The nation, along with Tory leader Michael Howard, was primed for action after Tony Blair yesterday announced the worst-kept secret of recent months - the General Election will be on May 5.

But as Mr Howard kicked off his election tour in Birmingham yesterday, one young Tory found the excitement was, well, a bit lacking.

As the Conservative leader talked at the ICC, young Monica Longhi - daughter of Marco, the candidate for Dudley South - just couldn't help expressing her own involuntary opinion that the campaigning had, perhaps, already gone on a bit too long.