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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 May, 2005, 21:35 GMT 22:35 UK
Is Iraq a key election issue for you?
British troops in the Iraqi city of Ammarah
As the campaign reaches its final stages, the wife of the latest British soldier to die in Iraq has blamed Tony Blair for his death.

Ann Toward said Mr Blair should not have sent her husband to war. The prime minister expressed his "profound condolences" but defended his honesty over the decision.

Tory leader Michael Howard has repeated his claims Mr Blair deceived the cabinet and Commons over the war.

The Lib Dems' Charles Kennedy has criticised the prime minister's "failed" premiership, saying that Iraq will dog him for the rest of the campaign.

Is Ms Toward right to blame Mr Blair? Is Iraq an election issue for you? Will it change your vote?

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.

The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we received:

How can anyone say that Iraq is not a major election issue?
Bob Fourtune, London
How can anyone say that Iraq is not a major election issue? The PM lied to the country about this. What else has he lied about? It's called trust.
Bob Fourtune, London

Absolutely. Had it not been for the war I would probably have voted Labour.
Emily Perkins, Wetherby, West Yorkshire

The prime minister has to make difficult decisions. The reasons for going to war no longer matter, it happened and we should move on rather than linger on the past.
Susan Dennis, Oxford, UK

I think it's outrageous to blame the government for soldiers' deaths. Surely that is part of the package when they join the army?
Luke Perman, United Kingdom

The region and the world is a safer place without Saddam Hussein. What does the world do when a madman is murdering thousands of his citizens, stand by and do nothing! I am sure there are plenty of Iraqis who are grateful Saddam is gone. It may change my vote, I haven't voted for Blair before but I may now.
Paul Stewart, Portsmouth, UK

Tony Blair had the moral courage to do what he thought was right
James, St Albans, UK
It certainly will affect my vote. I will be voting for Tony Blair because he had the moral courage, against intense pressure, to do what he thought was right.
James, St Albans, UK

I think it was wrong on many counts. However, it's done now and I have no intention of doing anything to elect a Tory government - I'll hold my nose.
John Spink, Edinburgh

I will not be voting Labour purely on the basis of the Iraq War. We expect our government to do what is right by its people. Clearly Tony Blair has not.
Linda England, Kedington, Suffolk

Iraq is not an election issue for me. Since Tony Blair came to power this country has enjoyed one of the most sustained periods of economic growth and stability since records began. While I empathise with Ann Toward the fact remains that her partner was paid to do a job, which he was not forced into.
Charles Quick, London

This election is about the policies and politics that are best for the future, not the politics of the past
Anthony, Manchester
I understand the Iraq issue is emotive but enough is enough. There are so many important domestic issues facing this country and that is where the debate should focus. This election is about the policies and politics that are best for the future, not the politics of the past.
Anthony, Manchester

I believe that Blair was less than honest about the real reasons for going to war and if we can't trust the government not to lie on such a momentous life or death decision, how can we be expected to trust them with the more mundane policies?
Paul, Colchester

To all those who think we should concentrate on domestic issues: the war in Iraq has a direct effect on such issues. Oil prices are a domestic issue, security is a domestic issue and ultimately so is our standing in the eyes of the rest of the world.
Ross Woodhouse, Brighton

I cannot believe the people who say that Iraq is less important than tax or schools
Kenneth Burnside, Glasgow
I cannot believe the people who say that Iraq is less important than tax or schools. Are the human lives lost in this conflict so worthless that you feel getting a bit extra cash in your pay packet justifies their deaths?
Kenneth Burnside, Glasgow

People should back off and stop attacking the prime minister's integrity. In going to war in Iraq he did what he thought was best for Britain, and in the process helped put an end to a brutal dictatorship. Without the British and American intervention Saddam would still be butchering his own people. The international community should now find ways of helping the new Iraqi administration in its fight against the insurgents and build a prosperous, democratic country.
Amar, Waterloo, Liverpool

I have always voted Labour but won't be doing so at this election. To cast my vote for Labour would be condoning Blair's decision. British involvement in the Iraq war was, we were told, on the basis of Saddam's WMDs threatening Britain. No WMDs were ever discovered. Blair then moved the goal posts and cited the removal of Saddam from power as the reason for our participation in the war.
Jim Kerr, Sheffield

I am fed up with hearing about Iraq. My vote will be won or lost on the real issues of the future - health, education and tax. I think those who are still going on about the war need to re-evaluate some priorities. I am very sorry for the dead soldiers family but at the end of the day he was doing his job and if the general election is affected by this then there is something very wrong with our democratic process!
Jo, Leicester

Ms Toward has no right to blame any individual person. All decisions taken by the government are not the individual decisions of the prime minister. It was her partners' choice to join the army. I feel deeply sorry for anyone who loses a loved one at any level, but the army goes where the Government of the day tells them to.
Mark Fleming, Dundee

Anthony Wakefeild was my cousin, and me and the rest of my family will never forgive Tony Blair for his death and taking him away from us I hope he will feel the pain and guilt that we will for the rest of his life.
Louise Gallagher, Newcastle

We cannot roll back the clock
Susan Page, Milton Keynes, UK
I was totally opposed to going to war with Iraq but we did and we cannot roll back the clock. Although every death is sad, nobody is forced to join the army and there is always the risk of getting killed. It is an unfortunate part of the job. There is a lot I disagree with the Labour Party but I will still vote for them as they're better than the other lot who would probably have gone into Iraq as well, whatever they say now.
Susan Page, Milton Keynes, UK

