And they're off

It might come as a shock to learn that the 2015 General Election campaign is only today officially under way. 

Parliament was dissolved shortly after midnight and we no longer have any MPs (although Government ministers do remain in post).  

The parties and their candidates now have less than six weeks to convince you to put your trust in them at the ballot box on Thursday 7 May.  And few people still around can recall a pre-election scenario quite like this.  

Will either the Conservatives or Labour win the 326 seats required for an overall majority or, as most experts predict, fall short?

Will the Liberal Democrats defy their woeful national poll ratings and cling onto enough seats to stay in contention for another term of coalition government?

Will UKIP or the Greens win more seats or simply act as a collective thorn in the side of the 'big three' parties, helping to influence a plethora of left field results across the country?

Or will the SNP's Alec Salmond lord it across Scotland and put himself into the position of king maker, effectively dictating what the next United Kingdom government will look like for the next five years?

But there is another scenario.   

Should both the Conservatives and Labour not win a majority and, for a range of possible reasons, not form a coalition with one or more other parties, the party with the largest number of seats could seek to govern alone.  If they fail, the other would then be given the opportunity to have a go themselves.

But should that government also collapse, only one other option would remain: a second General Election.  

Do not rule this out and, as such, try to not to get too carried away with the all the 'excitement' of the first one.