POLITICS

General Election 2015: 100 Things To Mark 100 Days Until We Go To The Polls

27/01/2015 07:25 GMT | Updated 29/01/2015 08:59 GMT

Today marks 100 days to go until the general election, one of the most unpredictable in a generation. In recognition, or celebration, of that, here are 100 general things to think about when looking forward to May 7 2015.

1. No party has come back into government after just one term of opposition since 1979, when Margaret Thatcher beat Jim Callaghan. This is what Ed Miliband must achieve.

2. No matter what the results are, more than 1 in 10 MPs will be different (as at least 77 of the current ones have said they are standing down)

3. To beat Miliband, David Cameron must increase the Tory's share of the vote from 2010. No governing party has managed to do this since 1974. It is something neither Tony Blair nor Margaret Thatcher could achieve.

4. Miliband could become the first atheist prime minister of the UK.

5. Miliband is the shortest of the three main party leaders at 1.8m. Clegg and Cameron are a statuesque 1.85m, one inch shorter than the tallest ever prime minister, James Callaghan.

6. No two prime ministers have ever represented the same constituency.

7. Every prime minister has been a white Christian - even Jewish-born Benjamin Disraeli was baptised at age 12.

8. Since 1900, every single prime minister, apart from Edward Heath, has been married with children.

9. And since 1900, there have been 22 prime ministers.

10. But 13 of them have come to power without being voted in at a general election.

11. William Pitt the Younger became the youngest UK prime minister at the age of 24 in the late 18th Century.

12. 2015 is the first election since 2001 where the three main party leaders are under 50.

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Ed Miliband hopes to pull off being only a one-term opposition

13. This is the first election following a coalition government since 1945.

14. 59% of Labour MPs were educated at a state school, compared to 30% of Tory MPs and 26% of Lib Dems.

15. More young women would vote for Joey Essex as prime minister than Nick Clegg.

16. UK voter turnout in 2010 was 65.1%.

17. Looks win votes - an experiment related to 2010 British candidates showed that those who were more attractive were more likely to win.

18. The votes of non-white Britons could decide 168 seats in 2015.

19. There have been 21 by-elections since the 2010 general election.

20. Parliament needs 117 black and minority ethnic MPs to reflect the population, but only 27 are not white.

21. The most marginal seat in Great Britain is Hamstead and Kilburn, held by Labour's Glenda Jackson in 2010 by just 42 votes.

22. There are currently 148 female MPs.

23. There are currently 502 male MPs.

24. Sir Peter Tapsell, the 84-year-old Conservative MP for Louth and Horncastle, is the oldest serving MP.

25. The youngest MP is Pamela Nash, Labour MP for Airdrie and Shotts, she is 30.

26. Following the general election of 2010, the average age of an MP was 50.

27. One in ten of the MPs newly elected in 2010 had previously worked in the financial services sector.

28. 49% of MPs represent a constituency in the region they were born.

29. 24% of MPs were educated at Oxford or Cambridge.

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Cameron and Clegg in happier times

30. Labour has chosen an 18-year-old candidate, a politics Student at Sussex University, to contest Wealden, considered a Tory stronghold.

31. A 21-year-old Dundee student, will challenge Nick Clegg in the Lib Dem leader's Sheffield Hallam seat.

32. The Queen has a duty to dissolve Parliament on 30 March this year, thus marking the start of the formal election campaign.

33. The average service of MPs elected in 2010 is 3,226 days.

34. Charles Pelham Villiers served continuously for 63 years, 6 days.

35. MPs earn a salary of £67,060.

36. The combined ministerial and parliamentary salary of a Cabinet minister is £134,565.

37. The general election actually began on Friday December 19 - the start of the long campaign when spending is regulated.

38. Political parties spent £31.1m during the 2010 election.

39. The maximum amount of money that can be spent by a parliamentary candidate during the long campaign is £30,7000

40. There are 650 seats being contested in May. The Tories wanted this to be reduced to 600, but the Lib Dems torpedoed the plan.

41. The 'short campaign' is 25 days long.

42. When asked by YouGov what animal David Cameron most closely resembled, voters decided the prime minister was a snake.

43. However when a separate poll asked people what animal Ed Miliband was, a focus group replied: "One of those animals that, when you go to the zoo, you're not bothered whether you see it or not."

