As the sun sets on the United Kingdom, people across the country are preparing to take part in one of the most important elections in recent years. Many people have in fact already submitted their ballot papers via the postal vote; many people are still undecided as to which party deserves the cross to be placed next to it. No matter what the outcome on Friday morning, this election is going to change the United Kingdom. For better, or for worse.
The road to economic recovery is ongoing; yes the economy has grown and unemployment is down, but there is still a long way to go. The Conservatives would continue with their plan of harsh spending cuts and austerity, whilst Labour would borrow more money to replenish funding for those public services that have suffered so gravely throughout the past five years. A coalition featuring the Liberal Democrats could offer balance to either Labour or the Tories, ensuring that the deficit reduction is kept balanced and fair.
As I wrote yesterday, the voting system by which Britain elects its representatives has come under deep scrutiny as its long reigning masquerade as the face of democracy has been shattered. Should the debate emerge after tomorrow’s election, it’s highly likely that a system of proportional representation will take its place, leading to a dramatically different political landscape in future UK elections. Further to this, this campaign has seen the emergence of support for smaller parties like the Greens and UKIP, sending a strong message to the powers-that-be at Westminster. This country is no longer a two-party system; this country has a diverse range of political views and people are crying out for their voices to be heard.
The growth in backing for the nationalists in Scotland has raised the issue of devolved governments, sparking cries of outrage from English voters at the fact that a party they cannot vote for, will possibly hold over 50 seats in Westminster and ultimately the balance of power in the eventuality of a hung parliament. It is has also raised the issue of a devolved English government; many political commentators have claimed that this could be the last election where the voters choose a Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
There has been much talk of coalition governments too in this campaign. Who will do a deal with who? For the second successive time, the government will be made up of two separate parties working together for the common good, rather than one party governing alone. Britain is making a huge statement by this. We no longer want one party with one manifesto and one set of values to govern the country. A combination of policies and views is what has made the last government so successful!
No matter what the outcome on Friday morning, one thing is clear. Britain and her political landscape will have changed irreversibly. Whether it is due to electoral reform; whether it sees the growth in support for a far-right party; whether it sees the economy bounce back into recession; whether it sees a nationalist party hold the balance of power in Westminster, the UK will be different.
Tomorrow when you vote, no matter which party you vote for, you are making a stand. You are making the statement that you want change. Whether it’s as simple a change from blue to red, or whether it’s change in our approach to the economy; vote for what you believe in. Vote for the Britain you would be proud to call home.