Since the start of 2014, once the festive telly had been put to bed, politicians have been popping up on our TV and radio schedules with the promise of presents for the 2015 election.
David Cameron kicked things off by promising a continuation of the pension ‘triple lock’ through to 2020, Ed Balls started praising Nick Clegg and endorsing Lib Dem policies around the mansion tax, George Osborne hinted that the minimum wage was set for a significant hike whilst Ed Miliband promised to cap the market share of our ‘big banks’ and return power to the people (or something along those lines anyway).
The problem of course with such a long ‘run in’ period is that politicians focused on campaigning do take their eyes off the ball of governing. With a fixed term parliament everyone knows when the election is and, as such, we are likely to suffer the same consequences as our American cousins. Across the Atlantic speculation on Presidential candidates begins shortly after inauguration day.
Unlike 2010, when coalition politics was a very different beast to what the media are used to, there will be huge pressure on all parties to reveal what policies are most important should the prospect of another coalition seem likely.
Unfortunately such coverage is likely to turn off all but the most avid politico – faith in the leaders of the three main parties is at an all time low – there is a mantle to be grasped and the party that does so will be the big winner in 2015.