My Polling Day: Well-known names reveal how they voted yesterday – and why



Max Clifford



Publicist



2005: Labour



2010: Labour



Constituency: Runneymede and Weybridge

There were very few people queuing to vote at my polling station in Whiteley retirement village in Hersham, Surrey. I'm proud to say I voted for Gordon Brown, because I think this country's economic circumstances are too dire to entrust to new blood with no experience whatsoever. I still believe he could rescue the financial situation given the chance. Not that I actually think he's going to get the chance. But even so, I didn't want to vote strategically. I wanted to vote with my convictions.

Stephen Bayley

Design critic

2005: Conservative

2010: Conservative

Constituency: Vauxhall

In 2005 voting Conservative in this part of London was a bravura act of mischief. In 2010 it was a necessary act of commitment. If there is a solution to the scary problems affecting this country, it will not be found by creating more laws and more unaccountable bureaucracy. Those are Labour's instincts and they are wrong. There's not a lot in what Cameron says that I disagree with.

It's le monde a l'envers: the Tories are now the progressives and Labour the reactionaries. Besides, Labour is both practically and intellectually exhausted.

I voted early and the polling station was very quiet, but when I got to my office in Carnaby Street there was a carnival atmosphere. How misplaced that now seems in the hangover dawn when we are confronted by such epic muddle.

Bonnie Greer

Writer and broadcaster

2005: Labour

2010: vote undisclosed

Constituency: Cities of London and Westminster

My polling station was heaving with people, and I went along just before lunch. I had no idea until I got there that I was undecided over which party to vote for. I had prepared myself to vote tactically, but when I got there, I couldn't do it. I just stared at my ballot paper for almost 10 minutes, working the decision through my brain about where to put my cross. In the end, I realised that voting isn't about playing a game. The party I vote for should represent who I am, what I believe, how I decide to live my life and how I want this country's future to be shaped. I want a fair society. I want everyone taken care. I voted for the party that I believe stands for that, and I'm happy I made that decision.

Brian Sewell

Art critic

2005: Conservative

2010: Conservative

I voted for the least evil of the available options. Anybody with half an ounce of sense looks at Gordon Brown and says that this man has been in charge of the nation's finances and has been completely seduced by the bankers. If anyone should have known what was about to happen to us, it was him. But he lacked the vision to see it coming. He clearly knew absolutely nothing about it. Nick Clegg has all the charm of a school prefect on television but his party has about as many policies as it does members.

There was no point in giving a vote to someone who had no chance at all of forming a government. David Cameron comes from a section of society that I have learnt to mistrust. But I felt I had no other choice but to vote for him.

Will Self

Author

2005: Liberal Democrat

2010: Liberal Democrat

I am a long-term supporter of proportional representation. I have foolishly voted Liberal Democrat since 2001. I was always to the left of the Labour Party. Even if I do not agree with all of the Liberal Democrats' policies, I thought there might be an opportunity of getting political reform, which is what I really care about. I am very disappointed at the way the results have turned out. Not as disappointed, however, as if the Conservatives had won outright. That said, I would not be too upset if Nick Clegg went in with David Cameron, as long as we got electoral reform out of it.

Richard Dawkins

Scientist

2005: Liberal Democrat

2010: Liberal Democrat

I voted for the Liberal Democrats, partly to get rid of the first past the post system. Anyone who says now that at least it delivers stable governments better eat their words. My MP, who lost, was Evan Harris. He was one of the most valuable MPs. A secularist, and one of the few scientists with the interests of science at heart. There might be an election soon, hopefully under a different system, and if so I hope he returns.

Trevor Bayliss

Inventor

2005: Liberal Democrat

2010: Conservative

I found myself in a twist. I live in Twickenham where Vince Cable's the MP, but we've had a lot of trouble here with the liberals and I voted Conservative for purely local reasons. Not sure as it had much effect though. This is a fabulous little town. Couldn't ask for better, we want to turn the riverside into a place of pleasure, but the councillors won't listen to us.

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