44. Nigel Farage meanwhile was seen as a "peacock or a weasel".

45. SNP MPs have traditionally voluntarily restrained from voting on English matters. However Nicola Sturgeon has indicated this will change after 2015 - opening the way for a Lab-SNP deal.

46. Two of the three main party leaders are likely to be toast after 2015. If Cameron or Miliband fail to become prime minister they will probably be kicked out by their parties, and Clegg could be done-for whatever the result.

47. In London, the Lib Dems have been pushed into fifth place for the first time since 2010.

48. Broadcasters have proposed three televised election debates on a 7-7-2 format. Under the plan David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg, Nigel Farage, Natalie Bennett, Nicola Strugeon and Leanne Wood would all take part in two debates. Cameron and Miliband would then face-off in the third. Warning: This changes daily.

49. Nigel Farage's mission to get at least a handful of Ukip MPs elected in May could be undermined by him losing his own contest in Thanet South.

50. While it passed the historic same-sex marriage legislation. The coalition has no gay cabinet ministers.

51. Ed Miliband has the 75th safest Labour seat with a majority of 26.3% over his nearest rival.

52. Miliband is the 33rd youngest of all serving Labour MPs.

53. Watch out for celebrity endorsements. One star that Miliband has in the bag is Harry Styles. "I'm a Labour supporter," he revealed recently. "I lean to the left. I'm for the people."

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A hug, but not a vote

54. Nick Clegg is a film star. Sort of. At least Channel 4 are making a drama about him. And his wife thinks George Clooney should play the Lib Dem leader.

55. The suggested schedule is for the TV debates to be held on 2 April, 16 April and 30 April.

56. A Portillo moment? Nick Clegg should hold on to his Sheffield Hallam seat but it is one to watch as results come in. If Labour manage to take it, it will be the shock result of the night.

57. 42% of voters, according to a YouGov poll, still believe the Conservatives are the "nasty party".

58. The safest seat in percentage terms is Liverpool Walton, held by new Labour MP Steve Rotheram with a majority of 57.7%

59. Nigel Farage is facing a challenge from comedian Al Murray, the Pub Landlord, in Thanet South. Ukip responded to the challenge in good humour: "At last, serious competition in the constituency," a spokesman said.

60. The next parliament is almost certain to see David Cameron replaced as Tory leader at some point, even if he wins. Top contenders for the job include Theresa May, Boris Johnson, George Osborne and Sajid Javid.

61. If Cameron wins he has pledged to hold an in/out EU referendum. The campaign is likely to split the increasingly eurosceptic Conservative Party down the middle.

62. The 2015 election will be David Dimbleby's 51st since he first took part in an election broadcast. And it will be his last. His first election night on TV was in 1964. The veteran BBC reporter and presenter anchored his first election in 1974.

63. ITV's coverage on the evening of May 7 and early hours of May 8 will be anchored by Tom Bradby and Alastair Stewart.

64. Channel 4's election night coverage has been given a boost, after snapping up former Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman to front its show.

65. The prime minister is trying to get thin for the campaign ahead. He has repeatedly referenced his diet as the 100-days-to-go mark approaches. As part of the slimming strategy he has given up bread.

66. David Cameron has not "quite got into why everyone's interested" in Kim Kardashian.

67. The stresses of office. Nick Clegg tried to give up smoking while serving as deputy prime minister. But he has so far failed.

68. Former Lib Dem peer Lord Oakeshott wanted rid of Clegg as Lib Dem leader. But his attempted coup was something of a farce. Instead he is now donating money to Labour candidates in order to try and keep Cameron out of Downing Street.

69. The Green Party has recently seen a surge in membership. Some in Labour are worried Natalie Bennett's party could split the left-wing vote in the same way Ukip will take votes from the Tories. At one point the Greens claimed to have added 2,000 members in a single day.

70. The Queen has so far had 12 prime ministers. If Ed Miliband walks into No.10, he will be her 13th.

71. In 2010 the Conservatives fell 20 seats short of an overall majority.

72. At least nine Tory MPs first elected in 2010 have decided to call it quit after just one term. This includes Laura Sandys, who is vacating the Thanet South seat that Farage hopes to capture in May.

73. A Populus poll for the BBC found that voters believed the NHS was the issue the news should focus on most during the election. The economy was second, followed by immigration, welfare, jobs, crime, housing, Europe and the environment.

