My girl does not move with the same effortless grace as Paul the World Cup octopus, but her work rate is better than Punxsutawney Phil, the one-day-a-year weather-forecasting groundhog.

What matters is the success rate: 100% so far. That puts her on a par with Sir John Curtice as an election oracle, though he is probably faster on his feet getting to the letter box and costs less in gravy bones.

She is a dog, of course, and she does not like election leaflets. There have been three through the door, from the Conservatives, SNP and Liberal Democrats. All chewed into soggy balls. That is what the dog thinks of the general election so far, and it is hard to argue otherwise.

It makes sense that a period of sustained tumult in UK politics should end in the most boring election campaign in memory. Everyone and everything feels fagged out. The campaigns are lacking in original ideas, in energy, in big personalities. This much we knew going in, but it has still been disheartening to watch.

Things might be about to change, however. Voters are not engaging so far and many will leave it to the last few days to pay attention. But something is stirring out there.

Here is a theory. You will have heard of “shy Tories” - the voters wot won it for Major in 1992. Said they would not vote Conservative this time, oh dear no, terrible shower, but then voted Conservative anyway.

This time around, those shy Tories will be joined by shy Labour voters, shy SNP voters, shy Liberal Democrat voters, even shy Alba voters if you can imagine such a thing. They, too, will tell pollsters, and even themselves, that this time it will be different, only to vote as they did last time.

But what if they don’t? What if the shy become bold and do switch their vote, either for tactical reasons, or to register a protest, or because they genuinely want a change? The most volatile period in political history could yet result in electoral surprises.

READ MORE A decision that deserves to cost party the election 

READ MORE Matheson facing knife-edge vote

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Consider this. The one thing that has remained consistent in the polls is that people are hacked off. Not hacked off in the sense of anti-media, though there is that as well. Scunnered is a better word. People are scunnered at politics in general for not delivering what they wanted. For half of Scotland, the Age of the Scunnered dates from the independence referendum. For others, it will be the EU referendum.

The scunnered hear everything that is said about Covid and Ukraine and the cost of living crisis and they get it. They truly do. They know there is no money left, that debt is rising and growth is weak. But still they feel let down by politics and politicians. They believe that someone can do better or at least should be given a chance to try. It is your basic electoral contract, laid bare.

So, bold voters, the ones who say they will switch and follow through. The parties who have most to lose are those in power at the moment. It is often said because it is true: oppositions do not win elections, governments lose them.

The Tories under Rishi Sunak are losing this one by turning out to be as hopeless as everyone expected, even their own MPs. A call for national service in the first week? There is an example of drowning not waving if ever I saw one.

Here, the SNP-led Scottish Government is not standing for election but the party’s Westminster wing is desperate to keep third place in the Commons. At the other end of the expectation spectrum, the party will take anything that is not a wipeout.

Both governing parties need their campaigns to hold the line. At the very least, don’t make matters worse. On present form, the Conservatives have no chance. Voters will deny them a vote in public and in private. There is no event on the horizon, no Autumn statement or string of interest rate cuts, that is going to shift the dial substantially one way or the other.

The SNP under its new leader, John Swinney, is facing such an event today courtesy of one of its own, Michael Matheson, former health secretary now forever the iPad minister. The SNP is not going to add to its votes on the back of the Matheson scandal, but it certainly faces losing them.

To recap: Mr Matheson’s sons used his official iPad to watch football while on a family holiday abroad. A bill of £11,000 resulted. The MSP claimed this on expenses, saying he had been doing constituency work. He eventually admitted what had happened and repaid the money. In the course of his actions he misled the parliament, the media, and the country as a whole.

It is such a clear case of wrongdoing that Mr Swinney’s defence of his “friend and colleague”, and his attacks on the process, were almost comical.

Except I don’t know anyone who is laughing. Even among SNP supporters, it is beyond a joke. This one is personal, you see. In claiming for that iPad bill Mr Matheson was taking money from you and me. He was taking the proverbial. If he had been an employee anywhere else he would have been out the door before the day’s end. Mr Swinney has heard all this. He now appears to accept that there should be some sanction but why change tack now?

All he has done is to ensure the matter hangs over the SNP like a raincloud till election day. However, unlike Rishi Sunak, Mr Swinney won’t personally suffer a soaking. He is not standing for re-election. Not yet anyway. But others are, and it is they who will have to defend this foolishness on the doorstep.

Mr Swinney continues to act like the sedentary heckler he promised to leave behind on becoming First Minister. What is he thinking? Whatever it is, voters won’t be shy in delivering their verdict on this strange business.