From 9 pm to 10 pm on Thursday 9 April 1992, I was a teller for the Labour Party at our local polling station in Brighton. I had been working hard that week and hadn’t really kept up with what was happening in the polls. I took voters’ numbers, naïvely happy in the knowledge that we would be electing a Labour government.

The first doubt crept in when my Tory counterpart told me that it was common knowledge that his party would win. I shrugged off his news and ran up the hill to our one-bedroomed flat, still sure Neil Kinnock would be declared Prime Minister in a matter of hours.

Louise had our tiny front room decked out in celebratory paraphernalia. We had a bottle of fizzy wine, nibbles, party poppers, streamers…our excitement was palpable. And then the gloom began to set in. When Basildon was declared for the Tories, our disbelief was tangible. We went to bed in despair.

Work the next day was tough. A student came late into class. Her mum and dad were Labour councillors. Her demeanour was pure disappointment. And she was bitter. She delivered a tremendous soliloquy about the damage Thatcher had done to the working class, how we had lost the chance of changing the country for the better.

I’ve never forgotten what it was like to lose an election the Labour Party should have won. It’s that feeling which is stopping me from really quite believing, come Friday morning, that Keir Starmer will replace Rishi Sunak.

In 1992, turnout was huge. This time the biggest threat to a Labour victory is complacency – not bothering to vote, because it is a done deal. I cannot bear to think of Labour losing on Thursday. I don’t want to be transported back to Friday 10 April 1992…

So, find your ID. Get out and vote. Give Keir Starmer and his team the chance to serve our great country.

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