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How do you decide how to vote?

10:40 UK time, Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg are beginning a final push for votes, as the election campaign enters its final day. Have you decided how to vote?

After campaigning through the night Mr Cameron said the election was "close" and he was fighting "for every vote".

Mr Brown has been visiting market workers in Leeds and will campaign in England and Scotland. While Nick Clegg will make a last dash for votes across England in Eastbourne, Durham and Sheffield.

They are trying to win over undecided voters ahead of what is expected to be the closest contest in years.

Do you vote with your heart or with your head? Are you a tactical voter? Or have you decided not to vote?

Where They Stand: Guide to party election policies

Election seat calculator

Jeremy Vine examines the latest poll figures

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 18

  • Comment number 1.

    The tories want to delay my pension even more, so they are out of the question. Never in a million years could I vote for them.

  • Comment number 2.

    Err, unlike a lot of the robotic public who decide to vote because they like the leader's cat, i vote down to policy. And right now i know what kind of policies i want to have in the country...

  • Comment number 3.

    I vote for the candidate who's party is likely to do me the least harm! A second consideration is, if the chosen candidate hasn't a cat in hell's chance of winning, I will then cast my vote for the person who will keep out the candidate whose party is likely to do me the the most harm.

    I have sent off my postal vote. As it is a ballot (secret vote), I see no reason for sharing it with the rest of the world!



  • Comment number 4.

    Yes I am a tactical voter. I am voting tactically to keep Labour out.

  • Comment number 5.

    Tactical voting shows contempt for the rights of democratic people. Its nothing more than attempt to fiddle the system because you don't fancy the predicted outcome.

  • Comment number 6.

    It doesn't matter what I vote I am in a tory safe seat. We need to change the voting system.

  • Comment number 7.

    Ever since I was old enough to vote I have voted Liberal and then Lib Dem, because that is the party I wanted to vote for. In the past 30 years successive governments have done nothing to change my mind only enforce my belief that this is the right choice.

  • Comment number 8.

    Absolute and utter desperation. Two days before an election, Ed Balls is trying to bully people into keeping Labour in power. "Don't vote for us, vote for the Lib Dems, just to keep the Conservatives out". Negative, bully boy tactics. Why can't they treat the electorate with some intelligence. Why can't they be positive about their own policies?

  • Comment number 9.

    Anything to break the status-quo and bring on democracy - Government of the people, by the people, for the people.

  • Comment number 10.

    It is unfortunate that the Labour party instead of giving us a positive reason to vote for them, feel the need to be negative and do anything to keep the Tories out.

  • Comment number 11.

    I voted tatically.

    I can't bear the idea of Labour being allowed in again, I don't believe the Lib Dem policies are workable and, unfortunately, I see a vote for the more minor parties as a wasted vote. I reluctantly and to some extent resentfully voted Conservative as a "they are better than Labour/ Lib Dem" vote rather than because I think they have policies that reflect my views.

  • Comment number 12.

    Tactical voting - Everybody knows it happens, but walking past the news-stand this morning I was absolutely bemused by the cover of the Daily Mirror covering the sheer scale and blatant nature of it.

    And this comes from a cynic.

    If I were a solid firm Lib Dem supporter or MP (I'm edging to vote that way on Thursday) I'd be scared this morning - Labour coming out with this 'vote for Lib Dems to keep the Tories out' will have exactly the opposite effect on a lot of floating voters, who may have voted Lib Dem but will rebel and vote Conservative merely because it's seen as what the Labour Party wants. Reverse Psychology for the loss....

  • Comment number 13.

    I am currently living in Liverpool Riverside, and will be one of the few people there to vote Conservative. I don't particularly like the labour party as a whole so cannot vote for them, but given the choice between my local labour MP and the liberal democrat challenger, I would opt to keep the Labour MP, as I think she is ok. I will not be tactically voting.

    I would probably consider it in the constituency next door however (liverpool wavertree) as labour have simply imposed a candidate there, and Colin Eldridge works hard.

  • Comment number 14.


    How do you decide how to vote?

    Well after all the fun & jolly japes during the last parliament I look for the party that is genuinely to reform how parliament operates and offer real electoral reform, even though it may well be to their own detriment in future.

    I'm voting Lib Dem for real tangible change in how government in the UK does things.

    After this election, we'll see...

  • Comment number 15.

