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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 May, 2005, 21:45 GMT 22:45 UK
Is this campaign the most boring ever?
Pensioners sleeping on a Bournemouth beach
The Sun newspaper has described the election campaign as the "most boring ever" with voters turned off by dull debates and lacklustre leaders.

The Labour supporting tabloid is not alone, with several other papers complaining that the campaign has little to set pulses racing.

An YouGov opinion poll for Sky News carried out just after the election was announced, found that 63% of those questioned stated that they had found the recent campaigning "boring".

Do you find the campaign boring? Or are you sick of this complaint? What, if anything, would inspire you to take more interest? Are the parties avoiding the issues important to you? Send us your suggestions to liven up the campaign using the form on the right.

BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO

Dr Martin Farr, political historian at Newcastle University answered your questions on voter apathy. Click on the link to watch the video.

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.


The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

It's no wonder people are bored with election coverage and campaigning. We've had four years to watch the parties at work and a few weeks of frantic point-scoring and self-publicising is probably not of much interest to the general public.
Hannah, London

Not boring, just predictable with the main parties rolling out the same old rhetoric time after time - making grand promises, and not delivering.
Gareth Stafford, Chesterfield, Derbyshire

This is the stuff Hollywood producers would fight over
John Emson, Watford, Hertfordshire
Boring? I beg to disagree, this election has everything. The release of the documents today on Iraq has only added to the spice! This is the stuff Hollywood producers would fight over.
John Emson, Watford, Hertfordshire

How can it be boring when I wake up to find the party sign outside my house has been ripped out of the ground and thrown into the road? Only an election can bring that sort of passion and stupidity at the same time.
David Mercier, Kent, UK

Of course it's boring - look at our choice of candidates, none of them can really answer a question properly. They are so out of touch with reality, it's a disgrace.
Maria Cornell, Leominster, UK

Bored, no. Exasperated and utterly fed up with the spin and drivel, yes. We have no means of making a formal abstention, so it really isn't any wonder that the British populace are expressing their distaste by simply not voting. It's not apathy, it's disgust.
Kate, Bristol

In student union elections we have an option of 'Re-Open Nomination', in case none of the candidates is any good. I think we should have that option at the general election, seeing as listening to the different parties is like theme and variations rather than anything original!
Helen, Cambridge, UK

We're just all getting too cynical about the whole process
Steve, UK
Not boring, we're just all getting too cynical about the whole process. I blame the media, we're bombarded by this stuff 24/7. No wonder we're switched off.
Steve, UK

"Parties only target marginal seats." I live and work in one of the top ten marginals. I have had no Labour or Lib Dem campaign literature and neither party has canvassed me. The Tories have tried a little harder. Labour in particular should be ashamed. They have either given up or are complacent. Neither explanation does their candidate any credit.
Molly Twomlow, Monmouth, Wales

As this is the first time I have voted in a general election, I think that it would be better if there was more television coverage, debates etc so that I can make an informed decision. At the moment I'm wondering what the difference is between the different parties.
Adele Barakat, Hyde, Cheshire

I think it would be wrong to say that the election campaign is boring, they aren't meant to be a fun fair ride. However, I am having trouble believing any party this time round. So much pettiness and not enough real issues discussed. Hence I am going for the tactical vote. I know who I don't want in.
Charlotte, Maidstone

Boring, no. Crucial, yes
James, Norwich
Boring, no. Crucial, yes. I personally can't wait for the Question Time special tomorrow night to see them fighting it out, although a joust would be even better. I personally think Tony Blair is the best prime minister we have had or are likely to have. British voters seem to very quickly forget the disasters of the Tory years.
James, Norwich

Boring yes, but at least it doesn't go on for two years like in the US. After four weeks of this, the snooker World Championship will seem like an adrenalin rush.
Michael, Glasgow

Election campaigns are not boring, far from it. I enjoy watching and listening at every opportunity. But I do find the new Conservative poster rather distasteful. They're not known as the nasty party for nothing.
Kathy, Exeter

As an American, I must admit that I have hardly noticed the election even though I'm in the UK. The campaign needs more formal "town hall" style debates. A half-hour show on the radio this Sunday just isn't enough. It should be covered on prime time TV, and needs to be 90 minutes long at least so that voters can hear the candidates answer some tough questions.
Alan, London

