On May 7th, the country will go to the polls in what some commentators say will be the most closely contested general election in recent UK history. The old two party politics, which dominated the 20th century, seem to have disappeared, with the minority parties believing that they will win handfuls of seats, and control the balance of power in a hung parliament. However, locally things seem very different indeed.

In the constituency of Twickenham, the sitting MP is Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vincent Cable. He has a massive majority of over 12,000 votes and historic election results would seem to suggest that his lead is unassailable, and that he will retain his seat with some comfort.

However, as I journey around the Twickenham area, I only occasionally see posters promoting one party’s candidate, and most of them are supportive of Vince Cable’s election campaign.

Having said that, the Conservatives, despite their significant defeat at the last general election in the Twickenham Constituency, seem to believe that this time around, the Twickenham Constituency is theirs for the taking. The Conservative Party have chosen a local candidate Dr Tania Mathias to fight the Twickenham seat, and her campaign has been supported by a very heavy local leafleting effort.

The key themes advanced by Dr Mathias are that she will be a strong local voice that meets the Twickenham Constituency’s needs, and will in particular, support local business, protect the area’s NHS services and campaign for better public transport.

Although Dr Mathias has been advancing that positive campaign, other Conservative leaflets adopt a more negative tone. One of these leaflets proclaims: “Twickenham is just 1 of 23 more seats that the Conservatives need to win to form a majority government – and keep Ed Miliband and the SNP out of Downing Street.”

Accordingly, the influence of Labour and the smaller parties around the UK may help determine the outcome of the vote in Twickenham.