If it hadn’t been for the poor weather – and the distinct odour – you could have been forgiven for thinking it was steam rising from the crowd. It was, in fact, a cloud of cannabis smoke that billowed up from the 1,000 people gathered at Hyde Park in London at 4.20pm.
The Channel 4 News anchor Jon Snow has reported elections from emerging democracies and authoritarian regimes. But he cannot recall a British poll in which journalists have been so thoroughly obstructed from doing their jobs.
Forget Worcester Woman or Mondeo Man, the classic swing voter courted so assiduously by the parties at previous elections. The UK is changing so fast that a diverse new group of “kingmaker seats” will decide whether David Cameron or Ed Miliband is Prime Minister next month.
If last week’s leaders’ debate taught the voters anything, it is that a new political sisterhood has taken shape. In the absence of David Cameron and Nick Clegg, it was the Scottish Nationalists, Greens and Plaid Cymru who grabbed the centre of the Westminster stage – and marked their closeness with a group hug when the BBC credits rolled.