I think the election campaign would liven up if there were more debates, more interviews with the likes of Paxman. I like nothing more than seeing politicians under fire, and seeing how they cope with the pressure.
Phil Lowe, Chesterfield

I think that the campaign is fascinating. What drives Michael Howard, at 63, to go to such lengths to obtain power? He seems to be oblivious of what he is revealing about his own character. What makes Tony Blair think it worthwhile to continue after all the abuse of himself and his family?
J Westerman, Leeds

Most people's votes do not matter and parties only target the marginal seats
Philip Bottomley, Ashtead, Surrey
Not one poster in our neighbourhood. Of course it's a Tory enclave so nobody bothers. Perhaps the lack of interest is due to the current system - most people's votes do not matter and parties only target the marginal seats. Small wonder it's such a bore and we're all turned off. Vive proportional representation where we all get a say and democracy is re-established in this country.
Philip Bottomley, Ashtead, Surrey

I don't understand why anyone can find this election boring or why many people seem to think that the party policies are all similar - what a load of rubbish - there are massive differences if you bother to listen and look. Just take taxes as one example - vote Labour or Lib Dem and we will certainly see tax rises - vote Tory and we will all see some tax cuts - clear enough for you!!
Steve Plank, Bracknell, UK

Not boring, but Labour and the Tories have made it despicable. Especially Michael Howard. He has behaved deplorably. I am very interested, but unfortunately it's same old same old from Labour, and what appears to be hate and scaremongering from the Tories. This isn't an election campaign, it's a schoolyard brawl. I'm glad I don't support either of these two bullies.
Jennifer Hynes, Plymouth, UK

What the politicians need to do is to become more accessible to the people
Gemma Robinson, Haywards Heath
As a 15 year old currently attempting to follow the campaign with the enthusiasm the politicians are trying to encourage, I have to admit , despite knowing that who is voted for may well affect my future, I fail to be impressed. The policies seem abstract and confusing. I can find little that will have a direct affect on me. What the politicians need to do is to become more accessible to the people; to explain directly, clearly and without spin or lies, how the policies will affect them.
Gemma Robinson, Haywards Heath

Not boring, but certainly repetitive. It would help if all parties at least attempted to draw in voters outside of their target groups by having policies on all major issues. For instance, the Conservatives have based their whole campaign on five key policies - these have been talked about so much that people are beginning to switch off.
Sarah, Stirling

Unlike the US elections there are no high points to look forward to, no conventions and no debates. It is just five weeks of rather flat and repetitive campaigning. What we need is some good ol' American razzmatazz!
Gherkin, Orpington, UK

If you want to liven things up a tad, the media, and big corporations like the BBC should start doing more interviews with minor parties. With people such as Kilroy Silk, and let him of the leash to throw a few grenades around about Europe and watch the sparks fly. After all that's why it's so boring, it's because Europe dictates 70% of our legislation and the politicians can only rattle on about the remaining 30% which they can actually do anything about.
Kev Walton, Leeds

I'm not sure that you can liven up politics. It has a reputation for being a dishonest trade at the best of times. Elections are just full of extra spin with some fancy adverts trying to tell us how much they care.
Sarah, Manchester

There's certainly no talk of the election where I work or where I spend my leisure time because it's simply too dull to discuss.
Ollie Reed, Manchester

Not boring, more like non-existent
Mark Adams, Pontypridd, Wales
Not boring, more like non-existent. Nine days before the election, I've not received a single visit from any party nor had any literature through my front door.
Mark Adams, Pontypridd, Wales

Yes, it bores me to tears. Each party and their policies seem as similar as each other. They seem more bothered about getting into power than what is really good for this country.
D Clark, Cambridge

Not boring! But we need more televised debate. Where is the presenter provoking talk on controversial issues between rival MPs? The public aren't as stupid as they are treated by the media. Our vote determines the future of key issues to do with the country we live in.
Charlotte, Horley, UK

The election is boring because there is no real difference between the parties. With the parties repeating the same right-wing mantra, and not partaking in real debate, how can it ever be interesting?
Ross, Notts

Politics isn't there to entertain you
Craig, London
Politics isn't there to entertain you - it is there to make majority decisions on policy issues and the direction of the country.
Craig, London

