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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 May, 2005, 22:07 GMT 23:07 UK
Early days

By Mark Mardell
Chief political correspondent

POSTED: Thursday 5 May, 2215BST

Very early days, but I get the feeling that none of the parties really believes the exit poll is right.

Certainly while Labour are being very cautious, the underlying mood is one of great confidence - although they are braced to lose some high profile seats like Blaenau Gwent and Rochdale. It looks as though Foreign Secretary Jack Straw is safe in Blackburn, although it's pouring down and his majority could be cut by up to 3,000.

I sense that the real losers of the night might be the Liberal Democrats, at least in terms of seats, although they will point out that any increase will be a record breaker for them.

I only voted in the local election but exercised my right not to vote in the general election. I want a fair electoral system. It seems politicians are more concerned with the number who don't vote than the fact that if you vote for the Labour party your vote is "worth" almost four times as much as someone who votes for the Liberal Democrats.
Tim Woodall, Watford, Hertfordshire

Given the majoritarian voting system, the Liberal Democrats have always been the losers in terms of seats, nothing surprising there. Proportional representation would do wonders for the Lib Dems, and would reflect the support they have from the British public.
Sarah McDaid, Clydebank, Glasgow

If the Lib Dems don't do better than the exit poll predicts, it's looking like the Iraq war perhaps weighed less heavily in the voters' minds than the media coverage over the last ten days would suggest.
Andy Chadwick, Farnham, Surrey

As an ex-pat living in the US I have to admit to feeling a little nauseated at the apparently toothless campaign waged by the Tories.It would seem to be the best thing for Britain if the result of such an astonishingly indifferent performance was that they simply accept what Labour had to in 1992 which was that they are no longer in touch with the modern British electorate.
Martin Hyde, Sarasota,Florida, USA

It does seem very unfair when you look at the share of the vote and how it translates to a disporportionate share of seats, especially for the Lib Dems. Whatever happened to the drum they used to bang for proportional representation? Have they resigned themselves to always being the third choice?

I would certainly have voted for them if it wasnt going to be a waste of my vote but in my constituency the first past the post is clearly either going to be Labour or Conservative. It is frustrating to be so disenfranchised especially now there is so little to choose between the main two parties.
Charles Darrington, Reading, Berkshire

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