    Both main parties are rubbish now. Vote with you heart. Don't be afraid of voting for the Lib Dems or Green or other Independent candidate. There will be a hung parliament this time and if people vote for what they beleive in, a large Lib Dem popular share of the national vote will almost certainly act as a catalyst for electoral reform.

  • Comment number 16.

    Don't let Labour and the Tory's or their media machines scare you into voting for an outright winner without any ideas this time around.

  • Comment number 17.

    How dare they try to "lead" us into a decision on how to vote. The last time I looked this country was a democracy with members of the general public free to decide who they wish to vote for without outside influence.

    NuLabour must be really desparate....

  • Comment number 18.

    Voting is not only about deciding which party is best for the country but also about which party would be disastrous for the country. For me Labour is the only party who can take our society out of the economic difficulties without leaving anyone behind but I would vote for Lib Dem if it means the Conservatives and George Osbourne as chancellor do not have a majority government.

  • Comment number 19.

    If we had proper PR, it would get rid of this ridiculous voting system for good. However, in the meantime, I am going to vote tactically and sensibly by not voting for Labour in order to get this discredited government out.

  • Comment number 20.

    Well I certainly don't listen to Labour MPs telling everyone in marginals to vote Liberal Democrat. A very clear admission that a vote for the Lib Dems is a vote for Labour if ever I heard one. However I definitely believe the Labour MP who today told the world that Gordon Brown is the worst Prime Minister ever.

  • Comment number 21.

    I simply look at the three main parties and make sure I pick none of them. They have all failed to inspire confidence and have brought tired and pointless ideas back as if they are fresh.

    Until they start to admit that some things just cost money and stop trying to make everything in the country a profit centre, we'll get nowhere.

    I agree with many of the apparent core values of all the three parties. however it is a shame that during my life, I've seen each party that has been in power fail miserably to apply the adequate tools available to them to get to the end result they told us we would get.

    I could go on but it would be pointless. Go vote for ANY party except the Tories, Labour or LibDem.

  • Comment number 22.

    Ever since I was a small child, I supported Labour, the party my family traditionally voted. We are a middle-class Asian family and every other Asian voted Labour so we did too. But things are different now, I've seen the problems this country has seen over the last 13 years. There's more emphasis on paperwork then getting police out on the streets, violent crime has risen,there is so much regulation that affects small businesses and immigration has gone too far. This time I've decided to vote Conservative. I believe David Cameron is the most sincere out of the three leaders and is being much more up front with the British people and his "Contract with Britain" demonstrated this.

  • Comment number 23.

    I wrote to Ed Balls this morning outlining the reason I shan't be voting (tactically) for him. I don't expect a reply ...
    ___________________
    I live in Wrenthorpe and so vote within the Morley and Outwood constituency.
    My intention is to vote Liberal Democrat on Thursday.... See more
    Whilst I respect your views on tactical voting, it is a (rotten) response to a flawed electoral system. If this was the last time I would be asked to make this judgement, then I would do so. However, you continue to oppose electoral reform and expect me to prostitute my vote in perpetuity.
    Like many others I will no longer do so, and will not vote for you on Thursday unless you endorse change in the system.
    I genuinely wish you all the best for Thursday.

  • Comment number 24.

    I like to vote in ways that support Christian interests in the UK. As a Christian voter, I feel that only the BNP is supportive of Christian interests (unfortunately, there is no BNP candidate in my constituency). Yes, some BNP policies are not in keeping with biblical teaching and I might disagree strongly with some policies, but the BNP is the only party of its size that is completely at ease with Britain as a Christian nation: - all the other parties just suck up to whichever liberal interest group is popular at the time. The liberal elite has all the major parties wrapped round its little finger and only the BNP seems to openly resist them. However, I would be happy to consider voting for a party that openly challenges the supremacy of the Hampstead liberal establishment.

  • Comment number 25.

    It must be so disheartening to Labour candidates to hear Mr Hain encourage voters in "unwinable " seats to vote Lib Dem. Perhaps voters should do the same in his Neath constituancy and vote for the Lib Dem chap there.

  • Comment number 26.

    If I was in a marginal seat area I would be tactical if required but I'm not so I will vote with my heart which says "you can judge a society by the way it treats it's weakest" {thanks to Gandhi}

  • Comment number 27.

