Generation Jones: 'I'd hate to wake up and find I'd let the Tories in'

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Indy Politics

Half of our "Generation Jones" panel of floating voters in marginal constituencies have made their minds up - and it's good news for Labour. Julie Jones, a mother of two from Selby, and Dr Evan Jones, a history lecturer who lives in the marginal Bristol West constituency, have both decided against voting Liberal Democrat for fear of letting the Conservatives in. Their partners are still undecided as the election moves into the last full week of campaigning.

Half of our "Generation Jones" panel of floating voters in marginal constituencies have made their minds up - and it's good news for Labour. Julie Jones, a mother of two from Selby, and Dr Evan Jones, a history lecturer who lives in the marginal Bristol West constituency, have both decided against voting Liberal Democrat for fear of letting the Conservatives in. Their partners are still undecided as the election moves into the last full week of campaigning.

Our panellists belong to the age group, born between 1954 and 1965, that was decisive in the US election last year and that could hold the key to the general election here.

Julie, who was against the war in Iraq, was encouraged by Tony Blair's performance in his interview with Jeremy Paxman last week. "I thought he came across well, especially on the war," she said. "He did what he thought was right for the country. Who would want to be in his position? I did feel a bit more comfortable after it."

Her husband Mel agreed, but added: "It was the spin put on the facts and the deception of the public that upset everyone." He is still considering voting for the Liberal Democrats. "I like some of their policies. Local income tax will be better than council tax," he said. Despite the Conservative emphasis on immigration, he believed most people would vote on the economy. "When it comes to the crunch, they will believe they'll be better off under Labour than the Tories and on election day, that will sway people."

In Bristol, Dr Jones criticised the Conservatives' portrayal of immigration. "Most immigrants are skilled workers, who we need for the NHS and other areas. We should welcome these people. The Tories' immigration slogan is nasty and insidious. It is likely to generate more intolerance and more racism." Dr Jones has decided to vote Labour. "If I woke up the day after and discovered I'd let the Tories in through the back door, it would be terrible," he said.

His wife, Emma, is still undecided though. "Our Lib Dem candidate seems to be making more effort," she said. "That is partly what I'm looking for. I want someone who will be active." On her most important issues, childcare and education, it was Labour who had the best policies, she said. "I know that Labour are planning to increase nursery provision. It is something that should be available to all."

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