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Has Cameron already lost the general election?


As the closest general election in decades comes to a close this week on May 7, The Vote and Sherlock writer Mark Gatiss asks whether Cameron has already lost his place in Downing Street....

This election seems to fall in between political generations. Some people are saying the system is irretrievably f*cked, but I don’t think so. We have been here before – we had 1974 with two elections, then a revolution in Thatcher then Blair. It’s a cycle of reinvention. I don’t think we should bid goodbye to the big parties yet – people still vote for the two biggest parties.

It’s just that you don’t get the sense that any party is overburdened with talent. Both parties need a cleansing of the stables – there’s a tiredness about it.

Cameron’s heart isn’t in it. Clegg is coming out of it well as a debater, but his party is tainted by power, and I think Miliband is doing a lot better because expectations were so low, but he’s still robotic and I’m not sure he seems prime ministerial.

I don’t think there will be a runaway victor. It feels like someone’s waiting for someone else to make a big cock-up – that’s the only thing that would change
the narrative.

The actual campaign rarely changes anything. The polls have been neck and neck forever. I can’t see how they would magically change on election day.

I believe very strongly that if someone with proper weight and welly came along, anything could happen – people would engage. Unfortunately, I think that person’s going to be Boris Johnson. He has weight, but he disguises his steeliness beneath this clownish façade, which he manages to convince the public is real. It’s cynical, but incredibly effective. It’s like snooker players – people say they have no personality any more, so if one with any personality at all comes along, they like him.

Mark Gatiss is in The Vote, 7 May at 8.30pm on More4, follow him Twitter here.

Check out the rest of Shortlist Magazine's General Election special below

Peter Hitchens

Owen Jones

Will Self

Michael Deacon

Alastair Campbell

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Simon Jenkins

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