Why I am Voting

… Labour

“The Guardian said it better than I could: “There have been times when a Labour vote has been, at best, a pragmatic choice – something to be undertaken without enthusiasm. This is not such a time.” I’m not embarrassed to admit that I’ll be going to the polling station on Thursday with a spring in my step… Not only because Labour has a shot at winning, but because I know the sort of government – and Prime Minister – that is within reach.

As an admittedly sickly soul, on Thursday I’m voting for a government which will save the NHS. Our health system, so different to the American way where a paramedic is forced to check your bank account before your pulse, is the reason I’m fiercely patriotic. That this little land where we are all lucky enough to live, gives people healthcare on the basis of their need, rather than their ability to pay, makes me swell with pride. That when someone in your family falls ill, you can worry about them and not the bill arriving at the end of their treatment, is something I’ll personally never take for granted. Remember the Olympic opening ceremony? We celebrated the NHS as the jewel in our crown – with severe Tory spending cuts and privatisation plans – that jewel really is at risk.

Knowing how hard it is for friends of mine eager to move out of their family homes, on Thursday I’m voting for a government committed to build a million more affordable ones and a stamp duty holiday to help them onto the housing ladder.

Remembering how daunted I was by the sum of debt before me as I applied to university, on Thursday I’m voting for a party who will keep their promises on fees – and cut them.

… And just in case I ever doubted my choice, The Sun and The Mail telling me to vote Conservative confirmed it.

But – and this, for me, is key – I’m also voting for a party which can form a government. The only party which can stop the Conservatives. Because, like it or not, that’s the way our voting system works… And that’s why every vote for the Green Party (or the Lib Dems in seats where Labour is their opposition), puts a smile on David Cameron’s face. And on Friday morning I’d quite like to see that same smile wiped off.”

Helena, 24, Notting Hill