WHATEVER happens in this election, or has happened, given I am writing before the votes are counted, there is one thing we can all agree on, that this has been one of the worst election campaigns anyone can remember.

Whether it is the amount of dishonesty dished out from all corners to the toxicity surrounding the election, it has not been a good advert for British democracy.

Our political leaders need to commit to toning down the rhetoric and the misinformation or else they risk making a mockery of all our traditions.

We are in a situation now where voters are going to the polls having to hold their nose, voting for the least bad option rather than for a candidate and a manifesto they actually believe in.

We have brought this upon ourselves though, and the main parties know that they do not have to appeal to everyone, just enough people in that key demographic.

Perhaps, if we turned out in greater numbers, particularly among younger voters, our politicians would take more time to cobble together a manifesto that appealed to the largest group of people, rather than just targetting one particular section of the voter base.

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A solution to this could well be proportional representation. If parties know that they need the largest number of votes rather than the largest number of seats, they would be pushed towards being more representative of the population, less radical and more moderate, sensible even.

The problem with proportional representation, however, is that it does lead to weak and ineffective governments with only a slim margin between the winner and the loser.

If nothing else, our leaders should agree to just calm down, stop ramping up the vitriol and get back to sensible, consensus politics.

Three years ago, a British MP was murdered on the streets by a man who had been fed a steady diet of radical and dangerous rhetoric by people who should know better than to whip up hatred towards their opponents.

This has been such a toxic election, with divisive language and abuse being hurled across the commons and on social media.

We should all make a commitment to be better than this for the sake of our democracy.