto come from, and in the case of the EU what are the specific plans relating toeach possible outcome.

Hopefully, the long campaign will mean that the voters willhave time to ask pertinent questions, have a good overall perspective of the parties’policies, whilst also not creating an apathetic view leading to low turnout atthe Polls. 

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