There was speculation about Elections since Brown took over from Blair. At that time, he probably would have won. However, Brown had cold feet, and Cameron played a blinder in encouraging this - and Brown did not go to the country. Hindsight is a wonderful thing
I for one am getting heartily sick of this phony election campaign. We've been on an election footing since 2007, and it's getting old.
Parliament expires on May 10th, which would mean the latest date for an election is June 3rd. Parliament has never been allowed to expire, at least in modern times - to leave things that long would be a real sign of weakness from Brown. Local elections take place on May 6th, so that's the favoured date - as it'd minimise the cost of the election (anything else would immediately open Brown up to accusations of putting party before country and wasting taxpayers money).
At the moment we're in a bit of a 'lame duck' period. The current lot are on borrowed time - and using this time to push through things like the Digital Economy Bill (which has some very illiberal proposals, such as disconnection on suspicion, i.e. guilty until proven innocent, and forcing connection providers to monitor traffic).
All of the parties are avoiding going into full-on baby-kissing election mode, as to do so too soon would be to cause (even more) jadedness in the electorate.
This time around we're going to have leadership 'debates'. American style. Big deal. If you really want to impress, leaders, have a 'question time' style panel of members of the public. Don't have rules banning audience reaction and so on. I would hope that the audiences at these 'debates' won't be the quiet little sheep which the parties have agreed to. Yes, doing this is a risk - you may crash and burn, but you might excel. Having something totally controlled will guarantee mediocrity.
On top of all this, if, like most people, you live in a safe seat, your vote matters little. The relatively few floating voters in marginal seats have a big influence - at least we're promised some voting reform.... just like in 1997. The Electoral Reform Society have a new blog which has just started focussing on electoral reform in this election and beyond.
Here's a timetable for the election (written back in November, it may change).
I just want this election done and dusted. It's old already.
Whilst I'm posting on political issues - this is worth a read, it's a comparison of UKIP and BNP.