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Last Updated: Friday, 6 May 2005, 15:35 GMT 16:35 UK
Scottish voters' panel: Post election

BBC Scotland's news website invited ordinary voters to comment throughout the general election campaign.

Here, the day after polling, three of the 11-strong panel give their views on the election result and assess what they think it means for Scotland and the UK as a whole.


SCOTLAND VOTER PANEL
Name: Jim

Monaghan
Age: 35
Lives: Bishopbriggs, Glasgow
Works: Area manager for car company
Voted: Labour

Jim's constituency of Dunbartonshire East went from Labour to Liberal Democrat.

Although the 35-year-old voted Labour, he said it was all credit to the Liberal Democrats that they won the seat.

He said: "Their candidate Jo Swinson did a strong local campaign and I'm not too surprised that she won through.

"I think it could have been much worse for Labour in Scotland and the rest of the UK.

"I am delighted with a third Labour government. I am also pleased to see the Liberal Democrats doing well because I believe there should be three strong parties. Competition is healthy in business and it is healthy in politics.

"We received a cleaver piece of literature from the Lib Dem candidate in the form of what appeared to be a hand-written letter to the Monaghan family. It was personal and honest and I can appreciate what affect it would have had on voters.

"I was working away on Thursday in Milton Keynes and I made it back home with just half an hour to go before the polls closed."


SCOTLAND VOTER PANEL
Name: Michael Marley
Age: 26
Lives: Perth
Works: Hotel duty manager
Voted: Liberal Democrat

Michael's Perth and North Perthshire constituency remained in Scottish National Party hands.

Nevertheless, the Liberal Democrat voter, who watched the election coverage until 0345 BST, was pleased with the outcome.

He said: "The party can move forward on a result like this. I voted straight after work yesterday and settled down to watch the election coverage.

"I think for the Lib Dems the next step will be to concentrate on Holyrood.

"It is vital that the party capitalise and become an even stronger force in Scottish politics.

"I suppose I could have voted tactically on the day and gone for the Conservatives, which were the second place party, but that wasn't for me.

"I made my mind up on the Lib Dems early and I was sticking with that. I am happy with the overall outcome."


SCOTLAND VOTER PANEL
Name: Stephen Edenborough
Age: 45
Lives: Paisley
Works: Lecturer in higher education
Voted: Conservative

Stephen's constituency of Paisley and Renfrewshire South was held comfortably by Labour.

The lecturer, who stayed up into the early hours to watch the election coverage, said he had no intention of voting tactically and although he knew his vote would not change the result, he was acting on principle.

He added: "I wanted to go for a party I believed in, regardless of the outcome.

"It was a disappointing result for Scotland, but it has been that way for a number of years now. We'll soon be looking towards the Holyrood election and I'm sure it will be better news for the Tories then.

"Michael Howard is set to go, and that is something that is of no surprise to me. He was never going to be there for the long term.

"I don't think the party will go for someone as young as William Hague next time."

The readers' panel was selected from as wide a cross-section of people as possible and may not be representative of wider public opinion.



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