People are saying that soldiers know what they are doing when they enlist, yes they do, but they rely on their government making honest legal decisions. This government did not do that.
Sue, Southampton

It was the wrong decision to send our troops into Iraq. Where are the weapons of mass destruction? Unfortunately so many innocent people have been killed and there is still no end to a cease fire.
Elaine Fawcett-Gough, Cheshire

George Bush would have removed Saddam whatever Tony Blair decided
Shaun Lintern, Stoke, Staffordshire
Tony Blair keeps saying he had to take the tough decision, that to leave Saddam in Iraq was not an option. This is a convincing argument but flawed. George Bush would have removed Saddam whatever Tony Blair decided. That is obvious, so to say Blair had to make a choice is right, but he ignores the 'third way.' I will be voting Lib Dem.
Shaun Lintern, Stoke, Staffordshire

Iraq is an election issue as it raises the issue of trust. If Tony Blair can build a dossier of lies where British servicemen die, how can I trust this man to lead the country? I hope there's no majority, so Labour has to work with the other parties.
Dave, London

Whether or not the war was legal will certainly not swing my vote. I will be voting on issues that actually affect me. The childishness of the election campaigns this time around is astonishing.
Troy, Bangor, Wales

Indeed I share the grief with Ms Toward and I also blame Tony for the war in Iraq, but I would like to remind Ms Toward and the people of UK that this soldier come to Iraq to kill Iraqis but he was not on visit, I think it is time for the people of UK to think deep and inform Tony to sleep,
Abdiaziz Mohamed Hamud, Bossaso

The only way to get our troops back to the UK is to vote Blair out of office on Thursday.
Linda, Edinburgh

Iraq is a key issue for me as it will be the first opportunity of making my objection to the war known
Steve Talbot, UK
Iraq is a key issue for me as it will be the first opportunity of making my objection to the war known. I don't know why we did it. The rest of the world was saying don't do it and we did not listen.
Steve Talbot, UK

I am a serving member of the armed forces and am serving now on an operational deployment in the Middle East. I sincerely regret the death of a fellow servicemen and bear the loss greatly but I defend the war and the part we play in bringing peace and stability to the region, while the reasons for war maybe under great scrutiny. It was the right thing to do to free the people of Iraq from grips of tyranny.
Jimmy, Devon

Iraq is an election issue for me, and it will change my vote. If we don't register our discontent at the election, then when? Blair didn't listen when we marched in unprecedented numbers before the war. For the sake of democracy, peace and the rule of law we must punish this government.
Andrew Ireson, London, England

People join up to defend their country, not to be hired out to America or anyone else. It's now clear that both Blair and Howard would have followed Bush into Iraq without UN authority and without evidence of WMD. I won't vote for either of them; I'll vote Lib Dem.
John M, Lyne Meads, UK

My brother served in Iraq and he knows, as all soldiers do, that death is the ultimate risk of a career in the army. The point here is that Mr Blair continually stresses that this war was about removing a dictator and introducing a democracy but I find it hard to believe that it was ever about that. What makes Iraq so attractive is its resources - if we are the world police why aren't we doing more elsewhere? I am sick of Mr Blair and this war that has seen disorder, chaos and death for the people of Iraq as much for the British Army. If it were my brother, I'd blame Blair as well.
Kate, London

Conspiracy theorists and opposition parties are revelling in the Iraq saga. For me it's much less complex than people are making it out to be: Blair made a difficult decision, one ultimately based on incorrect information, but at least he has the integrity to stand by his position. The fact remains, Saddam was a despot - I'm just glad he's gone. I don't believe for a second that Blair deliberately tried to mislead his country for his own personal gain - just think for a moment of how ridiculous that sounds.
Frank, Overtown, Lanarkshire

The unfortunate part of service is that you may have to make the ultimate sacrifice
Bill, Warwick
Iraq is not an issue for me. PM is not to blame. A soldier's choice is to serve our country, which is what he was doing. The unfortunate part of service is that you may have to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Bill, Warwick

I disagree with people who say that the soldiers joined the army knowing this could happen. In both the US and UK soldiers expect they might die defending their country, not defending the megalomaniacal dreams of some politician.
Peter Nelson, Boston, USA

This highly predictable and utterly misconceived rush to blame the Prime Minister for the sad death of a UK soldier will not have a negative effect on the PM. Rather, it will make those who have not yet made up their minds for tactical or other reasons to vote for a PM who was not afraid to stand up and be counted in the face of worldwide tyranny.
Peter Abbotts, Canterbury, UK

Tony Blair's latest mantra is that Iraq is better off without Saddam Hussein. This is a classic ploy to try and change the subject and distract attention from the real issue which is that he did not trust the people, Parliament or even the Cabinet sufficiently to tell them the whole truth.
George, Vancouver, Canada

Yes, Iraq is a key issue. There is only one leader who has guts and can take the nation forward. That is Tony Blair. He took a decision and stood by that amid dissatisfaction from many. Our nation should be proud of that. If Mr Howard had to take that decision our nation would have been the laughing stock of the rest of the world
Dr S Wicks, Brentwood, Essex

To go to war for a purpose would probably make every soldier proud of fighting for a cause. I am not sure however that we had a cause, which is why this is an issue, because those who have lost their lives did so, based on a lie. I can understand the families anger.
Greg, Northants, UK

It takes a lot of courage to make a decision that would be unpopular but Tony Blair made that decision and has defended it too.
Tony Masters, London UK

The families who have lost their loved ones in the war in Iraq, will feel loss, grief and anger. These are emotions any person will feel at loosing someone very close to you. I do feel for all of them, and don't wish the losses of loved ones on anyone. A fact is, the men and woman who have joined the army, knew there was a risk to the job. A risk which no one could take responsibility for, but themselves. In these cases the survivors will want someone to take responsibility their loved ones deaths, but unfortunately, no one can.
Eve, Pinner, UK

Iraq, for me, is not a key election issue. The premise for the invasion and subsequent war in Iraq was clear from the start. This country does not have conscription. Professional soldiers know they may be called to go to war for their country, and as always it will be politicians who send them. Our forces are well trained, well educated and well paid. I am sure they understand the consequences of joining up.
David Ralph, Richmond, England

Iraq is the key issue for me in this election. The war was illegal and immoral and over 100,000 people have died as a result.
Steve, York

I realise that this is a very sad time for this family, but this man joined the army - he knew that being a soldier may involve going to war. Too many people think that it is good to be a soldier until they actually have to fight.
Lynda, Hampshire

No leader goes into war gladly
Simone Heaton, Fleet, Hants
Ms Toward's anger is understandable but her husband made a choice to be in the army and knew that he could be asked to take part in action. Mr Blair and all those who did not stand up and say no to war are in part responsible for the death of all British military who died in Iraq. But no leader goes into war gladly.
Simone Heaton, Fleet, Hants

Throughout the 20th century politicians have been faced with options based upon the information given to them by the intelligence services. A choice has to made based upon that information. Monty, Churchill, Thatcher all made what are considered to be mistakes today - in hindsight - but they made their decisions in good faith. Let's not lose sight of what governing is about. Let's get back to the real issues.
Tony Fuller, Winsham, Somerset

Not wishing to make light of Ann Toward's grief in any way, I feel blaming Mr Blair for her husband's demise is misplaced - the possibility of getting killed comes with an army career. It is unreasonable to hold the PM personally responsible for this death. As for Iraq being an election issue, there again I believe the PM is being wrongly blamed. Ultimately he was just doing his job.
Alexandra Atwood, London

Iraq has changed my vote. It is clear to me that Tony Blair had his own agenda, despite popular, international, and legal opinion. Although Labour offer the best manifesto for me in every respect, and my local Labour candidate is the best choice, I simply can't vote for Tony Blair.
Damian, London

I was against Britain taking part in the Iraq war but it still doesn't stop me voting Labour
Laura Protheroe, Bristol
I was against Britain taking part in the Iraq war but it still doesn't stop me voting Labour as I am for social justice. Labour has introduced some excellent policies in this respect and we need to value our public services such as free health care.
Laura Protheroe, Bristol, UK

Iraq is certainly an issue for me. But I shall still vote Labour, because I don't believe Labour will make a similar mistake again. But with the Tories, I am sure we'll have another war.
Roger Denton, Leicester

When you join the army, you can expect to be put into dangerous situations. It's not a sewing circle. Conscription is something we do not have in our country. His wife knew the dangers of his profession and should have persuaded him to do something different. We weren't right to go to war, in my opinion, but if we do, it's not the job of the soldier or his kin to question why.
Chris, Swansea

Iraq is an issue because it gives the Tories and Lib Dems something to attack Blair on. The questionable intelligence and legality puts the PM's trustworthiness in question. This issue may sway some voters.
Kevin, West Midlands

It appears that Mr Blair will say anything he feels he can get away with. He is very conservative with the truth and it has been proved when documents are leaked that Tony Blair has manipulated the facts to suit his needs. How can we trust anybody with the power and authority of Prime Minister of this country if they have so much spin that they believe their own version of the story and not the truth?
Stewart, Peterborough

Sure, Blair sent soldiers to war - that's part of his job. The only people responsible for the deaths of soldiers in Iraq are the insurgents, terrorists and Saddam supporters. If you join the army you should know that you might get sent to war. For the families to blame Blair just seems pathetic.
Duncan, Peterborough, UK

I'd just like to know what these people who are making ferocious attacks on Blair's integrity are going to do if we wake up to a re-elected Labour government on Friday. Making the war such a high level issue would give Mr Blair every right to claim re-election as a vindication of his Iraq policy.
Steve, Bristol, UK

Of course Iraq is a key issue. If people don't care that Mr Blair lied to the nation to take us to war, then you'd think they'd at least consider what could be done with the tens of billions of pounds we are spending on Iraq. We could be spending that on hospitals, more police and schools.
Chris, UK

Iraq isn't an issue for me at all. It was a difficult decision made with the best intelligence we had at the time. It turns out the intelligence was wrong, but I do not think we were misled. There has been more than enough public money spent on enquiries etc so I will be voting on the issues that affect me today and not a war that is over.
Richard, Ellesmere Port

It was a job that had to be done
J E Roberts, Stotfold, UK
Iraq will not affect my vote. It was a job that had to be done. We have to stand for freedom wherever it is.
J E Roberts, Stotfold, UK

Whether the war in Iraq is right or wrong is not the issue at all. Far more significant is that Blair embarked on a programme to mislead the public and manipulate parliament. He tried to create a climate of fear in order to manufacture a war. He abused the United Nations to create a pretext for war. This utter lack of respect for democracy, international institutions, and the electorate is the issue. Get rid of him.
Agnes Clarke, Lelystad, Netherlands

