By Emma Burnell / @EmmaBurnell_
Tomorrow, Britain goes to the polls in one of the most surprising and unexpected elections of my lifetime. Win or lose, moving forward or back by ten PM tomorrow there will be nothing more that can be done. By Friday morning we will be either nursing bruised hearts at a disappointing result, or sore heads from celebrating a joyous one.
Throughout the course of this campaign two things have become clear: The Tories deserve to lose this election and Labour and the leadership have surprised their many detractors.
Whatever the result tomorrow, the fact that it is now seriously in doubt is a credit to Jeremy Corbyn and the campaign he has fought. Those – like myself – who have not always been his greatest cheerleaders need to look at what he has managed to bring to the campaigning element of the Party that had been missing. If Corbyn adds seats to Labour’s tally, then there can and should be no further challenge to his right to continue to lead. He will have done his job and earned support in continuing to do so.
Either way, Corbyn has tapped into something that is resonating with the British public and should not be easily dismissed. Labour are offering hope again in this election – something the Tories – in their arrogance – have resolutely decided not to do. The Tories have come to the country offering further pain. All austerity medicine on top of a decade of the same. They have reverted to the nastiest of nasty party type in their arrogant belief that they can’t lose.
The Tories are gamblers. They gambled with our future to try and solve their internal wrangling over Europe and the result will impoverish this country economically and culturally for many years to come. They gambled that they would win a snap general election and win a mandate for the dementia tax, for fox hunting, for the hardest of Brexit.
It will be our job tomorrow to ensure that we stop that. That we ensure the country tells them “enough is enough”. Enough cuts to the police putting our lives at risk. Enough of selling arms to Saudi Arabia and acting hand in hand with Donald Trump. Enough cuts to the NHS leaving any suffering in long term pain as waiting lists grow. Enough cuts to school budgets leaving our children underserved and our teachers sending begging letters to parents to cover the very basics. Enough of the indignity of foodbanks. Enough of zero hour contracts. Enough of Cinderella mental health care services. Enough of homelessness. Enough of the Tories acting as if these extraordinary hardships and the levels of inequality they reveal are just the price of doing business.
Labour have offered Britain a costed and positive alternative. We have campaigned to protect public services, give young people a brighter future and maintain the dignity of the sick and elderly. Tomorrow we will find out if we will be trusted to deliver it. For all of those who need a Labour government, we must hope so.
I am delighted that after the election I will be coming on board as Co-Editor of Open Labour. I am looking forward to working with Jade and the rest of the team to ensure a strong debate within Open Labour and to represent our view within the wider Labour Party.