Star comment: Election battle far from bland
There has not been a General Election like this for many years.
The politicians are, goes the oft-heard cry, all the same. Not this time.
Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May, one of whom will be Prime Minister, are poles apart in terms of the policies they are offering the electorate to shape Britain’s future.
It is Mr Corbyn who has altered the political landscape as we have known it in modern times. All his life he has been a man of the Left. There is of course nothing unusual in that in the Labour Party. However, during the 1980s and 1990s the Labour top brass was keen to ensure that people like Mr Corbyn were not centre stage, and that they were shuffled into the shadows.
So what is unusual about Jeremy Corbyn is that he has been placed centre stage without moving. He has stood his ground on the Left wing, and it is the stage that has moved in his direction, carried by the rank and file of the party who twice voted him as leader.
Three-times-winner Tony Blair is a despised figure among many of them, not just for the Iraq War, but because, in their eyes, he sold out on true Labour principles.
So this election is no battle of the bland, but a clear choice with genuine alternative paths. It is difficult to imagine a United Kingdom with Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister being indistinguishable from a United Kingdom with Theresa May as Prime Minister.
The Midlands and Mid Wales are going to be significant electoral battlegrounds. Over the Welsh border, the Lib Dems have hopes of reviving their fortunes. Across the Midlands there are key marginal seats which will be indicators of how this election story will end on June 9. And in Shropshire? In the last 20 years all but one of the five seats have changed hands at least once. Those who take things for granted, do so at their peril. Nevertheless, in four of the five seats the Tories secured huge majorities in 2015.
Which means there will be much attention on the exception, Telford, where the Tories’ Lucy Allan is defending a majority of 730.
The Shropshire Star is covering all the twists and turns of the campaign, and will be bringing you a full results service. In the 2017 election having a clear, thought-provoking choice, is a service to democracy. You will not end up with the same old thing however you vote. Your vote will make a difference - and that makes it even more valuable.