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Last Updated: Monday, 8 May 2006, 11:22 GMT 12:22 UK
UK panellists' log: Elections and reshuffles
Our panel of voters gave their reaction to results from the local elections and Tony Blair's Cabinet reshuffle in text and video.

You can also send us your views by video using your 3G mobile phones. The number to send your clips to is 07888 100 100.

DAVID MAYER, EMSWORTH, 2005 VOTED LIB DEM, 2006 VOTED GREEN, MONDAY 0800 GMT

I am not at all surprised by the results on Thursday.

Locally the Conservatives continued to keep a tight grasp on the council, which will encourage a number of policies I dislike, mainly the frequency of rubbish collection, supposedly to encourage additional recycling, but in reality to save money I suspect.

Nationally, as expected, Labour's results were awful and with the Conservatives getting 40% of the votes cast they can at least see a way forward to mount a challenge in future elections.

Of course local elections do not always give an accurate barometer for parliamentary elections, but it does look as if David Cameron's presence is being felt.

David Mayer
As for the Cabinet reshuffle, Charles Clarke's sacking was no surprise nor was the removal of departmental responsibility from John Prescott.

I think however that leaving him with the title of deputy prime minister with all the trappings of power and none of the responsibility could backfire as being seen as a sop to the left wing, and a gross waste of public funds.

I was glad to see Ruth Kelly moved as I think she was an unmitigated disaster as education secretary, and I hope her replacement Alan Johnson can use his union roots to head off potential action by the teaching unions in future.

I also wonder about Margaret Beckett's promotion to the Foreign Office.

I thought she performed poorly on Question Time on Thursday evening, admittedly on a bad night for her party, and wonder if she will be effective in international negotiations in the future.

Finally with commentators saying what a surprise it was that the reshuffle was so extensive, I think David Cameron will be quite happy at having caused such a stir in the ranks due to his work over the last few months.

SIOBHAN BURGESS, WARRINGTON, TRADITIONALLY LABOUR VOTER, VOTED: LIB DEM, SUNDAY 2300 GMT

The local elections went very much as I anticipated in my area, with Labour losing four seats to the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives keeping six seats.

This has led to no overall control in this area, as Labour now hold 26 seats and the Lib Dems 25.

Personally I feel this result was due to the visible presence of local councillors on the streets, not just at election time.

Throughout the year the Liberal Democrat Party in our area delivered a regular newsletter, keeping us informed of their activities to improve the area.

Siobhan Burgess
As Gordon Brown has said, the local election results overall were a warning shot.

I also feel that I, like many others, chose to vote for a party other than Labour for precisely that reason.

We have said we are not happy, and just to prove it we are putting pencil to paper to tell the government we need to see more changes.

The number of changes in the Cabinet reshuffle did surprise me though - notably to the portfolios of the home secretary and education.

I suppose this could be interpreted as a positive move - new faces, new ideas, new ways of dealing with currents issues and problems.

However, part of me is a little cynical about some of the changes. It could be seen as get-out clause for Charles Clarke, following the debacle over released prisoners.

I suppose I am a little disappointed that he wasn't left in the post to sort the mess.

It appears that notice has been taken of Thursday's election results and major structural changes have taken place, almost like a seismic wave passed through the Labour Party and now we batten down the hatches.

GARY WATSON, PETERBOROUGH, TRADITIONALLY TORY VOTER, VOTED: TORY, FRIDAY 2000 GMT

Thursday was a good night for the Conservatives.

David Cameron has probably done enough to establish himself as a leader now.

It was possibly a bit of a disappointing night for the Lib Dems but a major headache for Labour.

Gary Watson
My biggest concern with the results is still the growth in the BNP's representation - I can only hope they'll shoot themselves in the foot when their policies and attitudes start to make themselves known.

The only non-surprise is Mr Blair's approach to the election results - reshuffle his Cabinet, sack one of those that should have already gone and hope nobody notices.

The time to take this action has long past and the steps he has taken look nothing more than someone drifting along, following the tide of opinion when he should be shaping those opinions and leading his party and the country.

SIOBHAN BURGESS, WARRINGTON, TRADITIONALLY LABOUR VOTER, VOTED: LIB DEM, FRIDAY 0900 GMT

Well I've just been looking at the results for the local elections and I'm quite surprised that the Conservatives have taken so many seats.

Siobhan Burgess
I thought the Liberal Democrats would actually take a few more than they have.

I'm rather disappointed to see that the BNP have taken so many seats.

I think it's a rather sad indictment of today's society. People are just unhappy with the way things are going.

Hopefully that's not a trend that will continue.

GARY WATSON, PETERBOROUGH, TRADITIONALLY TORY VOTER, VOTED: TORY, FRIDAY 0100 GMT

Labour is doing badly but not too badly, the Conservatives are doing well but not too well and the Lib Dems are neither one nor the other.

The only real winner so far is the BNP and this is a real worry for what is traditionally a politically moderate country.

I would be interested to know if the BNP gains are based on small majorities or small totals.

Gary Watson
This [the BNP's gains] is probably due to the low turnout as smaller parties tend to be more active in getting their supporters to the polling stations.

This should be a real warning to both the politicians and the voters - if you don't vote, this is who represents you.

If they have a big majority in their seats then the whole of the UK really does have a big problem to deal with, albeit in localised areas.

I just hope it's the low turnout that's the problem.

DAVID MAYER, EMSWORTH, 2005 VOTED LIB DEM, 2006 VOTED GREEN, FRIDAY 0010 GMT

David Mayer
Looking at the early results, it looks like my prediction that Labour and the Liberal Democrats were going to do badly is coming true.

Whilst I hold no candle for the Conservatives locally, I think nationally that's quite good news.

GARY WATSON, PETERBOROUGH, TRADITIONALLY TORY VOTER, VOTED: TORY, FRIDAY 0000 GMT

The early results don't really give much to go on.

There's no surprises, mainly because there aren't many declarations in yet.

What is interesting to see is the Labour and Lib Dem members of the [BBC's election night programme] panel really ducking the questions of what makes a good or a bad night.

Gary Watson
I think [the BBC's political editor] Nick Robinson has hit the nail on the head - if the predictions are correct, and they were in the 2005 general election, Labour can expect a really dreadful night.

On top of that they're [Labour] are already moving to separate Mr Blair from the cause of the problem, which is going to be particularly difficult because I think that's where the problem really does lie.

Of course the Tories will have to do really well for Mr Cameron to have his authority reinforced and be able to take the party forward.

SIOBHAN BURGESS, WARRINGTON, TRADITIONALLY LABOUR VOTER, VOTED: LIB DEM, THURSDAY 1150 GMT

Looking at some of the early results, the Conservatives have gained seats and Labour have lost seats.

I think that's going to be the picture across the country.

Siobhan Burgess
I think Labour are going to lose quite a few seats this time, mostly because of recent things that have been going on but also because people have lost a bit more faith over the last year or so.

Whether that's true or not I'm not sure.

Hopefully they won't lose too many seats.





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