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Page last updated at 07:03 GMT, Wednesday, 5 May 2010 08:03 UK

The final verdict


Election panel

As the election campaign, the like of which has never been seen before, draws to an end, have the all important floating voters made up their minds on how to vote?

For the last programme before the vote, Today has brought together two of the election panels we spoke to following the leaders debates to see how their views have changed.



Age - 30
Marital Status - Engaged
Occupation - Phd Research Student at Birmingham University in final months - is due to start a job as University Research Fellow
Voting intention - Voted Labour for three years, now thinking Green or Liberal Democrat

"The TV debates have engaged many people and kept the election at the top of the agenda which is great. However, it has lead to more media focus on the personalities rather than the policies of each party. More interesting is the media presentation of the three parties as equal contenders and the others as peripheral. Our current electoral system is not designed to reflect this! Hence the debates have highlighted the need for electoral reform."


Age - 19
Marital Status - Single
Occupation - First year Business Management student at Birmingham University
Voting intention - First time voter, thinking Tory

"The leaders' debate have given Nick Clegg an equal platform, which is good for democracy. However, the debate was sterile, and should have been more in the format of Question Time."


Age - 62
Marital Status - Married
Occupation - Managing Director of BSA Machine tools Ltd
Voting intention - Normally votes Tory but says he's not convinced

"I think the debates have had a more immediate impact on voters, but the poles are a reflection of the leaders' performance and personality. Over the next few days, running up to the election they will be tempered back when voters look deeper and realise what substance there is, (or is not), within the individual parties."


Age - 41
Marital Status - Single
Occupation - Creative Director, Open Stage Productions
Voting intention - Votes Lib Dem at council, Labour at national and is also now considering Respect

"I have been disappointed that none of the debates have addressed the proposed Arts and Culture provision as this is an important area for social well being, tourism and the recent growth of the third sector. The debates have helped me reflect on some of the big decisions that face us as a nation, they all have some policies I agree with and all have some which I think are ill-advised or worrying."


Age - 48
Occupation - Taxi Driver
Marital Status - Married
Voting intention - Leaning towards Labour but still undecided.

"I think the debates have helped to give insight into the party leaders personalities and views. The format created a bland points-scoring exercise rather than debate on the important issues such as the economy, war in Afghanistan and immigration. The election should be decided on policy not on presentation skills and image."


Age - 42
Marital Status - Married
Occupation - Company Director of an advertising and marketing consultancy
Voting intention - has always voted Labour but is open minded about Lib Dems. Undecided this time and is open to what Cameron and the Tories can offer her.

"We're all so busy these days, the debates have given me the chance to hear about the policies in more depth than from the quick sound-bites I usually have to rely on in the news. I feel I have been able to completely ignore the partisan press and better still, the leaflets through the door, because I've heard what I wanted to know from the leaders' own mouths."


Age - 28
Marital Status - Engaged
Occupation - Director of Creative Arts & Head of Faculty Drama and English at a Secondary School in Cheshire
Voting intention - Leaning towards Lib Dem but still persuadable. Has voted Lab and Lib Dem in the past.

"As a teacher I believe the live debates have been a great success for British Politics as students have been openly discussing the election as a result. They are not always fully informed and often their parents views are offered, but to just have 11 - 16 year old students talking about it is a start."


Age - 36
Marital Status - Single
Occupation - Owner of a Hotel and Restaurant
Voting intention - Leaning towards the Tories, has voted Conservative in the past

"Personally, the main benefit of the live debates has been the opportunity to see the candidates under pressure, without their support team around them, fighting to be the next Prime Minister. My views have been clarified rather than determined by the debates, but I certainly believe they have made me a more informed voter."

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