The Westminster election campaign is a week too long. Polling is not until next Thursday, but already there is nothing left to say.
We know who is standing (and who is not). We know what they stand for. We have read as many of their campaign promises as we can stomach. We know they aren't telling the truth, and know that they'll never be caught out. We know who we are going to vote for.
So what are we waiting for?
Another week of this phoney war is not going to change anyone's mind. Politicians and their supporters will simply spend another week repeating the same mantras, harassing innocent householders on their doorsteps and polluting the environment with their posters. For nothing. Because an election tomorrow will give the same result as one next week.
Even the 'big news' in Britain – the LibDem surge – is not likely to change much, so it is unlikely that Britain needs the extra week either. All that is likely is voter-fatigue brought on by yet another stage-managed panel discussion or yet another slick party election broadcast. At best, and this is unlikely, the extra week will provide enough time for someone – anyone – to slip up and say or do something newsworthy. But politics is so controlled and marketed nowadays that a true 'game-changer' is not likely to happen. In its absence the campaign is becoming boring.
As far as 'persuading' the voters is concerned, the extra week is pointless – Northern Ireland's voters knew who they would vote for several months ago – many knew years ago.
The most charitable explanation for the over-long election timetable is that the Electoral Office needs the time to print and distribute the ballot papers. If so, patience is required, but another week of this will test the patience of even the most enthusiastic.