The UK Election comes into its final week before polling, and the third and final televised leaders' debate is on this evening. There have been comments that the TV debates have made the election even more about personalities than policies but on the other hand policies have been raised and discussed between the party leaders in front of millions of people: the electorate.
(Elections in Regency times were more straightforward: very few had the vote, and most voted as instructed by their local aristocracy.)
In the past week I've been conducting my own straw poll among female friends: which historical romantic heroes could the party leaders best portray?
Gordon Brown seems to be closest to those in the Byronic mould: dark, brooding, and even a little menancing. "He's definitely Heathcliffe," one friend said. "All that hidden passion we've not yet seen."
"Are you sure Mr Rochester isn't a better fit?" I argued.
"Maybe Cyrano de Bergerac, or even Max de Winter," another suggested.
Meanwhile David Cameron has more sharply divided opinion. "This is a difficult one," one friend said. "He can be both serious yet also fun-loving. Perhaps he would be a good Mr Bingley, or Henry Tilney."
"You mean lightweight?" another friend came in with. "He's a token hero to be accepted at face value. We don't really know what's behind it. Like Luke Skywalker."
"Luke Skywalker is not an historical romance hero," I pointed out. "Can we stay on topic?"
"He's my Mr Darcy for sure. Tall, handsome-" third friend came in with.
"No, Clegg is Darcy!" Friend number one. "He could give Colin Firth a run for his money."
It seems she's not the first person to liken Nick Clegg to Colin Firth as Darcy.
"I think Nick Clegg would be a good Dr Who..."
"Can we please stay on topic!"
--> Readers, what do you think the roles for Brown, Cameron and Clegg would be in historical romance?