No, it is not! It is arguably the most fascinating for years with every possibility of Tony Blair getting his just desserts.
John Jay, Walton on Thames

Given the similarities between the parties the deciding factor seems to be which leader the public mistrusts the least. Hardly a flagpole to hang British democracy on is it?
Jim Kirk, Basildon UK

With the internet available to most people there is no reason why people can't look beyond the media sound bites and find out the truth about party policies for themselves. As for people who say it is boring, what do they want? An American style campaign where the party with the richest sponsors get the most publicity?
Michael, London

More playground than parliament
Simon Randal, London England
How can the British public have faith in politicians when they spend much of the time rubbishing the opposition! More playground than parliament! Everyone should vote, even if it is to put a cross in an empty box to mark their disgust at the way this country is being managed!
Simon Randal, London England

After being fed a diet of scandal and sleaze by TV and the printed media for so many years, no wonder many members of the great British public find anything as sensible as important political issues boring, they simply do not understand them.
Michael Mciver, Hastings England

Today, politicians address gatherings of the faithful and engage in mutual back-slapping. There are no hustings any more, there's no real debate, just lots of mud-slinging, accusations and counter accusations. Yes, it's terribly boring and a huge turn-off. I will, however, still cast my vote as I have always done.
Brian, UK

How many of these people who complain about the campaign being boring have actually been involved in the campaign? I've been out canvassing with my local Lib Dem candidates and the majority of voters had plenty to say for themselves. Doesn't sound like a bored public to me!
Joe Chick, Ipswich

I have to admit I really enjoy the extra political coverage during an election campaign. It's basically the only time that politicians will allow themselves to be grilled on any number of issues. The rest of the time they just issue soundbites.
Rob, Bath

I'm going Raving Loony this time. The main party candidates are not trying to sell ideas and philosophies that they believe in. They are trying to say whatever they think us voter mugs want to hear at this particular moment. This is why they sound opportunistic and are all saying the same things. I think they regard elections as a sort of feeding time for the penguins. A bit of fun but when it's over they can get back to the real job of pursuing their own agendas.
Martin, Wokingham

This idea that the election campaign is boring is something created by the media
David Black, Dundee
This idea that the election campaign is "boring" is something created and perpetuated by the media. The newspapers find politics "boring" if there are no petty sensationalistic stories to rant on about; these storm-in-a-teacup stories are usually of no political importance whatsoever. This election has interested me more than the last one already due to the real and important issues involved.
David Black, Dundee, Scotland

Not boring, rather alarming. The three parties are all saying the same things about the same issues. Reason? Because they are all targeting the same floating voters in the same marginal constituencies. They have done their market research, they know what this small sect desires, and the rest of us can go hang. Where is political ideology today?
Chas Knight, Duxford

The election can be interesting if you believe your vote may go towards making a difference. These are politicians not celebrities, so they are supposed to inform not entertain, that's an added bonus if they do!
A. Wilson, Cheltenham

A party political system that nobody trusts
Craig Sim, Aberdeen
I disagree. We are not bored, or apathetic. I am frankly insulted by the campaign of adverts that claim that if you are not interested in politics, you cannot be interested in anything (not the best way to motivate voters, do you think?). If the ballot paper had the option to abstain and vote for 'None of the Above', I submit that you would see a massive backlash against a party political system that nobody trusts.
Craig Sim, Aberdeen

The Sun says it's boring. Perhaps real news and real issues are too much for the Sun journalists to understand. The Sun, the Times and the BBC could try reporting the truth occasionally not just what Campbell wants published.
Keith, Shefford

What would encourage me to vote is if we fired all these "professional" politicians who really have no idea of the real world and replaced them with hard working people who already proved themselves in private or public life. And being a successful accountant/lawyer doesn't count!
Sam, London

Not boring at all! I love the build up to elections, but this one is one of the best in my lifetime. Michael Howard and his party sleepwalking off the cliff top of defeat is something to actually stay up all night to watch. The more the Tories talk about winning the funnier they look, roll on May 5th.
Neil D, Birmingham

