The date may only have been officially set earlier this month, but it seems as though this election race has been more of a marathon than a sprint.
A long lead-in period has seen each party score political points in preparation, but now the finishing line is in sight the excitement has reached fever pitch.
In a political first for these shores we have witnessed live election debates featuring the leaders of the three main parties. They have certainly generated some enthusiasm, with David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Gordon Brown all putting the case for their stewardship of the stuttering economy.
However, there has been little mention of tourism and hospitality, which makes a £110b contribution to the country's coffers yet "is largely misunderstood by Government", as BHA chief executive Bob Cotton points out in our election coverage.
To cut through some of the spin and focus on what matters to the industry, we have brought together the three main political parties in our own version of the election debates to find out just what they would do for the industry should they gain power.
In our extensive election questions and answers (see below) we learn of Conservative plans for a dedicated minister for tourism, Labour's commitment to improving infrastructure and marketing Britain overseas, and the Liberal Democrats' intention to move the tourism minister to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to increase their clout.
The comprehensive coverage will provide you with all you need to know about each party's approach to governing our industry, with answers to hospitality's burning questions.
But the conversation doesn't end there. Let us know what you think about the parties and their plans at www.caterersearch.com/electiondebate, where the debate is already hotting up. You can also stay informed with our up-to-the-minute election coverage and tell us how you intend to vote at caterersearch.com.
What the parties say about tourism>>](http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2010/04/29/333209/Election-2010-what-the-parties-say-about-tourism.htm)
[What the parties say about finance>>](http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2010/04/29/333210/Election-2010-what-the-parties-say-about-finance.htm)
[What the parties say about school meals>>](http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2010/04/29/333212/Election-2010-what-the-parties-say-about-school-meals.htm)
[What the parties say about business>>](http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2010/04/29/333214/Election-2010-what-the-parties-say-about-business.htm)
[What the parties say about employment>>](http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2010/04/29/333213/Election-2010-what-the-parties-say-about-employment.htm)
British Hospitality Association chief executive Bob Cotton presents his own manifesto for hospitality:
[What the BHA says>>](http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2010/04/28/333192/Election-2010-what-the-BHA-says.htm)
And, remember, there's more to General Elections than just politics:
[Clearly Cameron, Clegg's Climb and Brown's Battle at the Ritz>>](http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2010/04/29/333217/Election-2010-Clearly-Cameron-Cleggs-Climb-and-Browns-Battle-at-the.htm)
[10 policies hospitality would like to see in a manifesto (but never will)>>](http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2010/04/29/333219/Election-2010-10-policies-hospitality-would-like-to-see-in-a-manifesto-but-never.htm)
[Parliamentary waffle house>>](http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2010/04/29/333218/Election-2010-Parliamentary-waffle-house.htm)
[Gauging political partisanship through chocolates and cocktails>>](http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2010/04/29/333216/Election-2010-gauging-political-partisanship-through-chocolates-and.htm)
[Hoteliers gear up for a long night>>](http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2010/04/29/333221/Election-2010-hoteliers-gear-up-for-a-long-night.htm)
[Six hospitality venues with political connections>>](http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2010/04/29/333222/Election-2010-six-hospitality-venues-with-political.htm)
By Janet Harmer and James Stagg
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