A sense of unshakeable anticipation has gripped the nation this week, as millions have either stayed home from work or made the pilgrimage to Cambridge city centre itself to witness political history in the making.
Whilst businesses all over the country announced they will remain closed until voting closes at the end of the week, thousands of Londoners have gathered in Trafalgar Square to follow the Tab’s Live Blog of the election.
Tara Lamp, a teacher from Tottenham camping out with her newborn daughter, said: “This election will affect my baby’s future. She may only be two weeks old now but this is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Keir, Daisy and Jack are all have such radical and varied manifestos, you can’t afford to remain apathetic about the result of something like this.
“Everyone remembers where they were when Kennedy was shot, when Brexit was announced and when Frank Lampard had that goal disallowed against Germany. The same will be said of the 2017 CUSU election result. And here I am in Trafalgar Square, watching the Tab’s Live Feed on a big screen, what a time to be alive.”
After calls to make her position clear, Prime Minister Theresa May has also made a statement on the election. Speaking outside 10 Downing Street, she said: “My government is well-prepared and the MoD, Foreign Office and all other important state bodies have detailed plans in place to deal with any potential outcome. I will also be meeting with Her Majesty in a few hours to brief her on the situation and keep her up to speed.”
Uncertainty in the polls has caused chaos in some parts of Britain, with supermarkets being depleted of supplies and panic buying ensuing as citizens stock up due to fears of what they believe will be the end of civilization should the result not go their way.
Religious groups have also contributed to the sense of tension as the Church of England officially back Jack Drury, with Archbishop Justin Welby ordering his congregants to “Gather ye unto the voting booths for the holy spirit is urging us to back the Jack”. In a moment of ecumenical history, the Vatican has also sided with the Anglican Church, with Pope Francis’ sermon on the CUSU vote, titled ‘Electio Scholastica in Cantabrigia’, urging Catholics to vote for the devoutly Christian candidate Drury.
The election has also caused geopolitical shockwaves, with MI6 on high-alert amidst allegations that Russia have been covertly influencing the outcome. Russian hackers have been accused of trying to rig the online voting system in favour of RON, with plans to trigger another election in which Vladimir Putin’s preferred candidate, Marcus Athertonski, can run.
The Kremlin has reacted angrily to the allegations, with Vladimir Putin addressing the UN Security Council earlier today: “To deny the importance of the CUSU election to Russian policy would be absurd. To claim, however, that we are unduly influencing the process is utterly outrageous. Although I personally was unimpressed with all of the candidates as I listened in to CamFM with the rest of the world, we don’t have any interest in a RON result.
“We will orchestrate our initiative of removing Ukrainian as a Tripos subject through the proper diplomatic channels and don’t need to rig an election to do so.”