With polls suggesting it’s going to be a close one, the country barely out of the grips of a recession and a focus on issues such as tax, the NHS and changes to the electoral system, it’s looking a lot like the 1992 election.
So we’ve decided to run an interesting exercise via social networking site, Twitter. In the run up to this year’s General Election, we’ll be tweeting news from the 1992 election that occurred at the same point during the 1992 cycle – reflecting where the 2010 campaign echoes the 1992 one, and teasing out what makes Kinnock-Major-Ashdown different from Cameron-Clegg-Brown.
This will give you the chance to compare what’s going on, and maybe even get an indication of the kind of result we can expect: will the current Labour Government pull a rabbit out a hat to stay in power - like John Major's Conservatives did back in 1992? Could the opposition party do what the polls suggest and win a victory after three straight defeats at the ballot box? Or will the pundits who suggest nobody will take a clear victory turn out to be right, delivering the nation a hung parliament?
To sign up to see our daily tweets (and don’t worry, we won’t be bombarding you with them, only two or three a day) start following twitter.com/openuniversity (if you don’t already), and look out for the tweets preceded with #OU_92rwd.
We’ll also be featuring blogs from Open University academics offering an expert guide to the wider political context - ranging from electoral reform to the ethics of politics - so keep an eye out.
Fancy seeing what else is going on in the Twitterverse and the web in general around politics? Check out these:
Tweetminster - Tweetminster offers up a load of feeds, data and expertise, from rounding up tweets from MPs, government departments, journalists and more, to seeing if there’s a correlation between Twitter buzz and the election outcome.
Vote For Policies - This nifty website compares policies from six UK political parties on a range of key issues. You just indicate which ones you agree with then it shows you which parties they belong to. It also gives an insight into what other people think.
Tweetlection - Tweetlection harvests and analyses thousands of tweets each day so that you can see what Tweeters have been saying about the three main political parties in the past seven days.
They Write For You - A ‘mashup’ showing the influence of British MPs in newspapers, highlighting those MPs who have written newspaper articles, and the potential influence of party politics in mainstream media.
Democracy Club - The aim of this site is to encourage people to work together on larger goals by splitting them into smaller, more local chunks.
The Straight Choice - A collection of political party leaflets dropped through people’s letterboxes.
They Work For You - A comprehensive database of local MPs, Lords, debates and more, allowing you to keep tabs on what’s going on in the political arena.
Your Next MP – Use this site to learn more about your political candidates and also pass your own information on about them too.
Democracy Live - BBC collection of debates from the UK and European parliament and national chambers, and explanations of how the system works.