Today our country stands at a crossroads: by placing a small cross in a box we are making a monumental decision about which path our country takes. With less than one hour until polling stations close I feel an immense feeling of fear and anticipation.
In recent years British politics has moved towards the middle ground. People have complained that there has been very little choice between the main political parties. This election has changed that. The campaigns of Labour and the Conservatives have been polar opposites: Labour have focused on public services ‘for the many’ whilst the Conservatives have been fixated on Brexit and May’s ‘strong and stable’ leadership. In many ways I welcome this variation; we finally have a clear choice with parties sticking to their core values rather than squabbling for the centre ground of politics.
Six weeks ago nobody would have thought that Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign would have been such a success. As a Labour voter I have been pleasantly surprised by his professional and robust campaign that has sparked both curiosity and admiration. Slowly, but surely, Corbyn has proved his critics wrong with a Labour campaign that gathered pace as we headed towards polling day. Whilst the last six weeks have not been a completely smooth path for Labour it has been a far bumpier ride for Mrs May and her counterparts. People have started to become numb to her tired rhetoric and the broken record of Brexit: their campaign has felt miscalculated.
Our vote today is about more than Brexit: it is about the direction of our country. Yes, the winner of this election will lead us through negotiations to leave the EU but they will also be responsible for our NHS, education system and care of our elderly. Whatever the outcome of this election we will have learnt a few things:
1. Mrs May underestimated Corbyn’s ability to create a campaign that would ignite a passion for a fairer Britain.
2. Our country is more than Brexit and any politician who has neglected important issues such as education has misjudged our country’s priorities.
3. Young people have been inspired to take an interest in politics and vote.
The path chosen by the British people, at this time, remains unclear but, over the coming hours we will learn the direction of the country for the next five years.