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National voting has become a yearly endeavour in the United Kingdom. The election day rain filled the puddles that the democratic minded sploshed through on their way to the polling booths. The local church is being used to cast the votes for my part of Cardiff North. As you approach the building you can see the University Hospital of Wales just across the Motorway. I hope for every person who loves the NHS to be casting their ballot today, but I have as many doubts about this democratic process yielding a good outcome for the people. My polling station had an old gentleman greeting people in the doorway, making small talk with those locking up their bikes, which will soon help whisk them to a day of work. As always they can’t find my address straight away. The kind lady checks for me on the polling list repeating the name Vedmore verbally until her pen stops next to my details. As always I receive my ballot and I take it to the partitioned booth to stare at it intently. I know my choice like most folks, but I always take my time to read the ballot. I triple check where my pencil mark should go just incase I fuck it all up and vote for the Liberal Democrats. A mistake I had made two general election ago which led to the dreaded LibCon coalition less than a decade before.
Just before I had left the house at 7am, my little black and white cat had brought a live Robin into my house via the cat flap. She knew I wasn’t going to let her keep the little bird and she hid under the sofa which made the red breasted little creature chirp in panic. My cat was the youngest of my three feline accomplices and had been found in a dumpster in a care home where I had worked. Her slightly feral beginnings made the pretty little lady very protective over her captured prey. After some dancing around the sofa, the Robin got free and flew up stairs. The cat and I followed close behind with a small box which was going to temporarily house the lost little dude. The chirping woke up my housemate who would be waking up in a couple of hours to help the elderly get to polling stations in Whitchurch. I scooped the bird into the box and closed it leaving my little cat searching the house for her vanishing fluffy food. I scooped on my enormous size 13 Crocs and took the box with me to the polling station.
My polling station is next to the local allotments which always make me think of Corbyn nowadays. The bird was trying to escape, bumping around inside the little silver and black box, almost making the box fly. As I released the little guy he flapped about and stopped on a fence post. I got to see his red breast as we looked at each other for just a moment, he was beautiful. The free bird flew over the allotment with no trouble and became a memory. I called him Corbyn.
When I left the polling station I felt optimistic. The first time I had felt that level of political optimism in my entire life. I was very mindful about how that felt. I thought of the Robin and decided that tonight would be a really good night for those in red.
My living room was filled with friends in the evening. We gathered around for the BBC exit poll at 10pm, the tension was incredible. We were pretty sure that the biggest party would be the Tories but Corbyn and Labour had punched through their message during the campaigning. It was the first time that many of my friends had seen me pray to a God I do not believe in. The announcement of the exit poll had the same effect as when Gareth Bale scored the first goal against England in Euro 2016 football tournament. There we were screaming and grunting with joy at the news of the weakened Conservative government. It was still a tense night. Watching all the results rolled, in we toasted drinks, ate wonderful food, and celebrated the advances in the Corbyn leadership. We have so much hope, and though we didn’t win, the people had delivered a massive democratic uppercut to the Tory austerity programme.