    Nobody could ever accuse the Labour party of not making a little go a long way as far as votes are concerned. Not only could they come third in the popular vote with approx 17% of registered voters and still get the most seats but they are now seeking to maximise the gains with tactical voting.

    What a pity they didn't have the same skill with the public finances. As they say, where your treasure is, that's where your heart is.

  • Comment number 28.

    I look for the one most likely not to wim, and that's where my vote goes, I have voted that way since Harold Wilson's first Government because I do not want a Tory, Nu Labout or Labour Government in this country. That is what is wrong with Britain, their country does not count for a Politician!

  • Comment number 29.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 30.

    How do I decide to who to vote for? Simply

    My Decision is based upon history , past performance , present policy and the Credibility of the party . It is has simply has that !!!

    I have had enough of this "Wacky Races tactics " the likes of labour ask you not to vote labour but to vote libdem to keep the Tories ec: Instead of ask voters to do that why not just withdraw the Labour Candidates and make it a honest elections ... After all the Nonsense the voters have had to put up with from La Labour government ,they still can be up front ,open and Honest..... Roll on Thursday

  • Comment number 31.

    Our votes should reflect our political convictions and whom we believe offers the nearest match to our view on how Society should be governed for the benefit of Society as a whole and not be biased to pander to majority views or worse still minority views as we have seen in the last 13 years. Society reflects a cross section of views and no one group whether a majority or minority should be allowed to dominate the political agenda. If people vote "tactically" it is only because the electoral system is biased against reflecting Society in generalthrough adopting the winner takes all mentality.
    That is not Democracy it is bullying: and after 3 decades of being bullied first by the right and then by the left I am heartily sick of it!!
    We have destroyed all vestiges of a community based Society and it is every man for themselves, we are not governed by the people for the people; we have been governed by cliques for the self interest of those cliques and now is the time for the worm to turn, and get rid of an outmoded electoral system and let the consensus prevail once again.
    I would not vote tactically on principle and I certainly would not vote tactically on the whim of those who believe they are going to lose and want to spoil it for the rest.
    Vote according to your convictions based on what you believe to be right, not what someone else thinks is good for you.

  • Comment number 32.

    The very fact that people are being urged to vote tactically is a reinforcement of the injustice of our electoral system, with its unfair and unequal constituencies and first-past-the-post elections. If you feel disenfranchised, then vote for the party which has, for the last 40 years or more, demanded a change. Even if you never vote for that party again, you will have used the system we have to make a change. If, when so many people are now motivated to feel they have a chance to make a change, nothing happens and the same old system remains, we run the risk of disillusioning people, especially the younger voters, to an extent that they may never want to bother again. That way, at its worst, lies civil unrest.

  • Comment number 33.

    Labour: No, thanks. I no longer want them in power; they've done enough as it is.

    Lib Dems: They have some very strange ideas on immigration and Europe, so they'll not be getting my vote, even though they are more popular than ever.

    Conservatives: We need a party with experience of running a country, which means it's either them or Labour.

    Other Parties: Let's face it - it's a wasted vote. Don't try and tell yourselves others.

    Sorry, but I'm voting for the Tories.

  • Comment number 34.

    I tend to vote with my head.

    However, I'm not one for selling my soul in order to keep a self serving contentious party in power.

  • Comment number 35.

    I think the election is so tight it will come down to tactical voting. However, given that only around 30% of the electorate know they live in a marginal, how can change be effected??

    Also, strange the BBC are not reporting the huge story that the Plymouth executive of the LibDems have resigned to join the Labour Party. Claim their party no longer believes in social justice. Would be good for all electorate to get more on this ...

  • Comment number 36.

    Easy, i have long ago voted for the kingdom of god and jesus christ because that mankinds only hope and salvation from this lying satanic world, So im against the rulers of this world and do not vote.Everybody should stop being so controlled and wake up and reject this worlds lying rulers before its to late.

  • Comment number 37.

    There appears to be the assumtion that there is a large anti-Conservative vote, but there may be an even larger anti-Labour vote.
    You may not agree with the Liberal Democrats on everything, but if the Liberal Democrats are running second to Labour and you wish to prevent Labour from clinging on to power doesn't it make sense to vote Liberal Democrat?

  • Comment number 38.

    I would have voted tactically to oust G Brown in the election we never had but were promised. Just like the Lisbon Treaty referendum.

  • Comment number 39.