As a 19 year old first time voter I have to say the campaign is incredibly boring
Peter, Berkshire
As a 19 year old first time voter I have to say the campaign is incredibly boring. I've looked closely at what the three main parties have to offer and they are so similar I won't even bother voting for them. I'll be voting for the Green Party, who at least seem to be a bit different than the main three. It's a pity there isn't any real ideological differences between the main parties anymore, at least then it would feel like we were getting a real choice.
Peter, Berkshire

Is the campaign boring? It most certainly is. My intellect (such as it is) has not been so insulted since the last election campaign. In fact the mediocrity of this one surpasses every other one that I've been able to vote in since 1979. There are no radical policies; there are no gems, no choices, no subtleties and worst of all, no substantial arguments that really define the difference between the Meek Mild.
Trevor, Colchester, UK

Typical! The tabloids call it boring, really encouraging people to vote. They spend the rest of the time trying to destroy the interesting politicians, those with some skeletons and then complain about the quality of politician. Most worrying of all is the overriding political influence of the media.
Dave G, Hereford UK

It's the same every time. Just like a school playground each party promises the world, but won't tell you how it will work, whilst rubbishing the others. One day a party will realise that putting a clear message across properly shown will get people to agree or disagree with them. Constantly telling half truths, using vague figures and references are not going to work.
Dave, Thatcham

When the system is so undemocratic, is it any wonder? I won't be voting - there is no point given I do not live in a marginal constituency.
Ian, UK

Can anyone really remember an election campaign that was full of life
Michael, Birmingham
I have been thoroughly engaged in this campaign. The conferences and rallies have been dignified, in depth and well thought out and the Paxman interviews were simply fantastic. I look forward to Question Time on Thursday which sees Blair, Howard and Kennedy faced with voters questions. Our way is far better than the American way who just seem to win voters by throwing even bigger parties. Besides, can anyone really remember an election campaign that was full of life?
Michael, Birmingham

The sad thing about this campaign is that there appears to be very little dividing any of the parties on any issue. Therefore it's hard to be excited when whoever gets into power will be exactly the same!
Fraser, Aberdeen

The media are as much to blame by covering every aspect for a whole month, so it's no wonder people get bored. Every interviewer asks the same questions, which in turn only receive the same "well, let's look at the whole issue here" answers. The only parts I have watched so far with interest were the Paxman interviews.
Ross, UK

Apart from the odd spat, it's remarkably content free. The parties are skirting round any important issue and the people seem to accept it all. I predict a low turnout.
David Ball, Wokingham, UK

What's boring is the feeling that there is no real alternative being offered
Nicola, Leven, Scotland
What's boring is the feeling that there is no real alternative being offered. It's time we were able to vote for a party that has real concern for the environment, ethical foreign policy and no interest in point scoring and name calling. And for that vote to be able to effect real regime change.
Nicola, Leven, Scotland

They need to stop avoiding the real issues people care about. People might start taking some notice then.
Dean, Maidenhead, UK

Yes - I'll be glad when it's all over and done with. For the first time I'm unsure who to vote for, and am no closer than I was when the election was called.
Robbie H, UK

Any election campaign where the result is such a foregone conclusion is bound to be boring. If the next government wants to fire the next general election campaign they should introduce proportional representation and make each and every vote count.
Brian, Lancashire

Why should it be interesting? This is about deciding who's best to run the country, not Pop Idol.
Nick Mazonowicz, Bydgoszcz, Poland

The campaign is repetitive and dull. There has been no real debate about principles and the Tories have just focused on narrow issues which are of personal importance to Mr Howard but not to the majority of the electorate.
Liz, Worthing, West Sussex

Disgusting would be a more accurate description than boring for this campaign. That Michael Howard should get into the gutter and indulge in character assassination was to be expected. That Charles Kennedy would jump in with him was a considerable surprise.
J Westerman, Leeds

Yes, boring because it is so stage-managed. The parties are controlling what is discussed, how and by whom. Hence, for example, no hecklers or questions, please, at Labour party meetings. And was I the only one to spot the placards being offloaded from John Prescott's bus at a Gloucester factory today, to be given to "workers" who greeted him with them when he emerged minutes later? Labour, in particular, have been treating us as irrelevant idiots. Serves them right, then, if the electorate rebels and gives them a "bloody nose".
Harry Hall, Chippenham, Wilts





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