The public will finally get their say, but for ten years have returned a series of weak governments. They must eventually give clear support for one direction. Will they choose a new path towards Labour (and/or the Liberals), cancelling Article 50 and remaining in Europe? Or will they come out in force behind the Tories and steer us sharply into a hard, No Deal Brexit?
They couldn’t surely vote in another limping government without enough seats to decide anything again, could they? The result must be unequivocal and the people know it. If any leader connects with the real aspirations of the general public it could well be a landslide.
Both main parties will lose votes and seats to rivals because of their adjusted positions on Brexit, but they can each expect to win others for the same reason. Neither party however, has achieved much else by way of policy or popularity to warrant any major swing in their favour.
And yet, at home and abroad the world is changing, and we need to start moving with it. We cannot afford more years arguing among ourselves about Brexit while problems persist in our streets, our hospitals, our factories and the wider environment.
So what will stimulate the electorate to move in big numbers to unify, and deliver a majority government that can lift the UK out of this impasse? Will either Johnson or Corbyn make a real connection with the country on the campaign trail? Or will either of them put their foot right in it and scupper their own chances?
Elections are full of pitfalls and opportunities. All parties will need a clear convincing message. They cannot rely on just saying “strong and stable” or “for the many, not the few” over and over. They will need to take a stance and outline a plan with a real, rounded narrative the public actually ‘gets’ on a visceral level. That’s why the deciding factor will be the quality of their leadership.