After weeks of frenetic campaigning, election day is finally here. Today is a chance to shape the terrain we fight on. Everyone can help with the final push to get out the vote – turnout could be decisive. Whatever the result, relationships, skills and experiences from the campaign will be vital in the coming months.
It is traditionally assumed that bad weather on election day favours the Tories, whose voters are more likely to have cars, so a cold, wet, December day is not ideal for the millions hoping to bulldoze Johnson out of Downing Street. But this has been no ordinary election. The armies of canvassers have not gone away – thousands are spending today in marginal constituencies knocking up supporters and offering them lifts.
For those unable to take a day off, there is still much to do – reminding workmates, family, neighbours and friends to get out and vote – face to face, by phone or online – people are even campaigning via Tinder.
The outcome matters – and not just in terms of who is in Downing Street and what policies they pursue. Every vote for radical change and every seat won or lost will affect the expectations and confidence of the millions who are putting their hopes in a Corbyn government.
The mass participation, energy and enthusiasm of Labour’s campaign has been unprecedented. All that and more will be needed in the months ahead. Whatever the result, the world tomorrow will still be blighted by climate catastrophe, war, poverty, oppression and exploitation – and it will still take a struggle to change it.
After any major battle, there is always a battle for the interpretation of the battle – and that shapes subsequent events too. Some on the Labour right have been more interested in predicting, ensuring and interpreting Labour’s failure than fighting to get the Tories out. But once the polls close everyone is going to need to talk through how the campaign went, what we learned, how the result changes the political landscape – and what ideas, campaigns and organisations are going to be needed for the months ahead. Those debates will start at election night parties and continue through formal and informal gatherings, online discussions, in workplaces and at Christmas parties. rs21 members will be joining in with all those debates, as well as carrying more coverage here and holding open meetings around the country next week.