The Independent voters' panel

Deliberations of our random sample of electors


Ashvath Kumar, 23, Finchley

2005 Labour/2010 Labour

"I voted Labour again. I was toying with voting Green. But I knew there was a going to be a problem with a lot of people voting Tory, so I voted to keep them out. But it wasn't really anti-Tory, it was based on Labour's policies. Out of three possible prime ministers, Gordon Brown appeals more. Despite all the nonsense that has been going on over "bigotgate", he holds more clout than Cameron. The Lib Dems never appealed. There is something about Cameron that grates, especially after a speech of his I saw where he seemed to contradict himself on a lot of things: about cutting public-sector jobs, cutting taxes. If Gordon Brown is forced to stand down as Prime Minister, I would support David Miliband – to head a Lab-Lib coalition.

Kay Wilkinson, 34, Pendle

2005 Labour/2010 Lib Dem

i'm going to vote Liberal. Labour took us to war; I can't forgive them for that. As for the Conservatives, I cannot be doing with Cameron. I just cannot stand the man. He is just too southern. I think the Liberals might stay in here, as quite a few people I have spoken to have said they are going to vote Liberal. Clegg seems like a fresh start; he is a passionate man. In the debates, he didn't have the calm manner of Cameron, the solid manner of Gordon Brown. But he seemed to care about what he was saying. He is more convincing than Cameron on the economy, too. I don't know how a hung parliament will play out. It didn't look like they would ever be able to work together, but they may change their tunes tomorrow!

Oliver Chapman, 18, South Derbyshire

2005 Not eligible/2010 Conservative

I went for the Conservatives in the end. The national debt is my main concern, ahead of any kind of spending programme. I compared Labour's high spending and high debt with the cuts the Tories will make, and I think their will be more beneficial for the country, in the long-run. David Cameron has proven to be a good leader for the Conservatives. I don't see why he can't be a good prime minister. The Lib Dem policy to cut student fees was initially attractive to me, but it's not the right time for such cuts because the country can't afford it. I think there will be either a hung parliament, or a small majority for the Tories. However, I think South Derbyshire will remain as a Labour seat.

Michael Wager, 25, Gloucester

2005 Labour/2010 Lib Dem

The debates have given the Lib Dems the oxygen to become a legitimate party. I think it will bring about genuine three-party politics again, and politics will become more progressive hopefully. I think people have to vote for what they genuinely believe in. If everyone voted for who they genuinely supported, we would have no need for tactical voting. I am voting for a hung parliament. I don't think the LDs are ready for government yet, but need time. A form of PR would be an important reform in this. Mervyn King said the next government will become unpopular because of the cuts that need making. If the Tories can carry the can and Lib Dems can develop then that might set things up nicely for a Lib-Lab coalition next time.

Margie Arts, 67, Barrow in Furness

2005 Independent/2010 Lib Dem

I voted Lib Dem for parliament and Conservative in the local elections. Barry Rabone, the Liberal Democrat, is a gentleman. I have his posters outside my house. John Woodcock [Labour] looks 15, I wouldn't trust him to hold a lollipop.

I like the Lib Dems' £10,000 tax-free ceiling, it means a lot for pensioners. Barry helped our campaign for a free universal bus pass, which we're campaigning for at the National Pensioners' Convention.

I watched all three debates. The first was inspiring. Nick Clegg persuaded me to vote Lib Dem a little bit, but it was mostly the local candidate. I have to vote for someone I can trust. When I lived in Chingford I voted for Norman Tebbit, even though I disagreed with him about some things. I knew he'd get the job done.

Roger Pass, 67, Redditch

2005 Labour/2010 Labour

I voted Labour. I sort of weakened. I was toying with the Lib Dems, because of Jacqui Smith's expenses, but I thought give her a second chance. She is a good local MP.

Not letting the Tories in was also very important. And I don't agree with the Lib Dem policy on Trident. I agree with Labour policy. I also agree with Brown on the economy, despite all his gaffes in recent weeks, he is the man to trust.

The Gillian Duffy incident was a silly mistake. You put it to one side. Cameron will get in, if the polls are right, but I don't know where we'll be in 12 months' time if he gets in. The economy could go the way of Greece and the other Pigs nations. If we don't get the economy right in the next 12 months we'll be in serious trouble. There will be cuts, but they need to target it correctly.

Ashley Evans, 25, Solihull

2005 Labour/2010 Lib Dem

Solihull is a Conservative-Lib Dem marginal. It is a tactical vote really, I am trying to help Labour. Last time, it was very close, so there is definitely a chance of overturning the Tories. I definitely thought Clegg won all the debates. Education was always a big one for me. What they're proposing about smaller class sizes would definitely improve results. Lorely Burt, my local candidate, wants to save the maternity ward at Solihull hospital.

