VOTING FOR A NEW BRITAIN`Paying more tax than England is silly'

Voters' Panel: Linlithgow

Margaret Kean, 53, runs bakery

Leaning towards Labour. "I would not like a separate Scotland, because I'm Scottish first but British second. In our history we have fought too long to unite our country to break it up now. I have not been happy with SNP policies. The idea of paying more tax than in England is silly."

Ronald Mcleod, 70, lollipop man

SNP. "Labour has never done anything for us. Maybe the SNP can do something now. The politician who impressed me most until a couple of weeks ago was Alex Salmond. But I don't like his policy on troops in Kosovo."

Margaret Mary Stevenson, 30, accountant for US bank

SNP. "I support independence within Europe, because countries of a similar size, like Denmark have benefited. Alex Salmond has most impressed me, except for his remarks over Kosovo. I'm happy to pay more tax if it improves local services."

Stephen Chambers, 22, chef

May not vote. "The least impressive leader has been Alex Salmond, whose comments on Kosovo were a wee bit out of order. I don't think it would be fair to have to pay more tax here than in England."

Fiona Kearns, 31, interior designer

Undecided. "I have never had any interest in politics before and I have no idea who I will vote for. I'm not sure on tax or independence, but I hope the parliament will be able to focus more on Scottish issues like health and welfare."

Edwin Morton, 59, runs small construction firm

Conservative. "I always vote Conservative, because they do most for small business. I support a Scottish Parliament and I voted for it. On tax, I would be quite happy to pay an extra penny if we got what Alex Salmond promises. But I was very disappointed in what he said about the war."

Julie Tierney, 18, trainee hairdresser

Probably Labour. "I don't want us to be linked to England anymore. We should be able to decide what we want. But I wouldn't vote SNP because one of the SNP people here is in the Orange Lodge. None of my Catholic friends could vote for them."

Sheena Woodhouse, 57, runs bookshop

Probably Liberal Democrat.

"It's time that things were seen from a Scottish point of view. I don't support New Labour - if it were a bit more Old Labour, then perhaps. They seem to be Conservatives in disguise."

John Brownlie, 26, textile company supervisor

SNP, but may change. "I'm glad we have a parliament if it means bringing jobs to Scotland. Independence is all very well, but I'm worried about tax. Salmond shouldn't have said what he said about Kosovo."

Jennifer Morgan, 30, accountant

Conservative. "If I could see some way of voting tactically I would do it to stop the SNP because independence is bad for Scotland. Also my husband is English and the current mood of nationalism makes it more difficult for him to fit in."

Jack O'Sullivan

IF THE SNP is to have any chance of gaining control of the Scottish Parliament on 6 May, it must win Linlithgow. This birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots, and home of the SNP leader, Alex Salmond, is full of political symbolism and also provides a parliamentary seat for maverick Labour MP Tam Dalyell, long-time opponent of devolution.

The Independent interviewed a group of voters, chosen at random, and will return as the campaign progresses to see if the voters' views change. A close race between Labour and the SNP is in prospect.

This is commuter land, half-way between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Unemployment is low. It appears safe Labour territory - Mr Dalyell collected 54 per cent of the votes in the 1997 general election. However, the local West Lothian council was until recently SNP-controlled and voters are well- versed in switching preferences.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
News
The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
news
Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
  • Get to the point
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

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own