IF Boris Johnson wins today will the last person to leave the UK please turn off the slow cooker? No, that is not right.

Will the last person to leave the UK put the bins out (grey and green please). No, that is not correct either.

Will the last person to leave the UK please … oh, forget it.

Never mind a certain headline in the Sun newspaper, it is a tricky job framing a leaving note; so easy to get it wrong. Too jocular and the writer runs the risk it will be misunderstood and haunt them for eternity. See Liam Byrne, former Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and his “I’m afraid there is no money” missive to his Coalition Government successor. The handover note, part of a tradition going back to before the Second World War, was promptly disclosed by new PM David Cameron. Never trust a Tory: it is a maxim that holds as good today as it did then, eh Jon "Plonker" Ashworth, Shadow Health Secretary?

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Taking the opposite tack, penning a piece that warns of a looming apocalypse, is fraught with danger too. But there was a lot of that about yesterday. In The Herald, Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote: “Only by voting for the Scottish Conservatives can you end the threat of a second independence referendum for good.” Note that “for good”. Very odd. Does Mr Johnson have something he wants to share with the room, a plan to suspend democracy the same way he did parliament?

In his comment article, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn – we get them all round these parts – offered the choice of waking up on Friday to a Tory Government ready to sell the NHS to Donald Trump, or a Labour administration that would protect and invest in the health service.

A decent try, but for a good old fashioned, end of the world as we know it warning, one has to turn to Nicola Sturgeon. In an open letter published yesterday, the First Minister called Mr Johnson the “greatest danger to Scotland of any Tory prime minister in modern times,” and said “much of what we hold dear in Scotland will be cast aside as Boris Johnson reshapes the UK in his own right-wing Brexiteer image”.

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Not only does this replace Margaret Thatcher with Mr Johnson as Scotland’s official bogeyman, it conjures up a vision last seen in Peter Watkins’ once banned drama, The War Game, which speculated on life after a nuclear conflict. I seem to recall the clothes were terrible (sludge grey rags) and dead rats were sold in markets as food.

Ms Sturgeon was more measured in her article for The Herald, calling today’s election the most important in many, many years. The future of Scotland, our NHS and whether Boris Johnson gets the majority he craves were all on the line, she warned.

We shall see whether such messages, and yesterday’s criss crossing of the country by candidates, do the trick. There is an air about this General Election that marks it out as different, perhaps because it is taking place at the end of a decade, which always brings with it a tendency towards reflection.

Out there on the doorsteps, there is a sense that the UK, after so many fractious years over Brexit, has reached a tipping point, fork in the road, whatever you want to call it, in which the general feeling can be summed up as, “We cannot go on like this.” People are fearful, fed up, or both. It is not an uncommon feeling at election time, but I don’t believe it has ever reached such an intensity as now.

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Whatever the reason, the perception among many is that life will somehow be changed in significant ways by this election result. Some may even welcome such a shake-up. "The most important election in a generation" is the cry, but in what ways?

If there is one lesson to be taken from politics in the post EU referendum age it is that prediction is a mug’s game. We can, though, make several observations about this campaign and assess what a Johnson victory, if it happens, says about life in the UK today.

Here, then, are five takeaways from the General Election of 2019:

1. Hiding in a fridge, as Mr Johnson did yesterday when asked for an interview by Good Morning Britain, is not a good look for a Prime Minister. Particularly after one of your aides has just said "Oh, for f***'s sake," to a reporter live on camera.

2. Speaking of fridges, major broadcasters need to take a cold hard look at themselves. The way the ITV and BBC political editors rushed to spread misinformation about an aide to Health Secretary Matt Hancock being hit by a Labour protester was disgraceful, and all on nothing more than the say so of Conservative spin doctors. A junior reporter could have done better, far less people on six figure salaries. Same goes for passing on anonymous briefings from Downing Street. Stop. Check. Report.

3. Outwith Scotland, the Conservative and Labour parties have changed in ways that are only now becoming evident and the effect on politics will be huge. If the Conservatives win because they pick up votes in traditionally Labour areas they can only stay in power by going leftwards, becoming a party that puts protecting public services at the heart of its policies. Bye-bye austerity for the foreseeable future.

This possible turning of the tide might have been exaggerated. In his polls newsletter yesterday, Lord Ashcroft noted that the more a Johnson victory was talked up, the less likely it was that voters would switch from Labour to Tory.

“In focus groups over the last few weeks,” wrote the Conservative peer, “we have witnessed how agonising many Labour voters find the choice this year: people who want to get Brexit done and feel Jeremy Corbyn’s version of the party has ceased to represent them, but struggle with an ancestral injunction never to vote Tory.” His advice: voting Conservative is the only way to get Brexit done and stop Mr Corbyn.

4. In the same way, if young people replace the working class as Labour’s core supporters the party will travel even further left. Thus positioned, it could have difficulty ever winning power again.

5. Scotland is a different country from the rUK. Statement of the bleedin’ obvious, but has it ever been more apparent than in this election?

Whatever the result tonight, the UK will remain a deeply divided state in which groupings feel increasingly remote from each other. See you on the other side.