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Wednesday, 6 June, 2001, 19:57 GMT 20:57 UK
Memories are made of these...
The election is over. What have been your abiding memories? Do they include William Hague's resignation, Tony Blair being harangued by angry Sharron Storer about cancer care and John Prescott's left hook?
Is it a highlight from the Liberal Democrats final rally? A streaker - with the word "vote" scrawled on his bottom - ran across the stage as Charles Kennedy described a vote for the Conservatives as a "wasted vote".
Or perhaps the return to the campaign frontline for Lady Thatcher who said she would never scrap the pound.
But what do you think? Is it these incidents or is it the politicians' explanations of the policies which have mattered to you most? What image encapsulates the election for you?
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
All my memories of the election will revolve around doctored figures rehearsed sound bites and spin. But then Tony is Tony.
N, East Grinstead, UK
The Prescott punch? A high-profile defection on the eve of the ballot? The usual outbreak of Mad Cow disease? No, not even these could make memorable the dullest election in my voting lifetime.
Undoubtedly, Prescott punching that poor man, it just showed him for what he is, a bully boy!
The indecision caused by having fundamental disagreements with all the big parties and some sympathy with quite a lot of the little ones.
Some may find this controversial, but I think the emergence of political consensus in the greater role of the private sector in delivering clinical sevices for NHS patients will, in hindsight, allow historians to view this election as a turning point in British political and social history.
Peter Fermoy, London, UK
What a lack-lustre election! The biggest impact any of the parties made was when old 'Two-jabs' belted the childish egg-thrower! Someone wake me up when it's all over.
Mr Hague's tenuous grasp on why they were thrown out last time. It's not over yet admittedly, but the Tories don't look like an effective opposition let alone a government in waiting.
The only decent speech I've heard so far was by Major on, I think, the Today program a few days ago. I'd nearly forgotten there were politicians capable of presenting a reasoned argument.
William Hague brandishing a pound coin at every opportunity and asking us to pretend it wasn't a general election after all! The 'mummy' put in an appearance, - "old" Tories wallowed in nostalgia while others remembered the "bad old days". And the final "master stroke", the "please vote for us 'cos you don't want them to win by as much this time" gambit!
E Drennan, Armadale, Scotland
I'm afraid my abiding memory of this election will be the face of the poor Labour canvasser who came asking for my vote. Months of frustration with politics generally had obviously been bottled up inside me and he was the first (and only) person from any party that had bothered to try to meet me in person. I'm afraid that I gave the chap such a big piece of my mind that I really feel I ought to apologise...
My most memorable moments of this campaign have all been from when they dragged Thatcher out of mothballs and reminded us time and again why she shouldn't be allowed to speak any more and we need to do all we can to keep the Tory loonies out!
The "double" speak: We, when were are in government will change/ increase/ spend more etc etc. Then the small print, it may not apply to Scotland & Wales because of the Scots Parliament & Welsh assembly etc.
Either it's an election promise/ statement for the election of a UK government or it's an "England" only statement. Living in Wales, this is an important issue.
The comment I have heard repeated most often from friends and colleagues is: "if only there was a 'none of the above' box on the voting form" That just about says it all, don't you think?
The best is still to come - seeing the remainder of the rump of the Tory party finished off in the country and the focus of UK politics moving back to the centre-left.
For me the overriding memory of this election will be that it taught me one thing: you get the government you deserve. The number of people who think it is acceptable - or even worse applaudable for a senior public figure to brawl and fight in public has quite astonished and appalled me. It says to me, as pompous as it may sound, that most people either do not want or cannot understand meaningful debate.
Richard, London, UK
My main feeling is of regret that it's been so like an advertising campaign (except for the badmouthing); that there's been so little chance for any ordinary punter to see any of the "stars" in the flesh; that there's been so little fact wrapped up with so much comment (and comment on comment) - bamboozling this punter for one.
I'll remember it as the election when people voted against the party they didn't want to win rather than for the party they did want.
Prescott assaulting that member of the public, is tantamount to what Labour are going to do to our sovereignty if re-elected - knock it out.
