I am writing this in the final minutes before polling stations close at the BBC studios in Elstree. Soon there will be no more last minute leafleting to do, no minds to change or debates to engage in. In a few hours’ time, we will start to get an idea about how the country has voted in what it is arguably the most important referendum in our recent history.
I hope we get the right result for the country – a vote to Remain in the EU – but we accept the outcome of the vote, no matter what it is.
I started the day campaigning in West Bromwich and ended it by spending an hour or so in a wet and dreary London on the “Labour In” bus, travelling from Russell Square to King’s Cross. Yet again I was reminded of the energy and commitment shown by the thousands of Labour volunteers and party staff who campaigned so tirelessly for a Remain vote, and I wanted to place on my record my sincere and profound thanks for all you have done.
I have a lot of fond memories of travelling around the country over the last several week, from Sheffield to Newcastle, Coventry to Kings Cross, and to Leeds, Manchester and Leicester. Everywhere I went I was met by armies of cheerful Labour members and activists. To each and every one of you –thank you.
It is worth reflecting on the scale of the campaign we’ve just been part of, and we the huge effort the Labour family has put in. Our Labour IN campaign bus tour has visited over 100 places in the last five weeks, covering over 5,500 miles. We raised over £4million for the campaign, money which helped us print 20mn leaflets, deliver 3mn leaflets and post over 5mn direct mail letters.
We spent over £1mn on Facebook and online advertising, reaching over 13mn voters. And we recruited 70 new staff for this campaign, the party’s largest ever recruitment drive. We even hired two planes to fly the Labour IN banner over Manchester, Edinburgh, Liverpool and London this week. And we did it all just a year after a General Election campaign that sapped our energy and resources left us feeling disappointed and a long leadership and deputy leadership campaign that many of us threw ourselves into last summer.
All of which proves something that I already knew – Labour people are the most passionate campaigners in the country and they care deeply about the future of the UK. I’m so proud to be part of this movement.