The BBC's Election 2010 programme
Every general election is special. There's something extraordinary about tens of millions of people coming together and deciding who should run our country.
However, some general elections go beyond the extraordinary and become truly historic.
I wasn't quite 10, but I'll never forget when Margaret Thatcher stood on the doorstep of Number 10 and said "Where there is discord, may we bring harmony." Similarly, Tony Blair saying "A new dawn has broken, has it not?" was clearly going to be a historical moment.
Whatever the result, this year's election will bring a sea change. Will David Cameron become the first Conservative prime minister for 13 years? Will Nick Clegg break the mould of UK politics? Or will Gordon Brown defy the polls and secure an unprecedented fourth consecutive Labour victory?
The opening titles of our Election 2010 programme, we hope, recognise this sense of history. The programme begins at 2155 BST on 6 May on BBC One, the BBC News Channel, BBC HD and of course online and you can see a preview of the titles below.
The idea came from looking and listening back over the many election nights the BBC has covered. As election editor, I have often made a date with BBC Parliament - which has shown many past elections in the past year - and found myself drawn into the intrigue and excitement of a particular night.
I realised that if you ever want to get a sense of the country at a specific time, you could do a lot worse than watch the BBC election results programme. February 1974 is a particular favourite - not just because it helped with my understanding of the last time we had a hung Parliament, but also because it reveals the UK as such a different country.
A full ashtray can be seen on the desk at the beginning of the night; some of the men have hairstyles that could have been in a science-fiction film; the presentation team has no women and for any woman standing for Parliament, the graphics helpfully add a "Mrs" or "Miss" in brackets after her surname.
The only black face to be seen on the programme is a man in Trafalgar Square being interviewed by Desmond Wilcox, who seems to assume he mustn't be used to democracy - the interviewee politely points out that he has lived in the country for some time.
1979 is equally interesting. The country seems a colder, greyer place than 1974 - and many of the reporters speak as though they have a plum in their mouth. I wonder what the BBC election editor in 2046 will make of the country presented in Election 2010.
I am sure they will see a fantastic team, headed by David Dimbleby presenting his eighth general election. Nick Robinson will give us the sharpest analysis; Emily Maitlis and Jeremy Vine will bring clarity with exceptional graphics and Fiona Bruce will keep us up to date with regular news bulletins.
We'll be on air just before the polls close at 2200 BST, when we'll release the results of our exit poll. Most importantly, we'll bring you all the results as they happen - with our reporters at many more seats across the UK than any other broadcaster.
Our colleagues in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will have their own programmes - with the BBC UK programme on BBC Two in those areas. Radio 4 and 5 live have been
working closely with us, sharing expertise and resources, and they will have their own results services. We've also worked extremely closely with our colleagues online, so watching us with your laptop or mobile open on the Live Event page and explainers should be a great experience.
The last three elections were extremely important - but during each campaign, the polls pointed to only one outcome. As I write this, no-one is certain what will happen this time. Pollsters and political analysts are as bemused as they are excited, saying they've never seen anything like this in their lifetimes.
6 and 7 May 2010 look to be days that historians will write about for generations. I hope you take the opportunity to grab the best front-row seat with the BBC as history is made.
Craig Oliver is deputy head, BBC newsroom.