Memorable moments ...is this a trick question? It's been the dullest and least relevant election I've ever watched. I haven't heard Blair or Hague talk about anything other than the phoney tax and spend allegations, and a euro question we'll get another vote on. Environment, transport gridlock, reducing the gap between rich and poor - not a word - no wonder people can't be bothered to get out and vote.
Martyn Williams, UK
Abiding memories? Two Jabs aside, pretty terminal boredom at the same sound-bites being repeated in robot fashion from all sides, to carefully selected audiences. Perhaps in this media saturated age the election campaign needs to be much, much shorter.
That an egg can speak louder than Mr Prescott, that slightly more sense is conveyed during Prime Ministers Question Time...but only just. Blair being questioned by voters, hands on hips thinking "beam me up Millbank". Or maybe it was Cherie with her camera - how many photo albums have she and Tony got?
The image has to be that of Prescott hitting the egg protester - it demonstrated the absolute immunity New Labour continues to enjoy - its members can get away with anything and everything. The British public is truly resigned to an elective dictatorship.
My abiding memory from the most boring General Election I can remember will be Prescott demonstrating that not all politicians are characterless morons. Presumably I'm not the only one to have noticed that his contribution to the campaign has since been completely squashed by the party machine. It is little wonder that a low turnout is expected when managers destroy the soul of a campaign in this way. Ironically, the party that will lose most from a low turnout is Labour, the party with the most efficient machine.
My memory of this election will be that since the election date was announced I have not had any knocks on the door by any candidate whatsoever neither have I heard one loud speaker. What bliss!
I am hoping that the best memories are yet to come. The overnight coverage always has its highlights, and a comment from Jeremy Paxman to cap the question that he levelled at Cecil Parkinson last time would be great.
Paxman was with David Steele, Neil Kinnock and Parkinson watching the results come in. It was getting to the point where a Labour landslide was obviously on the cards. Paxman turned to Mr Parkinson and asked, with a perfectly straight face, "You are a director of a large fertilizer manufacturing company. How deep in it are the Conservatives tonight?"
Blair's statement that it is patriotic to be pro-European ...the word "quisling" came to my mind.
I heard Blair talking about putting Thatcherism behind us, and wondered which planet he has been on. Most of us thought we had done that last time round.
The best bit was John Prescott proving that he really does believe in left hook policies.
My main abiding memory of this campaign is being bored and thoroughly fed up with politicians desperate to tell the people of Britain what they really feel and think. It would be much better if we were allowed to make up our own mind and judge them by past performance rather than hearing promises which will be forgotten all too soon after the election just in time to re-emerge before the next polling day.
I hope that my abiding memory will be that this election represented the nadir of political campaigning in this country. The party that has the bottle to reconnect with the voters and move away from all this stage-managed rubbish will reap significant rewards next time round.
Well it has to be Prescott, smacking that bloke on the nose doesn't it! Other bits, Blair getting a mouth full of the woman outside that hospital, Kennedy's streaker, and Hague's lovely but speechless wife!
Phillip Porteous, Cumbria
It's not over yet. What nobody can predict is the effect of apathy, tactical voting, and the closet Tories (those one in three Tories who are just too ashamed to admit they vote Tory). Corals are offering a nice price on a Labour victory of less than 80 seats - my advice is lay a bet now.
I was just thinking that maybe a sort of tax break voucher (of £10 or £15 for example) would encourage more people to vote. It would be money well spent, don't you think?
The main event that has shaped my view of this election is the suggestion by the Labour candidate in Welwyn Hatfield that a vote for the Lib-Dems is a wasted vote as 'there is now way that they will win'. So now it is Labour party policy to assume that we only vote for the winners, not for what we believe. This sums up their arrogance. All it has done is left me undecided whether to vote Lib-Dem (my natural inclination) or Tory (to oust Labour in Welwyn).
My lasting memory will be of tomorrow when for the first time in my life I will not be voting Labour.
I suppose it hasn't been the best campaign due to the near inevitability of the winner. What I will remember though is the punch that no one seemed that bothered about, and the Tories running a great campaign, but on issues that no one really cared about.
I think the most over-riding memory of this election are the number of prominent people in all parties who have been conspicuous by their absence. Nice to see the democratic process at its best (not)
Colin Mackay, UK
It's got to be the punch - it is as close to a political heavyweight as we managed to get.
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
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