    Ed Balls and Peter Hain's support for tactical voting shows that staying in power is as important, if not more important, than doing the best for the country. Remember that New Labour was based on getting power so Labour policies could be imposed on the country. Tony Blair said that before he become Prime Minister, and the same policy has driven the years of Labour spin.
    Spin before listening to the people, because the Labour elite knows best.

  • Comment number 40.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 41.

    I decide how to vote based on how the government has treated me and my family and what possibilities are open to me, my wife and my children.
    What I do not vote for is where the state takes it upon itself to ignore and leave behind some sections of the country.

    That said, my beliefs started when Thatcher came to power. Who engaged with business but not the population. Who ignored the rights of many and let greed become an obsession. I can see that happening again, due to some of the comments made by David Cameron. The beliefs of the Tory party are still the same, just dressed up with words that sound possibly more appealing.
    If we don't learn from history, we will never learn anything. This recession could take us back to the 80's, where investment in our futures was non-existent, investment in our country was non-existent and expected people to basically get blood out of a stone. All that's another word for empowerment, which I might add the Tories are proposing.

    A joke!

  • Comment number 42.

    The common sense tactic in this election is to vote against Labour who have made an unholy mess of running the economy and everything else over the past thirteen years. As for the Lib Dems they have nothing to offer apart from more of the same with bells on. Hain and Balls will do anything to try and save their own skin, but the game's up, people are tired of being told what to do by no hopers like them.

  • Comment number 43.

    @ 5. ioioos wrote:
    "Tactical voting shows contempt for the rights of democratic people. Its nothing more than attempt to fiddle the system because you don't fancy the predicted outcome."

    What utter tosh! The value of the a single vote is the same in each constituency regardless of who casts it. The election is the only opportunity to attempt to influence the government for the next term. Votes can be cast negatively (pragmatic self-interest) or positively (altruistic and probably doomed to failure). Why a voter casts his vote is a personal matter: the important thing is that s/he does!

  • Comment number 44.

    Well tactical voting by labour eh! There's a sign of a bunch of losers! how childish our MP's are, & how selfish & self centred, that is why most people in this country hold politians in such destain & look at them as gutter low-life,
    The voting is for the individual to decide on, not by corrupt politians who want to line their own pockets for a few more years.
    We already having a failing political system without these idiots trying to influence the population.
    They treat it as some playground game, when the issues we are dealing with will have a profound affect on many of our lives, regarding income healthcare, pensions, mortgages, education.
    Use your vote wisely, not because one of these monkeys tell you what to do with it!

  • Comment number 45.

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    We need to get our honest views in first before all the activists get on here. I agree with the majority so far and irrespective of safe seat or no, I shall vote with my heart and head (I may use my hands though), It is Liberal Democrat for me!

  • Comment number 46.

    I am voting tactically to ensure the current incumbent does not remain.

    Tactically as it may be, however, I am also voting for the candidate who will best represent my constituency in Parliament, which is not for the party I prefer (although it is my 2nd choice).

    The balance of Pros and Cons are very difficult this time. I am deliberately not voting for a Prime Minister!

  • Comment number 47.

    I see Matthew Parris suggests that Clegg has a dislike for Labour. Lets face it, he is very far removed from the radical Liberal of old. When Lib Dems elected him as leader they must have known that he was someone a lot closer aligned to Cameron's Tories, as opposed to the Labour Party. It's to be hoped that at some stage soon he, or his successor, will have more of an eye to the radical heartlands of the Liberals and that, post-introduction of PR, this might actually mean something. And I speak here as a Labour voter.

  • Comment number 48.

    Surely you just vote for who you agree with in terms of policy?

    What right does Gordon Brown or Ed Balls have to tell us who to vote for?

    Maybe the public would vote for them if Brown didn't criticise his voters and Ed Balls obeyed the traffic laws and didn't endanger other road users by using his mobile phone while driving!

  • Comment number 49.

    U3992886 wrote:
    Anything to break the status-quo and bring on democracy - Government of the people, by the people, for the people.

    Well said.

    get us out of europe now.

  • Comment number 50.

    If a person's hatred of one particular party is much stronger than their support for any other, under the FPTP system, what else are they supposed to do?

  • Comment number 51.

