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.

Pro-Russia rebels guard a train containing the bodies of victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 crash in Torez, Ukraine
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
The Commonwealth flag flies outside Westminster Abbey in central London
Arts and Entertainment
Struggling actors who scrape a living working in repertory theatres should get paid a 'living wage', Sir Ian McKellen has claimed
Skye McCole Bartusiak's mother said she didn't use drink or drugs
peopleActress was known for role in Mel Gibson film The Patriot
Arts and Entertainment
filmThe Rock to play DC character in superhero film
Arts and Entertainment
Damon Albarn is starting work on a new West End musical
artsStar's 'leftfield experimental opera' is turning mainstream
Life and Style
Paul and his father
artsPaul Carter wants to play his own father in the film of his memoirs
Ben Stokes trudges off after his latest batting failure for England as Ishant Sharma celebrates one of his seven wickets
Arts and Entertainment
Members of the public are invited to submit their 'sexcapades' to Russell T Davies' new series Tofu
Sky's Colin Brazier rummages through an MH17 victim's belongings live on air
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game
arts + ents'The Imitation Game' stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SEN Teacher

£110 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: We are urgently seeking a ...

Training Programme Manager (Learning and Development)-London

£28000 - £32000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manage...

Training/Learning and Development Coordinator -London

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Training/Learning and Development Co...

Year 5/6 Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: The successful applicant w...

Day In a Page

Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor