Ben Duckworth explains how this issue of the magazine tries to reflect a new national politics
Welcome to the class of 2010. I hope new MPs and, don't forget, councillors are finding their feet and discovering how they can make a difference. The general election was dominated by the party leaders, with their prime-time debates and coach tours. At Total Politics we also want to think about the new MPs who have arrived in Parliament post-election. Has anyone found a term for them yet?
Writing this, David Cameron and Nick Clegg are being talked about in terms normally reserved for lovers. This ‘new politics' stuff sounds a tempting idea. We shall see if it lasts.
For new MPs and those who want to learn about them, we've got a variety of ways of introducing them. Our top 50 new MPs list on p44 will help you learn a little about the new arrivals whom you will be hearing much more from. We also have a breakdown of their education, race, gender and occupational background on p16 to provide some insight into the type of person now sitting on the green benches. We also offer a guide to how to write a good maiden speech on p34. Finally, in our Total Life section, we have Philip Cowley and Matthew Bailey delving into political fiction ranging from 19th century novels to episodes of Steptoe and Son, revealing that complaints of modern MPs are often really just insults.
Alongside that, I hope you enjoy the 2010 general and local election look-back on p20. It was a fascinating campaign, only really coming alive after the first leaders' debate and remaining brilliantly unpredictable on election night and in the postelection negotiations. It also marked a triumph for broadcast media, who got to showcase the leaders' debates and capture the gaffes such as bigot-gate. One star was Andrew Neil, the man who has gone from Sunday Times editor to publishing and now resides as the presenter most likely to ambush a politician on policy weaknesses. He talks to us about a whole range of issues in an entertaining interview on p28.
Any new government comes in with a sense of excitement. But this period feels particularly unusual, a Conservative-Lib Dem coalition, Labour seeking renewal and so many new faces in Westminster - Total Politics will be guiding you through it all as we begin a new era in British politics.