    Very difficult this time. Labour have completely overturned the Constitution without any real reference to the people, and have had a significant impact on civil liberties; Tories are promising same old, same old - vote for us and we will make life better for rich people; Lib Dems have just garnered the support of Richard Dawkins who is against just about every value I hold dear.
    Alternatives in my constituency are UKIP, BNP and English Democrats.

    A plague on all their houses.

    Only the Tories have canvassed in our village, and their canvasser refused to answer any of my questions - kept saying he didn't know about that, or that, or that ... Even when my questions were on local issues he sidestepped them.

    This is a Lib Dem / Tory marginal. Would have expected to see someone from the Lib Dems. Emailed the candidate on some of his policies about 10 days ago - not received any reply.

    Did get a Labour leaflet - but they haven't a prayer here.

    Yet, I passionately believe I should vote - women died for me to have my say.

    Still undecided.

  • Comment number 52.

    How do I decide how to vote?
    Listen to the advice of the likes of Peter Hain and Ed Balls, then do the opposite. Simples!

  • Comment number 53.

    I first look at whether the present government and my current MP are worthy of continuing their role in government, and if not look to who would be best to vote for with regards to my personal values. I would also endorse tactical voting if my preferred choice was unlikely to win.

    Fortunately for me my preferred choice has a very good chance (in my opinion of course!!) of overcoming the incumbent Labour MP and therefore I don't need to vote tactically.

    The current Labour government is not worthy of my vote. New Labour and Gordon Brown are traitors to the labour movement and the nation as a whole (with Tony Blair before, got out just in time didnt he, making his millions now...). The reckless spending, the nanny state control they wish to exercise over our lives and the pure greed of them have poisoned many people with regards to Labour.

    I should be a labour supporter (low paid, basically working class) and voted for them in 1997. But they have betrayed us, the low paid are poorer now than when labour came to power, the rich are richer and it is easier for them to stay rich and avoid tax. That stain, that shame, should haunt new labour.

    We working tax payers fund an increasing idle underclass, created by labour, as well a bloated civil service (at all levels) who together in effect have created a client state of labour voters.

    My personal wish is that people use their votes to crush new labour so that a labour party who genuinely cares about the working people of this nation (people like Gillian Duffy) rather than insults them and keeps them down> I hope a labour movement can rise again in the future, free of the Blairs, Browns Mandelsons and all the other traitors, troughers and criminals who have so badly damaged our nation.

  • Comment number 54.

    No I am not a tactical voter and we live in a marginal constituency.

    Who to vote for was a decision taken some time ago, first it was the war and the lies that followed. Then it was the loss of the gold reserves and how we so desperately need them now. Followed by the MP expenses debacle; Then the destruction of one of the world's best pension schemes and finally the pittance paid to the pensioners who are being ignored in this election. Plus and lately, the chaotic mess of the postal votes which could serious undermind a democractic election.

    Debates where one politicians tries to score points against another really does not resolve the issues for me and quite frankly they were boring.

    You have to go over the last 13 years and watch the various issues that have been badly managed - the millions of pounds spent on IT schemes and the gross intrusion into our private lives.

    The targets and political correctness which have ruined the police, the teachers and the NHS.

    Corrolating a Board of Directors (the government) who have bought a company (the UK) to its knees financially is a good analogy. When the shareholders (us the public) come to voting for a new Board surely all the above cannot be ignored. Most shareholders (the voting public) would have voted this government out a couple of years ago, but again we were deprived of an election.

    Whether the Tories have the capacity to reverse a bad situation time will tell, but they have to be given the chance and if it means those who cannot vote Tory voting Liberal well it may not be so bad.I presume that this is what is meant by tactical voting.

    We, the voters, have the power to change the errors of the past 13 years but because we have not been told the financial truths, Friday 7th May may prove a shock for a great many people. But the harsh truth is easier to deal with rather than the persistent lies over the last 13 years.

  • Comment number 55.

    The Lib Dems are fools to not be openly supporting tactical voting at this point. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for a hung parliament and a change of forcing electoral reform, and they are risking handing the Tories a majority by continuing to try and take votes from Labour in the marginals. Idiots.

  • Comment number 56.

    I am still torn between the Conservatives or the Lib Dems, there isn't one party I agree with fully and none that I feel will actually bring the change this country needs, which more than anything is faith that things can get better if we work for it.

