The loyalists, the protesters and the principled abstainers: how I cast my vote in this election

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Indy Politics

Clarissa Dickson-Wright

2001: Conservative

2005: Conservative

Constituency: East Lothian

I very publicly switched from the Lib Dems to Conservative in 2001. Anne Picking [Labour candidate] is a dreadful woman. Her travel expenses were more than any other MP. I cast my vote at Brunton Halls in Musselburgh - it's a type of community centre. I go there for my AA meetings. Apart from the fact that it's well known I loathe Blair, I think Howard is good news. A lot of people here are taken by his stance on immigration. If you live in the mining villages and the mines have gone, it does matter. Since I stopped drinking, I don't sit up and watch the vote.

Dylan Jones

2001: Labour

2005: Conservative

Constituency: Westminster

I voted before taking the kids to school. The polling station was in St John's Church, next to our house, two squares north of where our beloved Prime Minister has bought a house in Connaught Square. I voted Tory for the first time in my life; for a multitude of reasons, mainly domestic. The war was less of an issue for me. I think after a while the war was a fait accompli and Michael Howard would have done exactly the same. I quite like Tony Blair, but he's done so many things I disagree with: introducing top-up fees, slashing the armed forces, banning fox hunting.

Hanif Kureshi

2001: Labour

2005: Liberal Democrat

Constituency: Hammersmith and Fulham

I voted for the Lib Dems, but only as a protest vote against Blair - it's the first time I haven't voted for Labour. There are two main reasons: Iraq and education. I felt Blair hadn't clarified his position on Iraq. And it is ludicrous that I am paying taxes and yet have to pay for private education for my two 12-year-old sons as there are no decent state secondary schools in the sector. When I voted, there was only one other person at the voting booth however. They weren't fighting to get to the polls like in Iraq.

J G Ballard

2001: Labour

2005: Abstained

Constituency: Spelthorne

I didn't vote. I couldn't face voting Blair now. I think he is a dangerous and self-deluding man. Taking us to war was only one of the things that I hold against him. I feel as if his whole leadership has been led like a PR agency. Since the war in Iraq, however, I feel it is essential that Blair leave government. But I don't think any of the party leaders is right to lead this country. It's like walking into a shop to look for a television set; there are sparks flying out of some and others just won't switch on at all. So what do you do? You don't take a broken one, you walk out.

Julie Burchill

2001: Labour

2005: Labour

Constituency: Hove

I went to vote at 7am this morning and was the very first in the line. There was a power cut when I left the house and when I came back the light and heating was back on so I took that as a sign from Tony. I voted for Labour because of the war in Iraq - I think I'm the only person to have done so! I think it was very brave of Tony Blair to stand up for his principles. My constituency is Hove and the Labour MP is Celia Barlowe - I like the name because it is like the name of a character in Coronation Street. There was a good turnout and I think she'll win.

Katharine Hamnett

2001: Abstained

2005: Liberal Democrats

Constituency: Islington North

I live in a strong Labour constituency and love Jeremy Corbyn; but I couldn't vote for Labour as they took us to war. I voted for the Lib Dems, even if that meant wasting a vote. Charles Kennedy really has his heart in the right place and he came across on Question Time as sincere and honest, showing up Blair as an actor. Meanwhile everybody hates the Conservatives. I've found the election interesting and will certainly be checking out the results when I get up at 6am. There may well be a huge last-minute swing that'll shock Labour.

Kathy Lette

2001: Labour

2005: Labour

Constituency: Hampstead and Highgate

Of course I voted today - if Emily Pankhurst could do us the courtesy to tie herself to the rails, I think all women simply must vote. However there has certainly been an increase in cerebral celibacy, with regards to political abstinence. I've always been a Labour girl; but this time I found it quite painful to vote Labour - where's my electoral epidural? I think we're all voting with one hand tied behind our back. The general election has been a very male experience with everyone obsessed with size.

Louise Christian

2001: Labour

2005: Greens

Constituency: Hackney North and Stoke Newington

I voted first thing in the morning at 8am for the Green Party at a school in Stoke Newington. I usually vote for Diane Abbott [Labour] who voted against the Iraq war but I wanted to register a protest vote. I was unhappy because in her campaign leaflet, it said she was fully in support for Asbos, which I think is an attack on civil liberties. If there had been a risk to Diane Abbott's seat, I might have voted differently. I felt sad because I am not in a constituency where my vote can make a difference.

Lynne Franks

2001: Labour

2005: Labour

Constituency: Regent's Park & Kensington North

I am in Majorca, but I did a postal vote for Labour before I came. I thought it was really important to vote. It was a hassle - my postal vote arrived just hours before I left. As disillusioned as I am with Tony Blair and as tempted as I was by the Lib Dems, I thought Labour was the best and Blair is not going to be around for much longer. I watched it on satellite TV. A lot of British artists who live in my village in Majorca have not voted and don't care about it at all, as they are very disillusioned with Blair over Iraq.

Lynne Truss

2001 vote: Labour

Vote yesterday: Labour

Constituency: Brighton Pavilion

I made my lonely little walk to the polling station at about 11am and there was no queue. The polling booth was in a hut in a pleasant crescent near where I live. A man there was asking for details on how to fill in the form correctly, so I didn't need to ask. I have always voted Labour and there was no other choice for me. One's own feelings about Tony Blair, which was what a lot of people were struggling with, were not the main issue. We were voting for the future. I feel it's all about the greater good and what the country is going to do for the next few years.

Mark Thomas

2001: Greens

2005: Greens

Constituency: Streatham

I voted for the Greens in the afternoon at my local primary school. They were the only party that consistently opposed the war, rather than the Lib Dems who opposed it until it started and then supported it. I also think climate change is a really important issue and the Greens have consistently put forward an agenda of curbing the power of multinationals and the arms industry. I've voted Labour twice before, but it's gone horribly wrong. I watched the results in the same spirit as the Eurovision, but slightly more vitriolic.

Nitin Sawhney

Last voted 1997: Labour

Vote yesterday: Greens

Constituency: Tooting

I voted for the Green Party because, like a lot of people, I'm very disenchanted with the Government, particularly their stance on the Iraq war, and generally not making any sense, but then again, none of the main parties seem to be making sense at the moment. To me, the Green Party represents a very strong lobbying force and if their getting stronger means that the other main parties think more clearly as a result, then that's a good thing. There was an element of protest in my vote but also a positive statement in talking about green issues.

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