Ellis Hyde Headshot. Image credit: Lydia Ransome

Salford Now journalist Ellis Hyde gives his opinion on the election campaign we have just witnessed:

Though we have seen our fair share of wariness in the electorate in these past few years, this election marked a new period of distrust between us and the institutions we have rely on.

As the votes of yet another General Election are counted and we look forward to a new political era we should take a moment reflect on the campaign.

In truth, it is difficult to find anything new to say about it. Largely because of how repetitive this campaign has been to those held in 2015 and 2017.

Their similarities have allowed them to simply meld into one repetitious mass, becoming indistinguishable from one another.

Yet, there is one aspect shared between both the campaigning by all candidates this year and the media’s coverage of it which separates this campaign from those before: their focus on ‘battle constituencies’.

It seems to have been accepted that the parties can simply ignore large portions of the electorate because of their previous voting patterns.

A facet taken from the questionable American electoral college system, this fixation upon a select few of the 650 constituencies for their potential to change the entire outcome of the election has only furthered the alienation felt by many voters.

Politicians who have chosen to actively ignored areas of the country due to their previous voting habits can only be described as insulting. Many members of the electorate have had to simply accept their vote will have little impact.

On top of this, the often viscous tone of the campaign has only further alienated the mainstream.

Of course I understand that British politics has never prided itself on its displays of niceties during these campaigns. But this time there has been little respect or understanding between participants.

I often found myself pushing this election to the back of my mind. Knowing that barring any major calamities, missteps or stereotype altering announcements from any of the major political parties that is where it would remain.

And I’m pretty sure I’m not alone, with many fellow voters simply sticking to their previous voting habits and others totally withdrawing from any part of this election.

That isn’t to say this election has not seen a vast amount of involvement and engagement from those across the political spectrum. As always, a majority of that discussion coming from those repulsed by the notion of accepting any opinion different from their own like the flurry of political pundits dominating the election coverage, and those on platforms like Twitter.

Politics is a game that thrives upon the division of the electorate. It separates them so candidates may appeal only to their individuals’ specific views; whether that be Brexit, the NHS or security. And this year it has simultaneously bored us with repetition and stunned us with its vitriol, and we have sadly accepted this.

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