In the run-up to the general election of May 2010 it was universally acknowledged that whatever the outcome, this vote would start a fresh chapter in British political history. But no one anticipated just how fresh that chapter would be - Twists and turns made it an election like no other. David Cameron launched the Tories' poster campaign with an unblemished photograph of himself - and it became the most parodied image of the election. Nick Clegg went into the fi rst of the leaders' television debates derided as 'The Other One' - and emerged as a major player, with 'I agree with Nick' the campaign's unlikely catchphrase. Mrs Gillian Duffy went out to buy a loaf of bread in Rochdale - and happened to encounter Gordon Brown, with disastrous consequences for the Labour cause. But none of the soap opera of the weeks leading up to 6 May could match the drama of the days following the election's inconclusive result: the positioning, the posturing, the negotiating and the bargaining which eventually saw David Cameron moving into 10 Downing Street in a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats. A fresh chapter in political history - and a fresh level of political theatre incisively described by Nicholas Jones.
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