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Idioms and Sayings About Elections

Idiom/Saying Explanation

One / Two ... horse race

For example:

General elections in the UK are generally a two horse race.

A competition or election which don't have many likely winners.

Election fever

For example:

The media is suffering from election fever, you can't switch the TV on without being bombarded by political pundits.

The frenzy the media goes into whenever a general election is announced.

Hot air

For example:

Politicians always talk a load of hot air.

Empty, exaggerated, or pretentious talk.

Hung parliament

For example:

Everyone is saying there will be a hung parliament this election and the parties will have to make alliances with the smaller parties to form a majority.

A parliament in which no one political party has an outright majority.

Toe the party line

For example:

"He'll have to learn to toe the party line, if he wants to get on."

To conform to the rules or standards of the political party you belong to.

Body politic

For example:

"Judge Sydney Harris ordered the crown to return to the Body Politic all material seized during the raid."

A politically organized group of people under a single government.

A political football

For example:

"Women's health issues are always a political football."

A problem that doesn't get solved because the politics of the issue get in the way, or the issue is very controversial.
A political hot potato

For example:

"The expenses scandal is a political hot potato."
Something potentially dangerous or embarassing.

Political machinery.

For example:-

The political machinery has yet to understand the opportunity or threat of the internet and social websites.

The way politics runs in the UK.

Politically correct / incorrect (PC)

For example:

"Bernard Manning was never very PC."

To use or not use language that will cause offence - often shortened to PC.
Press the flesh.

For example:

"He has to do a lot of flesh pressing in the run up to the elections."
To shake hands.
To get on / off your soapbox

For example:

"Hyde Park, in London is famous for people who get on their soapbox to discuss issues that concern them."

To talk a lot about a subject you feel strongly about. If someone tells you to "get off your soapbox" they think you're talking too much about that subject.

Throw in the towel.

For example:

They knew they were going to lose, so they threw in the towel.

To give up

To vote with your feet.

For example:

I told her that if she didn't like the job she could always vote with her feet.

To leave
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