74. Due to the close nature of the race, betting companies have slashed the odds on there being a second election in 2015. So we may have to do this all over again. However due to the intricacies of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, that is still quite unlikely.

75. A review of the electoral map that was supposed to cut the number of MPs to 600 failed to get past the Lib Dems in this parliament. However another review is set to begin in 2016 - which means there could be new constituency boundaries for the 2020 election.

76. House of Lords reform failed under the coalition, largely in the face of opposition from Tory backbench MPs and Labour shenanigans. However Ed Miliband has proposed to introduce an elected 'Senate of the Nations' should he win in 2015. But given the trouble Cameron had with Lords reform, do not hold your breath.

77. The next parliament has a lot to do already, the economy aside. Decisions on the UK's airport capacity, High Speed 2 rail network and nuclear deterrent have all been deferred to the next lot.

78. If the Alternative Vote had been in use at the 2010 general election, the Lib Dems would have won 32 more seats, and a Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition would also have had a Commons majority. However it was not used. So that did not happen.

79. The three debates in 2010 were watched by a total of 22 million people.

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The TV debates, if they happen, could take any format at the moment

80. On election day Ed Miliband will have been Labour leader for 1, 686 days.

81. David Cameron will have led the Tories for 3,440 days.

82. ... And Nick Clegg will have led the Lib Dems for 2,698 days.

83. The Lib-Con coalition was formed in just five days in May 2010. However any negotiations after 2015 could take a lot longer. Although some have warned that would be a mistake.

84. The Scottish parliamentary elections were initially set to also take place in May this year. But they were moved to 2016 to avoid a clash.

85. David Cameron will be 48 on election day. Nick Clegg will be 48 on election day. Ed Miliband will be 45 on election day. Nigel Farage will be 51.

86. Religious people are more likely to vote Tory or Ukip than Labour or Lib Dem.

87. It'll be a very clean-shaven election, with only one frontbench spokesman (Tory Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb) having a beard.

88. The Greens currently have one MP, Brighton Pavillion's Caroline Lucas. The party is confident of clinging on to Brighton and has high hopes for Norwich South and Bristol West.

89. Alex Salmond has not gone away. Despite stepping down as Scottish first minister and SNP leader, his fight to return to Westminster as MP for the Lib Dem seat of Gordon is worth a watch on election night.

90. There is an election within an election going on within Labour. While the national party is focused on 2015, several big hitters are looking to the mayoral election in 2016. Tessa Jowell, Diane Abbott, Sadiq Khan and Margaret Hodge are all seen as contenders to be Labour candidate. This has led some of them to draw dividing lines with Miliband on policy, in particular the Mansion Tax.

91. In Scotland, Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy is standing for re-election to the Commons ... before stepping down to fight for a seat at Holyrood in 2016.

92. Miliband has Styles. But Cameron has Sol Campbell.

93. With 100 days to go Bookmakers William Hill have shortened their odds for the election to end up with no single party gaining an overall majority - down from an opening 6/4 to a current price of 3/10.

94. The campaign will likely be frenetic, dirty and crazy. For example, Nigel Farage stood on a tank recently.

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Nigel Farage, campaigning, on a tank

95. Voters do think Ed Miliband is weird. But that has not prevented Labour from maintaining a poll lead.

96. If Miliband loses he will probably have to resign as Labour leader. Contenders to replace him include Chuka Umunna, Yvette Cooper, Andy Burnham, Rachel Reeves and Liz Kendall.

97. If (when) Clegg steps down as Lib Dem leader, the overwhelming favourite to succeed him is Tim Farron. The former party president is on the left of the party and is untainted by coalition, having not served as a minister. He is popular with the grassroots. His rivals include Vince Cable, Ed Davey, Danny Alexander and Norman Lamb.

98. For the past five elections, Sunderland constituencies have been the first to reveal their result.

99. A lot of big political names are leaving parliament in 2015. Gordon Brown, Jack Straw, William Hague, Andrew Lansley, Tessa Jowell, Glenda Jackson, David Blunkett and Alistair Darling are all escaping Westminster.

100. Polls close at 10pm. Once this happens broadcasters will reveal the results of the exit poll. This will give an indication of who the prime minister will be. Or not.