Vote Vocab – How to understand GE2015


When is a kitchen not a kitchen? Why are doorsteps something to be avoided? What’s pink but not magenta all over? Here is my Vote Dictionary GE2015.


Brain freeze: Random stun device that  infected Green leader Natalie Bennett on the radio and made it seem as if she didn’t know her own housing policy (no one really blamed her)

Coalition government:  A formal arrangement between political parties, now sadly dated and sooooo 2010. Will not happen again in our lifetime as seen as electoral death.

Cost of Living crisis: What real people call going shopping and paying the bills

Debate: Means nothing more now than a place where politicians gather on TV.

Decapitation: A strategy to behead, politically, a candidate. (Not to be confused with guillotine, that was the French). Something Lib-Dems seem particularly prone to.

Doorstep:  A location of misery for marginal constituency dwellers

Empty chair: Verb. What everyone threated to do to David Cameron as in: “They may empty-chair him”. (Candidate for ugliest verb in the world)

First past the post: Our voting system, blamed for almost everything.

Green surge: It may sound like a snot-filled horror movie or, indeed, a stain remover but instead it denotes the rush to join the Green party

Hard-working families: Confusingly this includes all voters, even the lazy and feckless ones

Long-term economic plan: The Tories’ copyrighted slogan for their economic policy

Kippers: Members of UKIP or the United Kingdom Independence Party (no longer, apparently, to be confused with “fruitcakes”).

Kitchen tables: Where politicians think we all sit when we talk politics (not to be confused with ‘kitchens’)

Kitchens: Where politicians chop vegetables and drink tea with broadcast journalists (not to be confused with “Snack preparation areas”).

La Sturgeon: Unusually nothing to do with kitchens. It’s SNP leader Nicola, not to be confused with former SNP leader Salmond. (It’s a piscatorial election in Scotland.)

Liberal-Democrats: The junior partners in the coalition government (RIP 2010-2015) who are paying the price by losing shedloads of votes. They may soon be “niche” and not in a good way.

Majority government: A party or parties with a working (as opposed to feckless) majority (i.e. 326 MPs).

Marginal: A constituency with fickle voters who keep changing their minds, mostly located in  the Midlands, London and the South-West OR anywhere in Scotland

Minority government: Chaos

Pink: The colour of the Labour’s Woman To Woman bus that is going round the country  (not to be confused with “magenta”). Was accused of looking  like an advert for thrush products

Psephologists –  political science by numbers or, more commonly, pollsters.

Snack preparation area: A small kitchen, usually on the ground floor, specifically in Ed Miliband’s ground floor, where you never actually eat anything.

Swing – nothing to do with sex, sadly, but the percentage of votes switching from one party to another in a poll

Verbification – The strange practice of turning perfectly good nouns into verbs. (See “empty-chair”)

Women –  XX chromosome carriers who often make up their minds later than men and become a source of consternation to pollsters


Do you have another word candidate to be included in my Vote Dictionary 2015? If so, please email me or tweet me at @anntreneman


For more advice on how to survive the General Election, see my piece in The Times at: