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BBC Election 2005

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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 May 2005, 18:16 GMT 19:16 UK
UK voters' panel: David Mayer

MEET THE PANEL
David Mayer
Name: David Mayer
Age: 45
Lives: Emsworth, Hampshire
Works: Financial services
Original voting intention: Undecided
Voted: Liberal Democrats
In 10 words or less:
"Husband and father of six, fearful of our economic future."

I decided eventually to vote for the Liberal Democrats.

I reached this decision after having had the privilege to question Charles Kennedy and Michael Howard on behalf of the BBC voters' panel.

I found Charles Kennedy the more compelling proponent of his party's policy.

That said it made no difference as I voted in a safe Conservative seat which has not been marginal in any recent election.

I am pleased with the overall result for the Liberal Democrat Party, but remain firmly of the opinion that the first-past-the-post system is inherently unfair for the majority of the electorate.

VOTERS' PANEL: FINAL REACTION
I was heartened that my son was more fortunate in Bristol West and was truly able to say his vote counted.

Tony Blair's statement that he has a mandate from the people to govern is only true in the narrow sense of having more seats than anyone else.

With the smallest share of the vote ever to win an election outright, nearly two voters in three actually voted against the Labour Party.

No mandate there then!


Your comments:

I'm lucky in that my vote counted in the marginal seat of Taunton, but the voting system in this country has been shown up to be what it is in this election - unfair. How can a 36% share of the popular vote equate to a 66 seat majority?
Ed Williams, Taunton

I totally agree that our electoral system has to be reformed. I'm sure the 'first past the post' system is one of the main reasons so many people decide not to vote. I can see why Lib Dem voters feel aggrieved when they have such a small proportion of MPs, for almost a quarter of the vote; and those people who vote for smaller parties like the Greens end up with no representation in parliament at all.
Sandra Beeson, Leyton, London, UK

I've got the same problem, I also voted Lib Dem (but based on the leaders, I half wish I'd voted Labour) but in a seat that's been Tory since 1841, my vote couldn't really dent Alan Duncan's majority.
Adam Drummond, Rutland, UK

Why would one assume that people voting Conservative, Lib Dem or any other party were actually voting against Labour rather than for their party of choice? Experience shows that at a national level, a result that leaves no party with a clear working majority often results in a government being held hostage to single-issue or extremist party that not only do not reflect the views of the majority of the electorate but may, in fact, represent only a tiny minority. Whether under Thatcher or Blair, Britain has benefited from sustained periods of stable single-party government. In each case overreaching by the government has ended up being punished come election day. Who would want to return to the chaos and economic zig-zagging of the 70s instead?
Andrew Clark, Arbroath, Angus





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