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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 May 2005, 21:27 GMT 22:27 UK
UK voters' panel: Ayub Khan

MEET THE PANEL
Ayub Khan
Name: Ayub Khan
Age: 45
Lives: Batley, West Yorkshire
Works: Highways enforcement officer
Current voting intention: Undecided
In 10 words or less:
"Hard working, fair minded, family orientated, proud British Asian Muslim"

I will be glad when this election is over. For me it has been a low key affair.

I resigned myself at an early stage to the fact that Labour will get in for a third term but with a smaller majority.

The negative campaigning by Labour and the Conservatives - often involving personal attacks like a bunch of school kids - put me off completely.

I will be deeply saddened by the fact that we will have a prime minister who is not trusted by the people.

I am afraid Labour's policies in the future will lead to the curtailment of our civil liberties and freedoms under the false pretences of terror threats and mass immigration.

The Tories lost my vote when they made immigration and asylum their sole issue in this campaign.

Instead of trying to gently persuade the public they tried to ram it down our throats day after day.

VOTERS' PANEL: FINAL DECISION
The Tories need to replace Mr Howard as soon as possible with someone who is young, charismatic, persuasive and trustworthy.

On 5 May I am going to officially defect from Labour and vote for the Liberal Democrats.

The reason for this is mainly because I have been impressed by Charles Kennedy. He is intelligent, trustworthy, and genuine in what he says.

I initially thought voting for the Lib Dems would be a wasted vote, but not anymore.

I believe their policies are suited to both the middle class and working class, black and white people, young and old, and disaffected Labour and Tory voters.

I know they are not going to win the election, but my vote will help them to become the main opposition in forthcoming elections and to eventually govern this country.


Your comments:

Glad to see someone getting over their belief that a Lib Dem vote is a wasted vote. Who is it that keeps telling us this? We have a genuinely three party system. The sooner people realise this, the better off we will be. The only wasted vote is one for something (one) you don't believe in.
Andy, Reading

Mr Khan, I urge you, even at this late stage, to think again. I opposed the war as vigorously as anyone, and I have not changed my opinion. But I see the massive improvements in my city brought about by this government - new primary schools, work started on new secondary schools, work to begin next month on a new hospital, and as I cannot envisage a Liberal Democrat government, I cannot jeopardise this investment by helping to elect a Conservative government. You live in a marginal seat (mine is safe Labour) - please don't destroy the hopes of the people of my city by voting Lib Dem, who cannot win in your seat, and helping to return a Tory MP that could be a member of a Tory Government on Friday.
Tim Mullen, Stoke-on-Trent, UK

I couldn't agree with you more Ayub! The negative campaigning from Labour and Conservative is a disgrace, especially Labour saying "if you vote for the Liberal Democrats then the Tories will get in". I too will be defecting from Labour to the Liberal Democrats because they have excellent policies which appeal to me and lots of other people.
Dominic Court, Lowestoft

While I appreciate his reasons and intentions, if we all wake up on 6th May with Mr Howard as PM because of Labour defectors to the Lib Dems, I hope everyone concerned will remember this at the next election by which time we would be well and truly down the pan with the Tories.
Peter Rand, Wirral, England

I totally agree with Ayub. If enough people feel the same and defect to the Lib Dems they will be a force to be reckoned with, and a much needed alternative to the other two parties. Their policies promote a fair, responsible, prosperous and caring society. Let's hope others defect too Ayub!
Jo Gallagher, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey

If we are serious about making poverty history, especially in the poorer countries of Africa, then we should vote Labour.
Kate Potter, Witney, Oxford

Mr Khan matches my sentiments almost exactly. I have voted Labour in the last three general elections (since I was old enough to vote) but no more. It is also worth mentioning that my grandparents, both in their early nineties and lifelong Labour supporters, told me on Sunday that they had lost all confidence in the Labour party and would also be voting Lib Dem. I'm not one to make predictions but I have a sneaking suspicion that Labour may get a nasty surprise tomorrow.
Richard, Leicester, UK

I'm glad you are going to vote Ayub. The only wasted votes are by those who don't vote. Although a Conservative, I shall be joining you in voting Lib Dem. They are the only ones who offer any realistic new direction.
Cameron, UK

I am 51 have voted Labour all my life, through thick and thin. I find myself totally alienated from 'Blairist' policies. I find myself drawn to Charles Kennedy and the Liberal Democrat party - sensible, positive and above all honest. They will get my vote.
Simon, Cannock

A formidable decision and one with strength of conviction. Well reasoned!
Phil, Herts, UK





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