MEET THE PANEL
Name: Stephen Edenborough
Works: Lecturer in higher education
Current voting intention: Conservative
I am 45-years-old, a chartered surveyor working in higher education and married with one son. I have decided to vote Conservative at the forthcoming general election.
I have the long held belief that government is too big and needs to be reined in.
The Labour Party nationally, and the Lib-Dem/Labour coalition in Scotland, seem determined to intrude into almost every aspect of our lives, and to tax us all for the privilege.
There must come a point in the near future when the enterprise section of the economy simply can't pay the cheques that Gordon Brown continues to write.
I expect a Conservative government to reduce the role and scope of the state, to focus spending on putting more police, doctors and nurses onto the frontline and to reward rather than penalise individuals and families who save for retirement.
While Tony Blair continues to promote all things EU, I can see no major benefits to the nation from giving up sterling, and control of our economy, in favour of the Euro. The EU super state seems to me to be dead in the water.
I would be surprised if Labour or Lib-Dem could persuade me to vote for them.
Send us your comments on Stephen's views using the form on the right.
With all the opinions floating around from this 'voters' panel' it has taken a level-headed sensible approach (from a would be Conservative voter) to discuss an issue that is relevant, the EU. With decisions over education, NHS and such like made at Holyrood this election is about four greater issues - foreign policy, the economy, security and the EU, topics that seem to be forgotten by some. I would ask any Labour supporter or candidate this question - why base an entire campaign around the economy you have helped create only to hand executive powers and ruling over to Brussels? Idiocy of the highest order.
I'm impressed that you consider voting Tory in Paisley (of all places) will have any impact whatsoever. Whilst I agree with many of the points here, I am deeply unimpressed with Michael Howard - he is no PM-in waiting, as indeed the Conservatives know. He ended up as leader because no one else wanted the job - scarcely eminent credentials. The Conservatives will have their day, but not this time.
I agree with what Stephen is saying about New Labour. They would do much better if they didn't send Tony Blair to Scotland, but Gordon Brown instead. I must say, however, that I've always failed to understand why anyone votes Tory in Scotland. I was surprised to find out recently that in the 1950s they were the biggest party in this country. So, where did it all go wrong? Well, ask anyone from my home town, Greenock, who used to work at Scott-Lithgow and they will tell you the answer. Their policies are clearly geared towards the South East of England; take, for example, their near-hysterical immigration policy. In my opinion the Scottish Tories don't stand up for Scotland, the words that come out of their mouths are parroted from down south. That has been the case for a long time now and that is why they only have one seat. To me, the Scottish Tories represent smug, cap-in-hand subservience to London. Stephen, what do they stand for to you? Can you convince me otherwise?Dave MacPhail, Edinburgh, Scotland