Release the cliches: flying start or first round?
Thanks goodness for that. After months of phoney battles over who has the better plan for cutting Britain’s deficit (or indeed any plan), Gordon Brown will finally set the election date today.
The news has unleashed the usual cliches: “Brown to raise flag on May 6 poll race” said the Financial Times, “Let the race begin” called The Times, while The Sun pictured Brown after a weekend jog with the headline: “Phew! Exhausted Brown finally calls election. Cameron races to 10-point poll lead.”
I’m not sure if the race analogy quite works this time around, unless it’s with one of those terrifying ultramarathons that seems to go on and on. Races tend to end with a clear winner and it’s still not clear that when the nation wakes up on May 7 there’ll be any certainty about who the victor is.
Perhaps this year’s campaign will be more akin to a boxing match — and one that may ultimately be decided on points, rather than a knock out blow. ‘Thumping fist’ Brown versus nimble-footed Cameron — it’s a fascinating contest.