100 days to bring the general election to life

I won’t know what to do with myself in 100 days’ time.

For the first time in 30 years, I won’t have been involved in covering a general election.

I’ve enjoyed virtually every minute of the seven I’ve either covered directly or organised the coverage of.

Even Tony Blair’s famous 1997 landslide, at which the chicken pox that I’d caught off one of my son’s friends began to emerge at around 5am.

There’s nothing quite like the sense of anticipation at an election count.

And nothing quite like the unique team spirit that emerges from all-nighters fuelled by pizza, coffee and the nervous wait for news from far-flung civic centres.

It’s great to see my politics reporter friends throwing themselves into preparation for what looks like the most unpredictable election in at least a generation.

And I’m trying to encourage younger reporters facing their first general election while also studying for public affairs exams to throw themselves into the whole thing.

Particularly as we now have more social media and web tools to bring our coverage to life than ever before.

Elections should be exciting, energising celebrations of a hard-fought democracy.

And we should do all we can to galvanise interest in them.

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