I was not surprised when America ignored Bush's lies and his proven incompetence concerning Iraq. But Britain? If the polls are to be believed, a plurality of UK voters are willing to overlook Blair's misrepresentations and his 'Poodle Policy' on the world stage. Apparently you are as easily distracted as we are.
F T Kettering, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Given the facts, all the evidence that your security forces provide you with and the information presented surrounding the scenario, I'd be interested to know what all the cynics would have done differently.
Ross, UK

We were misled on both the WMD dossier and the legality of taking us to war
Nicola, Newbridge, Gwent
The war in Iraq is still a big issue. We were misled on both the WMD dossier and the legality of taking us to war. We have invaded another country and caused a power vacuum that is now civil war. Blair took us to war because the US decided to flex its muscle and oil interests in the Middle East.
Nicola, Newbridge, Gwent

Of course it's an election issue. Who wants a prime minister who doesn't even know how many British troops have been killed in a war he sent them to fight? Not me!
David Towns, Morpeth, Northumberland

Yes, Iraq is an issue because as far as I am concerned Tony Blair was the only party for the war on Iraq. I'm certainly not voting for Tony Blair because of this and the broken promises about tuition fees and making the mistakes he has done.
Payman, London, UK

Another soldier killed, another stomach turning speech from Blair about the wonderful job our troops are doing. Why does he always hide behind soldiers, nurses, police? When the Iraq war was won he was out there for the photo calls. When it started going wrong, Geoff Hoon was wheeled out to take the flak. No backbone or moral fibre whatsoever.
Don, Hong Kong

The simple fact is, the polls aren't moving. Iraq might be a big issue for left wing moralists and the rest of the chattering classes, but obviously millions of people in the UK think saying goodbye to Saddam was a necessary evil. That's not war mongering, it's setting an example and giving teeth to otherwise meaningless UN resolutions.
Dave, Leicester, UK

We should focus on the future not the past
Darryl, Portsmouth, England
I do not believe that the war is an election issue; we should focus on the future not the past. I agree the government did not handle the release of information very well and it has made them look secretive and evasive. But anyone who lived through the previous Conservative government could not surely contemplate electing them again as a protest against the war? Their policies have not changed at all, despite their election publicity!
Darryl, Portsmouth, England

Harold Wilson, to his credit, kept us out of the Vietnam war but this country's perceived disloyalty to the USA cost Britain very dearly with the IMF when the economy hit its next rough patch. A lousy argument I know, and one I which leaves me extremely uneasy.
Robert, Birmingham

It makes me sick when people liken Tony Blair to Winston Churchill
Chris, Telford, UK
It makes me sick when people liken Tony Blair to Winston Churchill. It is like comparing a molehill with the great pyramid. The truth is that Saddam Hussein wasn't a threat to world peace, and could easily be contained, whereas it took the might of the whole free world to defeat Hitler. The world is a more dangerous place post-Iraq, simply because the way Iraq was handled by Britain and America set dangerous new precedents about the way one country can invade another against the wishes of the UN and the world.
Chris, Telford, UK

My conclusion regarding Iraq is that it is something we would have had to do sooner or later anyway, as I don't believe there was any possibility that we could be certain one way or the other if Saddam Hussein had WMD or not. Therefore, Iraq is not an issue. However, things like house prices and council tax skyrocketing and public services not being improved, despite tax increases, are issues that concern me now.
Graeme Phillips, Guildford, UK

Our involvement in Iraq is something we should be very proud of. Without our help the Iraqis would still be being starved and murdered by Saddam instead of making real progress towards a democratic state. I know which scenario I prefer and I'm sure the vast majority of Iraqis do too. People thinking of 'punishing' Blair should examine their own consciences; it's easy to say No to war, far more difficult to take a courageous decision to fight in a just cause.
Stephen, London

Although the election is about looking forward, we should care about our image in the eyes of the world. At the moment Britain is looking like a war-mongering country that defies United Nations policy. This is a chance for the British public to change that perception. The economy will be strong as long as the Bank of England controls interest rates, it doesn't matter who wins. Just vote for someone other than Tory or Labour.
Paul Handley, Ayr, UK

I support the war. I think we should have gone to war regardless. But Tony Blair based his campaign on WMDs, misleading this country. If he simply said we need to get rid of this dictator regardless, and took us to war I feel he wouldn't have this problem. Some people are against war full stop, but sometimes there is the need to go to war for peace.
Joseph Cullen, Luton, Bedfordshire

I think the key fact is that Mr Blair misled the country
Rinaldo Marcoz, London
I think the key fact is that Mr Blair misled the country, whatever the rights or wrongs of the war. It also seems that we have forgotten about Osama Bin Laden or else we are being very secretive about trying to catch him!
Rinaldo Marcoz, London

So, Mr Blair may have lied about Iraq, its urgency and the legalities of invasion (I resist calling it a war, more of a walk-over really). So what are the electorate going to do about it? Nothing, that's what. We'll go on with our 4WD's and second homes rented out because the majority of us have achieved a state of affluence where nothing matters more than our continuity in that state. It's a sell-out that Mr Blair depends upon for his election victory and it's is one that he will get.
Suzanne Hudson, Leeds, UK

I have had discussions with colleagues, friends and relatives about a variety of subjects related to the election, and even though quite a few of them are Muslim or have quite left wing leanings, not one person mentioned the war as a subject that would influence how they would vote. With the media and many of the other parties obsessed with the war, Labour will slip in through the back door because the important subjects for electors have not been properly discussed.
Tim, Birmingham, UK

