NICK Clegg's performance in the first election debate may have turned this year's campaign into a three-horse race.
But in Wakefield, there's only two horses in the running and despite one being an ex-Olympic athlete, the fight is far from sportsman-like.
Labour's Mary Creagh is standing for re-election, while Conservative hopeful Alex Story confidently predicts the results will go his way.
But fierce competitiveness is threatening to overshadow the thrill of the campaign, with rumours of dirty tricks being played in both camps.
It was Mr Story, an ex-Olympic rower, who took the row to boiling point by comparing Labour to the British National Party (BNP).
"The Labour Party has created a huge groundswell of support for the BNP and for that, they can't be forgiven," he told the YEP.
"The BNP is an offshoot of the Labour Party. They want to nationalise private companies; they want the government to own the means of production. The only slight difference is that they have a view of who should be in Britain."
Describing his comments as "outrageous", Mrs Creagh said Mr Story had repeated his claims at a hustings at Wakefield Cathedral last week.
She hit back: "People were absolutely furious. We've fought racism and prejudice in all its forms.
"He's made the mistake of making these outrageous claims both in public and in private. At the hustings, he did an imitation of a Wakefield miner's accent and the audience was very, very unimpressed. It's an insult to the people of Wakefield."
Towering above most of the constituents at 6ft 8in tall, Mr Story is confident that the Conservatives will take Wakefield, having been allegedly promised votes from more than 3,500 people across the city.
The 2008 council elections showed favour towards the party, with the Conservatives gaining seven seats and Labour losing eight.
The elections left Labour with a majority of just one seat over the rest of the council, with a total of 32, while the Conservatives had 23.
Despite the recent figures, Wakefield has been a Labour-led city for decades but according to Mr Story, that is all about to change.
"The big difference between being a sportsman and a politician is that you go from being a hero to a loathsome creature," he joked.
"I feel very confident because we've had lots of support, even long-standing Labour supporters saying they're going to vote Conservative.
Mrs Creagh and her team were met with a warm response on the streets of the Peacock estate.
Supporter William Bell agreed to display a Labour placard in his garden, saying "We have to keep the red flag flying", while Bernard Leadbetter shook her hand warmly and told her she'd done a "fantastic job".
Mrs Creagh won the 2005 election with 43.3 per cent of the vote and claims to have had a good response on the doorsteps.
But she told the YEP she wasn't counting her chickens in the forthcoming election, describing this year's campaign as "hard work".
"I don't ever take an election for granted, even when the polls are good," she said.
"For me, being an MP is about working all year round. We always do our best for people, we always take on people's cases and try to change things for them. I think that means a lot to people."
A dark cloud passes over her face as she contemplates the possibility of a Conservative government.
"There's a lot of talk about change but people are wondering what the change David Cameron is talking about will do to them," she said.
"Certainly around here, they're not convinced that that is the change they need or the change they can afford."
Her proudest achievement was the Hot Water Burns Like Fire campaign, which she launched with actress Amanda Redman and burns victim Holly Davenport.
The campaign resulted in thermostatic valves being fitted to all new and refurbished homes to prevent hot bath water scalding.
Mrs Creagh added: "There are lots of high points from my time as an MP, meeting the people, being involved in their lives, just being there for them.
"If the worst happens on May 6, I'll be proud of what myself and the Labour government have achieved in Wakefield."
CANDIDATES: Mary Creagh, Labour; Mark Harrop, Independent; Miriam Hawkins, Green Party; Ian Senior, British National Party; David Smith, Liberal Democrat; Alex Story, Conservative; Keith Wells, UK Independence Party.