Stand by for a fascinating year in politics

David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg
Image caption Could all three party leaders be out of jobs by 2016?

What are the odds of Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and David Cameron all resigning next year?

I'm still trying to find out what the bookies think, but it could be worth a flutter.

Not that I think it is going to happen - but politics is in such a state of flux, so chaotic, what looks like a weird fantasy can't be ruled out as a possible future.

It is becoming truism when one political journalist meets another to muse thoughtfully that not only that we live in interesting times, but what follows the election could well be even more fascinating than the campaign itself.

Of course, either Labour or the Conservatives could win a simple majority.

How Mr Cameron would use this new-found authority would be worth watching.

And how Ed Miliband developed as prime minister, leading a new Labour administration, would promise thrills and spills.

But many think the polls don't point to outright victory for anyone.

So what would follow a more garbled result?

Something will change

Even in the highly unlikely event that the parties got exactly the same number of MPs as last time, the result would probably be different.

The argument advanced in 2010 that the Lib Dems couldn't do a deal with a Labour government that had just been kicked out by the voters wouldn't hold water.

This time around, the Lib Dems could portray a Conservative failure to secure an outright majority as a tacit vote for the coalition - even if some in the party would insist it was a rejection of the Conservatives.

But then again, most expect the junior coalition partners to get a bit of a thrashing.

That doesn't mean they wouldn't have enough votes to hold the balance of power - its about maths not morality - but they might just be one X factor in a series of equations.

If UKIP do well, some Conservatives would rather do a deal with them instead - with huge consequences for Mr Cameron's referendum plans.

Indeed that is where my resignation fantasy might come into play - if Labour fails, the Lib Dems are thrashed and UKIP won't do a deal with the current Conservative leadership - hey presto - all three party leaders step down.

Here is another possibility. If the SNP take the 30 or so Labour seats north of the border that some are predicting, they might support a minority Labour government vote by vote. The Northern Ireland parties, Plaid Cymru and the Greens might also come into play.

While many think a minority government is more likely than a coalition after a hung Parliament, the markets might hate it - such instability might be very bad for the British economy.

Soon, when political journalists meet, and stroke our beards, metaphorically or these days in my case literally, we might be chewing over the possibility of a second general election later in the year.

Interesting times indeed.

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