The Iraq war is in the past, and I don't want the next five years to be based on a period of history. I want economical stability, centred on low interest rates and low taxes. (John Major promised not to increase VAT, and when re-elected promptly put them up.) I want clean hospitals (don't forget that the Tories privatised hospital cleaning.)I feel that if the Tories once again raise their ugly policies and rule this country, we will be rapidly in a downward spiral.
Denise Johns, Cheltenham, England

We were taken to war on a false premise and counter to the UN
Ann, London
It is vitally important to all British people. We were taken to war on a false premise and counter to the UN; it is costing the British taxpayer over a billion each week; the cost in terms of lives is absolutely terrible. And, will it affect my vote? Certainly.
Ann, London

Had there been any threat, of any kind, at all, then one might have some sympathy with MPs taking the decision for us. However, in the case of Iraq where there clearly was absolutely no threat of any sort, it should have been put to a referendum.
Steve, UK

There may be circumstances where it would not be practical for a full Commons debate on taking the nation to war. In particular where time was a key factor and the matter might otherwise get bogged down in a voting stalemate. However, in such cases it is essential that the PM is exercising good judgement and given Mr Blair's performance I feel that is sadly lacking.
Tony Greenfield,

Can we forget Iraq now? The Iraqis are happy and we have more important things to worry about for this country. Why don't people start thinking about the NHS, education, pensions, fair pay instead of harping on about a war that we won and moved on from?
Frank, UK

Brown's comments were utterly foolish and reckless. As a rule, the more a leadership capitulates to impertinent backbenchers, the less effective it becomes.
Michael Canaris, Sydney, Australia

Perhaps it's time to realise that those with power intervene only for their own benefit
Vineet Bhalla, Dublin, Ireland
It's nice to see a portion of the British public wanting to move on from the issue, or considering it a non-issue. If only all those Iraqis killed by British and American weaponry could move on just as easily. Or perhaps all those Iraqis that suffered under a dictator who was installed and supported by the West for all those years. Perhaps it's time to realise that those with power intervene only for their own benefit, not that of any people's.
Vineet Bhalla, Dublin, Ireland

By all means, the MPs should have the final say. Tony Blair and George W Bush, when given the final say, brought their respective nations into a war that has resulted in the deaths of many British and American soldiers.
Martin, USA

I am a Tory, but feel that Tony Blair is being given a hard time. We don't know how lucky we have to have the democratic voice that we have. The people in Iraq voted with the constant fear of attack. Those thinking of abdicating their voting rights, please think again. We are very lucky to enjoy our democratic freedom, and we celebrate this year with VE Day.
Phil W, UK

What I find so frustrating with all of this is the almost complete disregard for the enormity of the decision the prime minister was faced with. Tony Blair had to weigh the safety of the UK, its citizens and our interests here and abroad in the face of a potentially deadly threat. He made the difficult and I believe the right choice. He didn't lie or trick the country, he just showed some leadership for which he deserves credit not contempt.
Michael, Hitchin

I think Gordon Brown is merely making an opportunistic statement to win back disillusioned voters. He was in the cabinet when the leadership misled parliament about the nature of their intelligence on Iraq and he, like every member of that cabinet, is culpable by association. Iraq shows the weakness in our democratic process that needs drastic overhaul. I take it this is what Gordon is promising to address. It is a bit like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.
Pamela Harries, London

The idea that MPs should have the final say over whether we go to war depends on them making a considered judgement, and that seems difficult if the information presented to MPs is less than complete. It also relies on an effective opposition - something that has been lacking in the past eight years. In the current environment it really seems to make no difference whether there is a vote on war or not.
Paul, Belgium

Call me selfish, but foreign policy is the lowest on my priority list. I will vote for whoever will increase my quality of life the most. These anti-war people will be the first ones to complain about tax rises, traffic congestion or crime when it affects them - so do something about it now rather than moan about it later.
Lee, Newport, S Wales

In my opinion Blair should be in court for crimes against humanity. Our army should be used for defence not offence.
Nicholas Bryan, Brazil

Quite simply it is the only issue
Newton Grave, Hull
Quite simply it is the only issue. I am disgusted by what happened at the time because it was clear to me then that there were no WMD.
Newton Grave, Hull

Blair did the right thing I think the Tory's are being Hypocritical because they would have backed Uncle Sam in just the same way. Look at Thatcher's support for the US and in particular Reagan.
P M Flynn, Bournemouth

I agree with Gordon Brown, MPs should have the final say. Also, it would be a good idea for the whole Cabinet to discuss the details and not have them just relying on an Attorney General's word. Didn't any cabinet minister read the documents at all?
Anita Hamilton, Stevenston, Ayrshire

I disagree with the chancellor. The final decision in a case of going to war should be made by the prime minister. I would also like to urge voters to vote for Labour even if you don't like Mr Blair, because he himself has said that within two years he will resign. Don't forget Labour's achievements and the Tory failures.
Brendan Chilton, UK

Gordon Brown sounds like he is going to be as stupid as the boss he aspires to replace. In the long term, British governments are responsible to the people if they want to function properly and stay in office. Majorities in parliament due to the vagaries of an increasingly corrupt, discredited and unrepresentative electoral system will be as inadequate as the fig leaf that prime ministers hide behind called the prerogative. They are no substitute for listening to the people.
Julian Fountain, London

I remain very angry with Blair for taking us into the war on Iraq and believe he should be punished for it. We have not been supporting America, which is very much poorer for this action, but a clique of oil and arms companies. Why did Blair not have more sense?
Gordon, Devon, UK

