We are heading for one of the most unpredictable and volatile elections in history.
Just as in 2017, Labour enters the contest behind in the polls.
But the Tory lead of between 10% and 15% is much lower than the 17 to 27-point advantage Theresa May had two years ago.
Can history repeat itself, with Jeremy Corbyn again surprising his critics? Here’s how Labour could win the election…
1 Promote Labour’s positive agenda
Labour goes into the campaign with a radical set of policies that poll well with the public.
These include re-nationalising the railways, a Green New Deal, a national education service and free social care. The party needs to frame these policies as a post-Brexit settlement that will transform the country in the same way the 1945 Labour government changed Britain after the war.
It needs a punchy slogan that shows it is doing something transformational, not just commenting on the legacy of the Tories’ rule.
2 Expose Tory weakness on Brexit
But the Prime Minister goes into the contest having broken his “do or die” vow to leave by October 31.
This means he could be vulnerable to Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party which could help deny the Tories a majority in some marginal seats.
Labour needs to hammer home that Johnson’s proposed deal is bad for jobs, threatens workers’ rights and could see the NHS opened up to private US health firms.
3 Stay united
Divided parties do not win elections. Labour has too often been engaged in internal power struggles rather than taking the fight to the Tories.
Corbyn could help mend divisions by halting immediately the trigger ballots of Labour MPs and reaching out to deputy leader Tom Watson. In turn, Labour MPs need to rally behind the leader and his ambitious policy platform.
4 Labour’s army of activists
With four parties in play in England – and five in Scotland and Wales – the outcome could come down to the results in a few marginal seats.
Labour is defending 58 seats with majorities of fewer than 5,000 votes. The Tories are defending 67 seats with majorities under 5,000.
This is where Labour’s army of activists could prove decisive.
Labour has the largest membership of any party in Europe – 485,000 – which, when coupled with Momentum, means it has the edge when it comes to knocking on doors. The first step must be to get young voters, who are more likely to back Labour, to register to vote.
5 Play to Corbyn’s strengths
Corbyn is a natural campaigner and the TV debates could be crucial. He must come across as calm and statesmanlike to show up Johnson’s shallow showmanship.
Labour also needs to show it has a strong team, with voters electing not just Corbyn but a shadow Cabinet including John McDonnell, Keir Starmer, Tom Watson, Angela Rayner and Emily Thornberry.
6 Don’t let it be a Brexit election
For most voters Brexit is not the defining issue. For low-income households the biggest concerns are living standards, jobs and the state of their local area. An estimated 2.7 million people on low incomes are swing voters.
If Labour can show its policies will improve their lives it will stop disgruntled Leave voters in key seats from switching to the Tories.
7 Hold the Tories to account for their record
Johnson has tried to blunt Labour’s strongest attack lines by pledging a national minimum wage hike and extra money for the police and the NHS. Labour needs to dismantle these claims and show it is the only party committed to restoring our public services.
They should also remind voters how Tory cuts have hit the elderly, families and communities.
Voters could punish the Tories for 10 years of austerity, stagnant wages, the housing crisis and public sector cuts.
8 Broadcasting rules matter
During an election the broadcasters are obliged to give the main parties equal coverage. This makes it easier for Labour to get its message across.
For instance, if Labour spends two days campaigning on the NHS the main TV stations cannot ignore it.
Allies of Corbyn are convinced this, and their slick social media operation, helped win seats in 2017.
9 Work with other opposition parties
Winning an overall majority could prove beyond Labour’s grasp. But it could emerge as the party best placed to form a government if it can hold its 244 seats and the Lib Dems make gains from the Tories. Tactical voting could prove crucial. Many will just want to stop a Johnson government.
An informal pact could have, for example, Labour soft-pedalling in Lib Dem-Tory marginals and the Lib Dems doing the same in Labour-Tory ones.
10 This election is a risk for Tories too
Johnson’s strategy rests on trying to win Labour seats in the Midlands and the North but he could lose seats such as Iain Duncan Smith’s Chingford or even his own Uxbridge and South Ruislip. Traditional thinking holds that Labour struggles in a winter election as its supporters are less willing to go out after dark.
But this would now also hit Tories fishing for votes in Labour Leave areas.