As I write, the outcome of the General Election is unknown, but I don’t expect things to go too well for the Conservatives.

With scores of MPs standing down and lots of seats set to change hands, there will be many new faces on the green benches.

Sadly, pollsters have been predicting a very low turnout - a reflection of how sick and appalled the electorate is at poor and downright venal behaviour.

The specifics on the charge sheet (not confined to one party) include cronyism, bullying, lying, broken promises, appalling treatment of female colleagues, hypocrisy, antisemitism, othering, Islamophobia, pocket lining, 'Partygate', defending 'Partygate', iffy honours, second (and third and fourth) jobs, cash for access, disdain for ordinary people etc etc.

Oh, and lying to Her Maj.

When Boris Johnson stood as leader of the Tories, many from his own party warned of a man with no principles, a dismal record of personal and professional behaviour and extreme narcissism.

Others laughed this off, saying that it had been "priced in" and, anyway, he was just a bit of a rogue.

The six weeks of miserable antics during the election campaign have reinforced the nation’s cynicism of politics and politicians.

David Winskill says the election campaign has reinforced the nation's cynicism of politicsDavid Winskill says the election campaign has reinforced the nation's cynicism of politics (Image: David Winskill)

Accusations of lying were glibly tossed around, legitimate questions avoided, credit taken when none was due, and major issues (Europe, the Nature Crisis, endemic poverty) were either sneered at or ignored.

Campaign managers developed policy by focus group and messaging only for strategically targeted groups.

However, with so many newbies, the House of Commons now has the opportunity for a reset. Many old hands will be crucial in showing colleagues what decent, honourable behaviour can and should look like.

Becoming an MP is perhaps the greatest privilege that public life can bring - it should be seen as an honour, a creative opportunity to improve the life chances and opportunities of so many people, not as a ticket for personal gain.

Our new government is faced with daunting economic and social challenges.

If, in a decade, they haven’t managed to repair everything, they will be partly forgiven if they have re-established trust in our elected representatives and the role of Parliament to change peoples’ lives for the better.

The consequences of allowing standards to deteriorate and further alienate voters are unthinkable.

  • David Winskill is a Crouch End campaigner.