I am not at all happy that Tony Blair took us to war. But what appals me is the Tory attack on his decision-making when Michael Howard clearly states that he supported the war to rid Iraq of Saddam. What is the real difference between the two positions? Nothing - war results from both. Iraq is not a key issue for me, motivation is. On this issue Mr. Howard loses.
Julian Winn, Wales

I will not vote for the Lib Dems because they opposed the war
Mathius Gris, UK
Iraq is a key voting issue for me. I will not vote for the Lib Dems because they opposed the war. The other key issue is defence, more to the point that parties don't take it seriously anymore. The Conservatives are the only party to release real numbers, and while they may be open to interpretation they are better than 'aspirations'.
Mathius Gris, UK

Iraq is not a issue for me. A decision was made by the prime minister in good faith. What is an issue for me is whether that should depend on one man and his judgement. I feel that Tony Bair does exhibit worrying world saving tendencies coupled with religious fervour in the heat of the moment.
Pam, North Yorks

Iraq is being used for political advantage especially by the Lib Dems. Their other policies, like reducing life sentences, are not being heard and they are shielding behind their stance on Iraq.
Sophie, London

I trust neither MPs nor the PM to take these decisions alone. Going to war ought to require a mandate from MPs, the PM and the reigning monarch; with any one of these being able to veto the other two.
Phil, UK

Iraq is not an election issue for me
David Robertson, Scotland

I didn't care about the war then and I don't care now. Unfair European trade policies kill more people in Africa every year than a hundred Iraqi wars. It seems that Western liberals only notice oppression when it happens to people with pale complexions and headscarves.
Andrew, London

It wasn't Tony Blair that made the decision to go to war; it would seem it was the Labour Government's decision. The cabinet has collective responsibility for that decision, including Gordon Brown, whose sycophancy towards Tony Blair on this matter means he also can't be trusted!
Terry, London

I just feel the people of Iraq deserve peace, so Iraq remains an election issue.
Keith, London

I would agree that MPs should be given the final say but then of course they need to be told the truth and not just what the government of the day considers the truth.
Michael Mciver, Hastings

I agree with Gordon Brown. However I do not believe that the Royal Prerogative should be abandoned completely. There may, hypothetically, be occasion for military action when secrecy is paramount to success. Labour has been right to put all potential wars to parliamentary vote, and this should continue, but exceptions MAY exist.
Mike Jones, Cardiff, Wales

Prime Ministers should have no power to bypass parliament
Brian Langfield, Yorkshire
I support Gordon Brown's comments but this issue needs to become law. Prime Ministers should have no power to bypass parliament. In fact, the omnipotence of politicians over the electorate should be reversed. I only wish we had some real politicians to offer the electorate a choice of political system.
Brian Langfield, Yorkshire

For those who say the world is better without Saddam around, remember that he could have been removed or contained by peaceful methods if Blix had been left to do his job. I, for one, think Saddam had to go, but not at the cost of so many lives. All alternatives to war should have been explored before agreeing to Bush's show of machismo.
Ian, UK

Blair says 'I made a decision, live with it'. So I will live with it and vote for someone else this time.
Simon, Flint, Flintshire

I'm less concerned with the legality of it and more concerned with the morality. It concerns me that we jumped on the USA band-wagon of opinion that believes we can just jump in with force and sort out whichever countries we decide need sorting out. Bush and Blair should concentrate on getting things right in their own countries, and only intervene when it is in agreement with and in the name of the UN.
Buzz, Glasgow

As someone who has served in Iraq I think I'm more entitled than most to comment. As prime minister, Tony Blair had a difficult decision to make and he made it, that's why he's the Prime Minister.
Martin S, Lympstone, UK

The appalling behaviour of Mr Blair in this matter during the last four years means that I cannot bring myself to vote Labour this time round.
Jan, Guildford

History will show that Blair made the correct decision. Those who think otherwise obviously don't understand how big the threat of terrorism is. Labour has done a great deal for schools and the NHS - people don't give this party the respect they deserve. They want a quick fix and it is this general attitude that is bringing this country to its knees.
Andy, Winchester

I will vote Labour because of the package
Jackie, Surrey
No. I will vote Labour. Why? Because of the package and not because of one single decision made by Blair. Again Britain's ignorance is making us the laughing stock of Europe and the rest of world.
Jackie, Surrey

It needed no advice from Goldsmith for over one million people to march in London against what they knew was an illegal war. When I see the same number march again to support Blair's honesty I'll consider voting Labour again.
Ray, Wolverhampton

No, because I would never vote for him anyway. I'm old enough to remember the last time Labour was in power, when the dead went unburied and the rubbish was piled high in the streets. Who on earth wants that again?
Bob, Shetland, UK

At least Tony Blair was prepared to make decision he thought was right as opposed to what was popular. That's leadership. Kennedy and Howard's policy is make me popular at any cost.
Ian, Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire

I was amongst those who thought the Iraq war illegal albeit without full knowledge. Having read Goldsmith's full analysis with care, however, I'm surprised to learn it was legal after all.
John, Lewes, UK

So what event between 7th and 17th March caused the Attorney General to lose his doubts?
R Walford, Saffron Walden, Essex

Whilst I opposed the war and believe that Mr Blair used means other than the truth to involve the UK in the conflict, this election is not a referendum on his handling of Iraq.
Rob, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

An unjustified war must be an election issue
Phil Goode, Maidenhead
There was no UN mandate to invade Iraq. There were no WMD. Blair and Labour were wrong to stick with the US and invade. That is the issue. An unjustified war must be an election issue.
Phil Goode, Maidenhead

