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Under starter's orders

Len Tingle | 16:51 UK time, Sunday, 28 March 2010

Gordon Brown c/o AFB/Getty ImagesAs I write this we are all still waiting for Gordon Brown to decide when he will climb into the back of the Prime Ministerial Jaguar and take the two minute journey to Buckingham Palace to tell HRH that he intends to dissolve parliament and call a general election.

Bookies take bets on this sort of thing.

The smart money, apparently, is backing him to speed down the Mall some time on Tuesday 6 April or at the latest Wednesday 7 April.

Then MPs will be able to spend the following few days "washing up" bits and pieces of important legislation before leaving the House of Commons on Thursday 8 April.

Many, of course, will never return.

That gives four weeks for what is widely expected to be the closest contest for a generation with polling day on Thursday 6 May.

But judging from the in-box on my BBC e-mail account the campaign has already begun.

Like everyone who has an e-mail address available to the public (len.tingle@bbc.co.uk in case you didn't know) I receive a huge amount of unsolicited "spam" and "phishing" messages as well as the pile of legitimate internal mail that an organisation as big and complex as the BBC throws at me.Computer screen

On top of all that, in a "normal" week, I get around 50 e-mails from politicians, parties or pressure groups.

They tell me about an amazing range of topics depending on what interests them at the time.

The issues range from the price of fish (thanks for that Austin Mitchell); how many pubs have recently shut down (a favourite campaign of Greg Mulholland) to the latest bit of "ludicrous red tape" (usually winkled out by Philip Davies).

All of it I read and inwardly digest.

But electronic election fever is already raging.

This week the e-mail count from the politicians and candidates hit the 200 mark... EVERY DAY!

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