Letter: Unfair to Straw the 'deceiver'

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The Independent Online
Sir: Paddy Ashdown must be included in the election TV debate.

Excluding Greater London, in the area south of Hereford/ Northants/Lincolnshire, the Liberal Democrats were placed second to the Conservatives in the 1992 election. They polled half a million more votes than Labour, and were placed first or second in the poll in 112 constituencies, compared to 72 for Labour.

Tony Blair is an irrelevancy in my constituency of Bournemouth East as well as in 150 other seats, but the Liberal Democrats can give their electorates a real alternative to the Conservatives.

On 1 May we will all cast just one vote for an MP, none for a prime minister. Comparison with American presidential elections is wrong. Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister in 1987, but the Conservative MPs replaced her in 1990 without any reference to voters.