With an impending Labour victory and the Tories coming a close second, I can only hope that some day the Iraqis may come to our rescue, invade our country on whatever premise best appeases their population, and force change on our own controversial government.
Darryl, Manchester

All the information recently released should not be looked at as an Iraq issue but rather as a government and (especially) prime minister who are willing to hide, obscure and even alter reported facts to fit with their purposes. Therefore it is more an issue of can you trust Blair, and personally I don't think I can, so will not even consider voting for Labour.
Khurum, Glasgow

The only reason we went to war was to assist Bush and the supply of oil. Saddam was just an excuse as will Iran be. Russia will win in the end.
Christine Pocknell, Bicester

The latest revelations won't change my vote, but the war did
Adam, London, UK
The latest revelations won't change my vote, but the war did. I was a lifelong Labour voter until the war, but will be voting Lib Dem this time.
Adam, London, UK

Too many people here are talking about Iraq. The question raised is not about the war or even the legality of the invasion as such. It is all about due process and whether Blair acted appropriately and told all concerned parties not only the truth but the whole truth. That and only that should be what the debate is about. Judge for yourselves.
Rupert Seal, Southampton, UK

No way will the Iraq issue change my voting intentions. If anything I am more determined to vote Labour. The Iraq debate has shown what an astute politician Tony Blair really is. My belief is that Tony Blair set a calculated ploy to allow Howard and Kennedy to rant on about the legality of the war knowing full well he would authorise the publication of the attorney general's report at a convenient point in time to show that their accusations that the prime minister was not telling the truth are completely unfounded.
William, Blackburn, UK

Here in Spain, participation in the war, spin and especially a clumsy attempt to dupe the public after the Madrid attacks cost the ruling Partido Popular the election. However, here there was a viable alternative. Mr Blair might like to reflect on his luck.
Stephen Kelly, Barcelona, Spain

I was and am completely opposed to the war in Iraq. However, I understand Mr Blair's decision, and I can only respect him for committing political suicide to do what he believed was right. As KP from Manchester points out, why should he lie to enter a war which he knew would seriously injure, if not kill him, politically? Iraq is an issue, but it is not the only issue, and quite frankly the other parties offer no reasonable alternative. The Tories are basing their entire campaign on criticism of a war which they supported, and the Lib Dems' policies just don't make sense. I can only conclude that the war is an issue because Labour would clearly win any real policy debate.
Jennifer, USA

My anger at the war in Iraq is the sole reason I am voting this time round
Tim, Manchester, UK
My anger at the war in Iraq is the sole reason I am voting this time round. Mr Blair lied, the Tories backed it and the Lib Dems didn't know where they stood. I'll vote for the Green Party on 5 May, because they fully opposed the war.
Tim, Manchester, UK

Last century the world faced the Germans and Japanese in World War II and the threat of dictatorship from the USSR. Thanks to US military power these threats have vanished. For a British PM not to support the US in an action for a safer world would be criminal. Blair supported Bush, would Howard or Kennedy have done the same?
Richard Davie, Burntisland Scotland

I am sick and tired of pompous students insulting my people by saying they should have been left to rape, torture and murder by Hussein. When are you British going to start listening to us when we say the war was a good thing? When are you going to start believing we deserve a chance at the same luxuries of free speech you have? When are you anti-war people going to start treating us like human beings?
Achmed, UK (ex Iraq)

Please UK voters, give Tony another chance. The war in Iraq was a good way of planting democracy in the Middle East and farther in Africa. Imagine Saddam still in power and threatening Kuwait or Saudi Arabia?
Michel Ikamba, Canterbury, UK

Too many people have been fooled into thinking that the problem here is the war itself
John R Smith, UK
Too many people have been fooled into thinking that the problem here is the war itself. It's not. It's about a prime minister who lied to his colleagues, his party and his country. If the pro-Blair camp close their eyes to this in next weeks vote, then British politics is in a very bad way indeed. I recommend people to vote with this in mind, look for a candidate in their area who will commit never to mislead them.
John R Smith, UK

I am afraid that this and many other actions by this government have changed my mind. Allowing speed cameras, allowing the petrol escalator tax to continue (Tory invention), the Iraq war, fox hunting, 1% tax increase (national insurance), banning hand guns for votes, to name a few.
Steve Pennell, Burnley, UK

For me the contents are irrelevant. My beef is that Tony Blair now claims that the document proves nothing. If so why did it have to be leaked two years after the event? That is why I will not vote for Labour - they are not open and honest. They just spin, withhold information and deceive.
David O'Neill, Maidstone, Kent

To those who say that this will not change their vote because the war was right, even if the reasons given were wrong - does this mean you favour invading every country with a repressive regime? I do not want to live in the world you will create by voting on this logic!
Nigel Henderson, Alkmaar, The Netherlands (British expat)

The removal of a genocidal maniac gets my vote. Get real here people, Mr Blair did mankind a big favour just like Churchill did. So get with the programme. You as a leader must make tough decisions whether it's a popular one or not!!
Mitch, Darwen, UK

I am sick and tired of this issue. I was against the war but we have a duty to clear up the mess we have created. The decision to go to war is history - we need to move on.
Jenny Crooks, Louth UK

Would Michael Howard have done anything differently? I don't think so. There were enough suspicions at the time and plenty of questions that were never asked. Michael Howard could have destroyed Blair's case for war but chose instead to support it. A good opposition is essential if democracy is to work and Howard failed miserably. I wonder if elected what he would do if America wants help invading Iran?
Paul, UK

