As someone who’s worked on the last eight general elections I can’t help thinking this one has been a bit of a bore, a pretty poor show.

Elections are meant to be a forum for debate, a time for us to tackle our politicians outside their Westminster bubble, a time for fun and – most of all – a time for us to choose who represents us.

But here we are – now making that choice – and where are the big radical ideas, soaring rhetoric, the cut and thrust head-to-head battle? It’s all been rather ‘meh’.

We know of course from her own lips that this election was primarily to try to strengthen Mrs May’s Brexit hand.

But actually the campaign has been fairly Brexit free. Come to think of it, it’s been fairly free of anything.

The interview Mrs May gave to the Plymouth Herald pretty much summed it up:

Are you getting worried?

“I’m very clear that this is a crucial election for this country.”

Plymouth is feeling the effects of military cuts. Will you guarantee to protect the city from further pain?

“I’m very clear that Plymouth has a proud record of connection with the armed forces.”

How will your Brexit plan make Plymouth better off?

“I think there is a better future ahead for Plymouth and for the whole of the UK.”

Will you promise to sort out our transport links?

“I’m very clear that connectivity is hugely important for Plymouth and the south west generally.”

Answers worthy of Peter Mannion, the hapless fictional minister in ‘The Thick Of It’.

And there’s plenty more where that came from:

The Conservative leader, asked by ITV’s Julie Etchingham what’s the naughtiest thing she’d ever done? Answer: as a child she ran through a wheat field. Seriously?! Not even one too many sweet sherries on Boxing Day?

Jeremy Corbyn gave us some fun – transferring from grumpy Uncle Jeremy to relaxed One Show jam-giving sofa guest Jez – but the Labour manifesto prompted big questions about where the money to pay for it would come from.

Following the London terror attack, the Shadow Home Secretary, Diane Abbott, was asked by Sky News’ Dermot Murnaghan for her thoughts on London’s preparedness and resilience. She said we should look at London’s preparedness and resilience. And best to draw a veil over her LBC interview about police numbers.

Tim Farron got caught up for days over whether he thought gay sex is a sin; in Scotland, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has barely mentioned Indyref2, the possibility of which was raised only weeks before by, er, the SNP.

In Wales, Leanne Wood soldiers on despite being mistaken for the American actor Natalie Wood by UKIP’s Paul Nuttall whose party itself – like an unfortunate male spider – faces extinction now its job is done.

So what’s happening here?

The problem can only be either a lack of conviction, or a lack of speaking with conviction.

Too many are over-rehearsed, overly-cautious, performing U-turns and pin-head dances with one eye on the front page of the Daily Mail.

Compare our lot to Emmanuel Macron and even Donald Trump. For better or worse, these are politicians who say what they mean and have the electoral success to show for it.

The political media pack have faithfully followed the campaigns, as they must, but as election-lovers there’s a general feeling of ennui.

Back here yesterday, a lorry carrying a giant Conservative party advert proclaiming ‘Strong and stable’ was blown over in the wind.

Armando Iannucci himself couldn’t make it up.

 

Kate McAndrew is Senior Counsel at Cicero Group. These are her personal views.

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