    I like the Lib Dem social policies and general ideology but but do not trust their economic policies to rebuild the economy (you can not keep rewarding those that don't produce). Conversly, I have more faith in the Conservative economic policies but take issue with their views on eductaion. Hmm, maybe I will just shut my eyes and go for a luck dip approach

  • Comment number 57.

    I have in the past been known to roll dice... which gets you a very funny look from the returning officer!

    But I will be voting for the PERSON who I want to represent this constituency first, the PARTY is of less consideration. I'm hoping for a Conservative government with a small (like about 6) overall majority, but when I go to the polling station I am picking my representative rather than an overall government.

    And yes, it's in a (more-or-less) secret ballot :)

  • Comment number 58.

    I vote for the party that I wish to see in Government. Is there any other way of voting that is honest?

  • Comment number 59.

    Which ever candidate who will best ensure that the tories are never allowed back in -- he/she/it will always get my vote.

  • Comment number 60.

    I have voted Liberal and then Lib Dem, The reason being that they were the only party that have consistently promoted a reform to the voteing system. Previously both Conservative Labour and now this bunch of Tory clones that call themselves Nu Labour has only enforced my belief that until we have REAL change our government will continue to look after its own best interests not ours.

    I will again be voting for real Change

    I will be voting Lib Dem


  • Comment number 61.

    Ed Balls encouraging me to vote Liberal Democrat will, I'm affraid, have completely the opposite effect. I was planning to vote Lib Dem ... but not any more !

  • Comment number 62.

    I am scared that if I vote tactically for the Libdems, I might actually get a Libdem government. Scary stuff

  • Comment number 63.

    Irrespective of how I am voting (I have already stated my intention anyway), Ed Balls and Haine (March for CND, remember that and look at his values now) have done more harm to their cause than anyone else, including Mr 'Bigot'. As a Nation we do lot like being told essentially that we do not have the intelligence to make our minds up, nor do we like being told what to do. Well done Ed and Peter.

  • Comment number 64.

    I read reports that Ed Balls may come under Tory threat in his own constituency.
    So a bit of tactical LibDem voting in Morley & Outwood might come in handy Mr Balls? Do I detect a bit of desperate self-preservation here?

  • Comment number 65.

    By listening to what the parties have to offer then balanceing this with broken promises from the past, the amount of big business/media support they enjoy, leaders' personalities and their ability to honour past pledges to the people while in office over and above having one eye on their personal financial futures (sorry David). Then look for signs of strength of character similar to Robin Cook.

  • Comment number 66.

    I will be voting tactically for the first time ever. I now live in a seat where the only contenders are Conservative and SNP. I think it's likely that the Tories will have the largest number of seats but I want to keep the margin as small as possible, which I can do by voting SNP, even though I'm not generally a big fan. To me that's a perfectly legitimate tactic and it's valid for Ed Balls and Peter Hain to suggest that voters consider doing it.

  • Comment number 67.

    @22. Samir wrote:
    "I believe David Cameron is the most sincere out of the three leaders and is being much more up front with the British people and his "Contract with Britain" demonstrated this."

    Samir, I admire your view and agree with most of your analysis. However, bear two things in mind, contracts can always be broken and this one is probably not worth the paper it isn't written on.

    Haven't we been here before? Remember the false dawn of optimism when Bliar got his feet in No 10? What was it? "Things can only get better"? Don't replace one showman with another without good cause. Take Jimmy Carter's presidency in the USA: he started as an idealist and then, faced with the realities of world politics, became a cynic and indistinguishable from his rivals.

    At least, voting on the policies gives an indication of intentions in a democracy: voting on the apparent personality of a party leader is the worst reason for voting and arguably is the first step to dictatorship.

  • Comment number 68.

    At the last election we were told in my constituency that only Labour could keep out the Tories. We now have an excellent Lib Dem MP. The Tories came a distant third. Hoping for the same in 2010 ...

    Even if the alternative voting system is not fully proportional, it would still eliminate the need for silly tactical voting. That would allow parties with genuine appeal to voters to make progress without the huge handicap of people thinking that they were wasting their votes by voting for those parties. It would also retain the constituency link. I do not see any rational reason for the Tories to support at least this.

  • Comment number 69.

    Sorry -- I meant that I cannot see any rational reason for the Tories NOT to support at least this.

  • Comment number 70.

    How dare these idiots tell me how to cast my vote.
    I will cast my vote for the party I decide and not by someone else telling me what to do.
    Shame on them and the sooner these idiots have been removed the better this country will be.