Mr Blair used the wrong means to achieve the right ends
Suzanne Hudson, Leeds UK
Mr Blair used the wrong means to achieve the right ends. This latest revelation suggests that he was working to the Bush timetable and not one of his cabinet or parliament. It is this point, if any, that may cost him votes.
Suzanne Hudson, Leeds UK

No! It is probably the only reason that I might vote Labour. Its about time that us brats living in a democracy realise what freedom the people of Iraq now have. Just ask the majority of Iraqi people not the small minority who wish to cause trouble.
Kate Greening, Lichfield England

No it won't change my vote. It happened so long ago and I feel that Michael Howard may have shot himself in the foot. He was in favour of the war at the time and appears to be so desperate that he is trying to clutch at straws!
Ken Smith, Diss, Norfolk

Whatever the rights, wrongs or unknowns of this matter, I don't think just before a general election is a 'cool-headed' time to debate this matter once again.
Pete Hobden, Oxford

The new revelations about the Attorney-General's legal advice are more an indictment of Blair's style of government than of his integrity. Decisions are made informally by small groups of unelected advisers, rather than through proper channels with proper consideration given to the relevant information. Blair and his cronies have managed to discredit a perfectly good case for war through incompetence and unnecessary spin.
Steve, London, UK

Didn't we all know this already? It actually reinforces my Labour vote, because it almost certainly means that someone high up in one of the other parties has been holding onto this document until now, waiting for the most opportune time to release it and manipulate the electorate. We should treat that action with the contempt it deserves.
Robert, Edinburgh

Knowing that a UN resolution for war was impossible, and with the choice to either support or reject George Bush, Michael Howard would have handled the decision to go to war in exactly the same way as Blair. As a supporter of the war, his opportunism, now, is simply breathtaking.
Tim Huskisson, Southend-on-Sea, Essex

I have always voted for the Conservative party and intend to do so again this time. Tony Blair and his government have consistently lied over numerous issues not least the war in Iraq. The real point however is that both the Lib Dems and Tories would have done the same thing! Iraq is a place the US wanted a regime change, they would have gone in with or without us. I would imagine the UK were strong armed into it by Bush, which just serves as proof of how pathetic Tony Blair is.
Matt Brazil, Javea, Spain

I have always voted Labour. Today I posted my postal vote for the Lib Dems for a number of reasons, top of the list being the war. Labour beware; when voters like me desert you, you're in real trouble.
Mike, Workington

No. We knew it had been fixed. We knew the dossier had been sexed-up. We knew the whole thing was on a dodgy basis. The difference now is we have some proof.
Rod Main, Newhaven UK

Is our relationship with Mr Bush so important as to mislead the House of Commons and the electorate?
Neil Fraser, Cheshunt, England
As far as I am concerned this is the single issue that should determine whether the British public should re-elect the Government. This war has cost the taxpayer a substantial amount of money - it was ill-founded and possibly illegal. Is our relationship with Mr Bush so important as to mislead the House of Commons and the electorate?
Neil Fraser, Cheshunt, England

Tony Blair is taking very unfair flack over this. The Lib Dems and Tories should be ashamed of making capital out of a decision they would have undoubtedly taken had they been in Government.
Ian Bartlett, Chesham, UK

To put all the blame on Tony Blair for the Iraq war is shameful. There were lots of other countries that supported the war and went to Iraq. The UN and certain countries we now know were too corrupt to sanction a second resolution and Saddam Hussein knew that. This witch hunt is disgusting.
Tom, Stirling, UK

Iraq is not an issue for 97% of the electorate. This is the media pushing their own anti-war agenda. Those people who opposed the war should tell the people of Iraq that Saddam is better than democracy. It's time that the appeasers of Saddam woke up and entered the real world of difficult decisions. This man gassed 30,000 of his own people, and shot his political opponents, and the Lib Dems say we should of left him in power! If the Lib Dems want power they should start behaving like a party prepared to take tough decisions.
Mike Molloy, Bedford, England

I don't think the latest revelations will affect the election result at all, since people primarily base their vote on self-interest
Ian, Edinburgh, UK
I don't think the latest revelations will affect the election result at all, since people primarily base their vote on self-interest (hence the biggest issues are always taxation, NHS, education, crime etc.) But I believe that ultimately Iraq will be what ends Blair's leadership. I predict that the next parliament will be punctuated by a continuing erosion of his integrity as more and more is discovered about how he took us to war. And public faith in him is already at an all time low. He's only surviving due to lack of a viable opposition.
Ian, Edinburgh, UK

It is an election issue because it shows that Blair stood up against all those who prefer to hide under their blankets whilst other people suffered under a tyrant. What happened after that is the fault of the terrorists, not the coalition. That isn't enough for me to vote Labour (they've done too much genuinely wrong in my opinion), but it does mean I won't vote Lib Dem either. Unfortunately my political opinions are very un-Tory, so I won't be voting for them. And people wonder why there is so little enthusiasm for voting.
Simon, Manchester, UK

The moral case for war was overwhelming. Those who criticise the UK joining the US in overthrowing Saddam had no credible alternative given the intransigence of the UN Security Council and the games played by Saddam's regime. Blair has nothing to apologise for. The UK and US have defeated a regime that threatened Middle East peace and conducted mass murder of its own people.
Adrian Gourlay, Loughborough, England



Early Iraq legal advice 'leaked'
27 Apr 05 |  Election 2005