I quite like the idea of a hung parliament but maybe the reality wouldn't be that great. Cameron looks like he will get enough for power. It certainly won't be a big victory. Labour needs a change in leadership. Had they gone with David Miliband as leader, he would have delivered a victory. Brown just doesn't have that likeability factor.

Melanie Viney, 37, Edgbaston

2005 Conservative/2010 Conservative

It was a tough call for me between the Conservatives and the Lib Dems. The Conservatives are the lesser of the three evils. We need a change, and to get that we need to vote Conservative. If I vote Lib Dem, we might get a more Labour-style government and I don't want that.

There is no particular policy that attracts me; it was a tactical vote. I think Cameron has got the energy to put into making the changes.

I work in the NHS, and the freezing of public-sector pay worries me. But Cameron's pledge to protect the budget is important. If I'm there developing services, I want to make sure there's the money there for that. Cutting spending too soon will lead to a double-dip recession.

Ben Willins, 33, Derbyshire South

2005 Labour/2010 Lib Dem

I've been looking at the debates and waiting for something to come out and hit me. Clegg looked more assured: he had more points of view that seemed honest so I am going to vote Lib Dem pretty much because of the debates. I like what Nick Clegg said about no net tax rises, while making the tax system fairer. A hung Parliament is not necessarily bad: take some ideas from each party, put them into Government. Things might take a bit longer to happen, but if you get the right policy, that's good.

I think the Tories will come first, but Cameron won't get a majority. I am naturally left-leaning so wouldn't vote for Clegg because I want a new politics. The winner will find it hard with our huge debt. But a Lib-Lab coalition would be more caring in its cuts.

Will Workman, 65, Redditch

2005 Labour/2010 Lib Dem

The Lib Dems seem to be doing things the way they should be done. They represent the change we need, on tax, fairness and electoral reform. I think the debates this time round have obviously done Clegg's poll ratings a lot of good and I think it will show. I think a lot of people will support him from now on. I think there'll be genuine three-party politics.

I'm not really keen on Jacqui Smith any more. I am a Christian and don't agree with her on abortion or euthanasia, which she wants to make easier. I don't think the Tories will get in Redditch. I think Labour and Jacqui Smith will still get in. I am giving the Lib Dems a go this time.

Highlights of the day

Gag of the day

Armando Iannucci tweets: "Dear The Sun, Cameron is to Obama what Jive Bunny is to Elvis."

Unfortunate name of the day

Voters in Amber Valley sick of the three main parties were faced with a difficult choice at the polling booths: they were implored to "vote for change" but their Monster Raving Loony Party candidate is a Mr Sam Thing.

Backfiring joke of the day

Mr Thing's not the only candidate whose name is causing him electoral difficulties. The former boxer and wit Terry Marsh was probably quite pleased with himself after he changed his name to "none of the above" and decided to stand in the election. What he hadn't realised, of course, is that "above" begins with an A and, therefore, goes to the top of the ballot paper.

Advice of the day

We've watched the leaders' debates, seen the headlines and some of us will even have read the manifestos (maybe). But voters at one polling station were given a little bit of extra, last-minute advice. Staff stuck a sign pointing to the polling station under another which read "Please do not sit on the fence".

Plea of the day

There were some very nervous people at The Sun as the election results began rolling in. Having vociferously backed the Tories, the paper has seen its endorsement coincide with a steady decline in support for its "winning horse". So, it is in increasing desperation that the paper's front page dubs David Cameron "Our only hope". The editor's only hope, perhaps.

Teenage strop of the day

Manish Sood, the Labour candidate who described Gordon Brown as the country's "worst prime minister", announced last night that he would not be attending his constituency's vote count because party workers had been nasty to him. The North West Norfolk candidate said he would follow the progress of the election on television at his home in Leicester instead. Bless.

Poll of the day

After The Independent investigated alleged electoral fraud in east London, the blogger Guido Fawkes tweets: "Voter turnout in Bethnal Green looking like 114 per cent."

Campaigner of the day

The Conservative candidate for Old Bexley & Sidcup, James Brokenshire, might be asking some very serious questions of the staffer who put up one of his campaign posters next to a sign which warned: "Danger of death".

Kevin Rawlinson

Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Mystery man: Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in '‘Gone Girl'
films... by the director David Fincher
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
books(and not a Buzzfeed article in sight)
News
Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Life and Style
stoptober... when the patch, gum and cold turkey had all faied
Travel
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
News
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Welsh Year 6 Teacher required in Barry

£100 - £110 per day + Plus travel scheme: Randstad Education Cardiff: The Job:...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Welsh Teacher Year 2 required in Caerphilly

£100 - £105 per day + plus Travel Scheme: Randstad Education Cardiff: The Job:...

Year 4 Teacher

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to work in ...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?