  • Comment number 71.

    For me, voting for the options available is a bit like having Hitler, Bin Laden and Fred West as the candidates of choice. I hate all of them and don't trust them. What this country really needs is complete reform and to start again. It needs to be run more by the people that live it and not by greedy politicians who are more interested in the PM role for the good of themselves than that of the country.

    Consecutive governments since WW2 are guilty of having taken the 'Great' out of 'Great Britain and the shambles we live in now is their legacy. They try to tell you about 'change' but they're collectively responsible for the mess we're in. Nobody else.

  • Comment number 72.

    Peter Hain is perfectly correct I have posted voted to keep Labour and unelected Brown out. Just look at the polls, since Brown became leader Labours popularity has fallen like many Labour MP's.

  • Comment number 73.

    lets understand some simple arithmetic.

    Tories get 37% of votes =300 odd seats
    Labour get 28% of votes =200 odd seats
    Lib Dems get 28% of votes=100 odd seats

    So this means GB is back in charge with a hung parliment.

    ANOTHER TRY

    Tories get 37% of votes = 300 odd seats
    Labour get 10% of votes = 100 seats
    Lib Dems actually have to get 37% to get 200 seats

    So not to get a hung parliment the Lib Dems need to vote Labour out in practically all thier seats.

    If tactics need to be applied what needs to happen is not to vote the Tories out but vote Labour into the gutter, but as one can see its nigh on impossible .............or is it........before Labours ideals arrived, the Lib Dems were the second party.

  • Comment number 74.

    People like Balls and Hain don't treat Voters like Adults because they haven't become adult themselves. They are so childishly arrogant, they think they are so much cleverer than grown-ups,that for we will all be fooled by their antics. It is about time that we stopped treating our Politicians as "Gifted" and "Special" and think that,if we were interviewing them for a Real job, would we employ them? Certainly Balls and Hain would not get past the first interview and Brown would not make the Short list for any Managerial or Financial job.

  • Comment number 75.

    24. At 11:42am on 04 May 2010, Restecp wrote:
    I like to vote in ways that support Christian interests in the UK. As a Christian voter, I feel that only the BNP is supportive of Christian interests.

    ----

    Which Christians are those then - The Church of England who have enetered into a war of words with the BNP over their policy of not allowing BNP members to hold meetings on their property.

    Or is it the more evangelical churches favoured by some immigrant communities which Nick Griffin has publically said he would like to see moved to industrial estates, away from the communities where they were founded?

  • Comment number 76.

    36. At 11:48am on 04 May 2010, jacethespace wrote:
    ==========================================================
    Last time I lit a candle the wax burned my hand and I ended up in A & E. So no thanks, tactically or otherwise I shall vote for neither of them, their values didn't prevent the inquisition, prevent the selling off of another nations gold reserves, nor and most importantly prevent their representatives on this earth from abusing the young or exploiting and desenfranchising the weak, vulnerable and trusing amongst man kind.

  • Comment number 77.

    So much policy detail is missing from all the partys that this election is basically no different to a lucky dip.

    You vote for one, then surprise surprise after the election you find you have voted for 50 realitys and 100 consequences you actually knew nothing about.

    In such circumstances the most scientific and relevent way of making a choice out of ignorance is also via a lucky dip.

    So I will put each party name onto a bit of paper and with my eyes closed blindly extract one from a bag, whoever it is gets my vote.

  • Comment number 78.

    I'm voting for proportional representation, as I think the electoral system is not accurately reflecting the views of the electorate.

  • Comment number 79.

    Rather than take an informed decision on which candidate is most likely to unseat our resident Labour poodle, I choose to vote UKIP for the sole reason that they will allow landlords to decide for themselves whether or not to allow smoking in their pubs, this facilitating the re-integration of Goths into the social malestrom. This policy seems to be part of UKIP's general philosophy that governments should mind their own gorram business. . .

  • Comment number 80.

    I've voted (postal vote) for who I believe to be best for where I live and the country.

  • Comment number 81.

    I once asked my local councillor who is standing for MP about standing at local elections. Response was change your name from that stupid name. Thats one vote lost.

  • Comment number 82.

    My goodness, would you take advice from these two ?!

    Tactical voting is simply a way to ensure you get the party you didn't want.

