How I will vote - by Noah, Gandhi and co

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I have been ringing round a lot of famous people to see how they are going to vote tomorrow, but either they have left the country or they are too busy enjoying their new peerages or are simply unaware that there is going to be an election, so that I have been forced to turn instead to famous personalities in history. Here they are to tell us how they would have voted tomorrow ...

Noah (Old Testament water board executive): "Tory, definitely Tory. Water privatisation has been very good to me. As you probably know, I was put in charge of the water schemes for the known world, and having appointed members of my family to all positions on the board, we developed a scheme known as the Ark under which - well, I won't go into details but it was very successful in that all the board survived even if the entire body of shareholders was wiped out. People have, of course, accused us of being greedy and only in it for ourselves, but this is ludicrous in view of the fact that we adopted a very green conservationist policy of saving two members of each species. Being Tory doesn't mean you don't care, you know ..."

Nostradamus (necromancer, seer, soothsayer, local GP etc): "Well, I have been looking through my predictions about this election, and although I couldn't understand a lot of it when I wrote it, it has become clearer and clearer as time goes on. Here is my prediction for 1997:

'The greater one, and the Irishman

Will fight and tussle all they can,

But greater than both of these two boys

Is the man who makes the loudest noise.'

"That's pretty clear, I would say. 'The greater one' is obviously the Latin for greater, which is Major. 'The Irishman' must be Paddy. And the one who makes all the noise is the one who makes the blare, or Blair. I seem to be predicting a Labour victory. Well, well, fancy that. Not bad for 400 years ago, eh?"

Julius Caesar (Roman Emperor and political victim): "I am a great supporter of Jacques Santer, you know. In my day, I spent most of life trying to unite Europe and so has he in his day. But in both our cases we were hampered by the bloody-minded British and their sodden little isle and their small- minded outlook on life, and if I had my chance all over again, I would never try to conquer the British, I would just leave them to stew in their own teabags, so it's Jimmy Goldsmith for me."

Mahatma Gandhi (Indian ecologist): "I would vote Liberal Democrat. Like every cause I ever supported, the cause was hopeless but bound to win in the end."

Joan of Arc (martyr): "You may have thought that you have had an unceasing barrage of election propaganda in the last month, but you cannot imagine what it was like for me to hear my voices. God was broadcasting to me the whole time! In my head, night and day, Radio God. Non-stop propaganda. So what did I do? I did what the voices told me. Why? To keep them quiet. Did it work? No. They thought of other things for me to do. Who would I vote for? Nobody!"

Hitler (German statesman): "I would vote Tory. I like the cut of that Michael Howard's jib."

Nell Gwynne (orange retailer): "Lord bless you, guv, in my day we took no notice of politicians at all. Royalty was all that counted. Charles was our Premier, so to speak. I do quite fancy the look of your modern- day Prince Charles. Moody and magnificent, isn't he? Well, moody, anyway ..."

Judas Iscariot (New Testament spin doctor): "Well, thank you for coming to interview me. I have not had a very good press in 2,000 years, I'm afraid, have I? The 30 pieces of silver and all that. But that was just a minor episode! What people never remember is that I was also the man who helped Jesus build New Judaism. Oh yes, it became Christianity later, but that was after His death. When Jesus and I were working on the problem of electability, it was a question of making Judaism a modern and attractive proposition. I can remember Him saying to me, "We have got to get rid of the hardliners who are holding back the movement, the Pharisees and the Sadducees and everyone. They may have made the movement in the old days, but things have moved on! It's time for a change!"