WE are not going to tell you which party to vote for on Thursday.

As a reader of The Northern Echo it is safe to assume that you take a keen interest in local and national affairs and you know your own mind.

Our job since Theresa May called the snap General Election has been to give you as much information about the issues and candidates as possible to help you make an informed decision.

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The reaction from some of you to the adverts which appeared this week around the Echo - one paid-for by the Conservatives and another by Labour – was a reminder that people in our region don’t much like being told what to do at General Election time. Fair enough, we can respect that opinion.

Where each of us places our cross on the ballot paper is a very personal decision.

My view is that if you have had an MP over the last few years who shares your values, is a decent person and works hard for the good of your area then the sensible decision would be to give them your vote.

The same goes for any of the candidates - can they do a much better job than the standing MP or do you have nagging doubts about their competency, judgement or ability to do what is right and fair for all of the people in the constituency?

If I’m not sure then I go with the person I trust and respect most.

I want an MP who will fight for the things that matter, such as the future of our local hospitals. 

I also want an MP who will fight to protect school funding which ensures every child in the area gets the best possible start in life.

On a national level this has been a compelling campaign where most of the questions and assumptions made at the start have been shaken to their foundations.

We started with Brexit as the key issue, the so-called ‘dementia tax’ U-turn put the care crisis at the top of the agenda, and we come to polling day with national security uppermost in many minds.

The terror attacks altered the whole tone of the campaign and it was vital that the election went ahead come what may. A few evil individuals hell bent on spreading fear cannot be allowed to derail our democracy. That makes it more important than ever for all of us to get out and vote - we owe it to the victims of the London and Manchester atrocities.

The terror threat has asked fundamental questions of the two people most likely to become PM.

When Mrs May insisted only she can provide strong and stable leadership, should we worry that during her time as home secretary she cut the number of police by 20,000?

Does the fact that Jeremy Corbyn met terrorists in the past mean he is the wrong man to lead the country right now?

Labour’s plan is incredibly ambitious but Tory claims that it is an uncosted wish-list asks questions about the absence of facts and figures in their own manifesto.

Labour may be promising to do too much too soon but on so many key spending issues Mrs May’s approach has been to say: ‘’give me a huge mandate and then I’ll tell you the detail of what you are voting for”. That lack of information and her failure to engage in open debate with the other leaders leaves us to ask the question: “Do prospective Conservative voters really know what they are voting for?”

One pleasing aspect of the campaign has been that party leaders and big hitters have taken the time to visit the North-East and North Yorkshire. This is a huge change from 2015 when we were largely ignored by Westminster. Our region is now an electoral battleground rather than a sleepy safe haven. Politicians can no longer take our support for granted. We could see Ukip or the Conservatives snatch Hartlepool from Labour, and other traditional ‘red’ seats could be about to turn ‘blue’.

We are set for an exciting election night so please join our Live Blog as we report on the unfolding picture from the local and national counts. 

Mrs May might still win the landslide predicted at the start of the campaign but even her most ardent supporters must admit that she’s had some shaky moments during the campaign.

Like him or loathe him Mr Corbyn has been the star turn on the campaign trail. When The Daily Telegraph and Financial Times recently wrote about him in respectful terms it was a sign of how far he’d come from the “Court Jezter” pilloried by the tabloids.

Just imagine what he could have achieved if his party had been united behind him. But maverick politicians by nature, be they Trump, Farage or Corbyn, thrive on conflict even when it comes from within their own ranks.

Labour is riven by an almighty split that has seen the party effectively running two campaigns side-by-side - Corbyn rallies where he has appeared to be incredibly popular, and the local door knocking where his influence is at times toxic.

In fairness to Mr Corbyn he has outperformed all expectations. When the Labour leader arrived on Teesside this week our reporter Julia Breen likened the frenzied welcome he was given - no doubt some of it whipped up by the Labour campaign machine - to a rock star appearing on stage. Mr Corbyn is a most unlikely-looking frontman but he was born in the same year as Bruce Springsteen and Francis Rossi so the comparison isn’t wildly off key. Indeed his performances over the past seven weeks have been part Springsteen and part Status Quo, combining The Boss’s romanticised view of working class life without ever having experienced it himself, with a lot of material that was popular in the 1970s.

With Labour candidates in Bishop Auckland, Darlington and Sedgefield having fallen out of love with him long ago, and most of the party’s sharpest minds unwilling to join his shadow cabinet, bloody-minded Mr Corbyn has had to shoulder the media burden himself.

Whenever Mrs May needed back-up she could turn to a solid performer such as Amber Rudd to face questions, or unleash her attack dogs Boris Johnson and David Davis.

Tim Fallon and Caroline Lucas repeatedly showed that they are very confident in front of a camera or microphone but the influence of the Liberal  Democratic and Green parties will be felt most keenly if their followers vote tactically.

Paul Nuttall has struggled manfully to present his party as a coherent electoral force although Ukip would make headlines tonight if it secures its first General Election victory.

Diane Abbott’s pitiful performances and no shows on TV and radio exposed the dearth of talent in the Corbyn wing of the Labour party and that could prove a decisive factor in who ends up being trusted by the electorate to form the next government.

If you still haven’t voted then get out there and support the person who will do the North-East proud. You don't need us to tell you who that is.