    If you don't like the choices, vote None of the Above (or leave your ballot blank).

  • Comment number 83.

    Pretty desperate and pathetic move overall. Also pretty typical that Hain and Balls, the two most tribal of Labour MPs, would be making such statements. Wouldn't be nice if Ed Balls lost his seat, as seems very possible!

  • Comment number 84.

    I decide how to place my vote by looking at the various policies and then thinking about how they would work in practice. I just wish more people would do they same instead of voting based on how much they hate a particular leader or how 'nice' they look.

    Sadly most people don't which is why our election are turning into the X-Factor.

  • Comment number 85.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 86.

    Not sure yet but it will not be for any of the Main Parties. All they want is my meagre pension, tax it and delay any rises in a hard fought occupational pension. Not one of them gives a fig for pensioners only to patronise them and steal their rights. I will certainly not be dictated to by third rate politicians how to vote, tactically or otherwise. What an insult but typical of the patronising way Nu Labour treats the public. I will vote with my head on Thursday when I reach the booth.

  • Comment number 87.

    Oops! Yet another Labour blunder!!

  • Comment number 88.

    The choice is simples
    1. La la Labour
    2. Look at my wad Dave
    3. Nick Clegg

  • Comment number 89.

    My vote is going to the party that will tackle the real problems that we have with the economy.
    Other items in any of the parties manifestos does not interest me.
    I am not voting tactically or voting for a personality I am casting my vote for who I think will best solve the economic problems we have.
    I feel most people will do the same, the economy is the number one item and we have to deal with this now and not have this huge debt hanging over our heads.
    Most people I speak to say the same.
    I don't play mind games and I think only I know what is best for me.

  • Comment number 90.

    Ed Balls and Peter Hain's comments epitomise the contempt in which they (and many of their fellow Labour MPs) hold the British public.
    The first past the post system is flawed but it does favour Labour. So when they are not sure about winning under this flawed system, they try to gerrymander the result. Labour has been in power for 13 years and only now do they think of changing the voting system!
    Vote tactically. Vote Conservative and get rid of Labour. Then see what the Liberal Democrats are made of during a spell as the main opposition. That's the democratic way of doing things.

  • Comment number 91.

    I vote for the party which has honest policies, that benefit the country as a whole, who believe in justice, putting the police back on the road, has a fair an open tax regime, leaders that you can believe in and aren't in it for personal gain ............. This is exactly why I choose not to vote.

  • Comment number 92.

    Telling people to use tactical voting is a cowards way out knowing that they can not win themselves... no wonder there's already commotion in postal voting in marginal areas, need not look for long to see who's to blame, this shows how desperate Labour are.

    I certainly won't be voting Labour, because the party is weak and pathetic along with the so-called Iron fist prudent chancellor who wouldn't dream of getting us into this mess and any sensible minister wouldn't allow him to get us into this state.

    This mess has happened on their watch and they KNOW how to get us out of it, I doubt it. Yes, it's going to be a hard slog and nasty things will have to be done who ever wins.

    But don't you think without the Industries and the exports, firms are shutting and folks getting laid off, not forgetting all benefits that has to be paid out, the private sector that the government allowed to explode will be wanting their pensions as well...

    building supermarkets and opening shops ain't the idea right now, what we need is to stop the imports except raw material and generate export!

    It's no good having pubs opened forty eight hours a day, eight days a week - that is creating problem, sorry but that is beyond Labour hence my no vote!

  • Comment number 93.

    I vote with my heart and not my head

  • Comment number 94.

    It is a sad situation that Britain, which helped spread modern democracy, has such an oddly outdated political system, which makes it difficult for our votes to have any value. We need radical political reform. At present I do not feel my vote counts for much - at the last election the Conservatives received more of the popular vote, and may well do again, but that does not mean they will be in power.

    If we have a hung parliament I expect desperate Brown will hold on until he is physically removed from 10 Downing Street! I don't think most people understand that a hung parliament will not necessarily be a good thing since Gordon isn't prepared to step aside and let the party with the most seats form a coalition government - legally he can stay and ignore the voters wishes if there is no clear winner.

  • Comment number 95.

    I look at the policies and determine which of the parties will do least harm to my family and the country. This time I have also considered which party is least tainted by corruption and lying.

    I already delivered a postal vote 2 weeks ago.

  • Comment number 96.

    So Labour talk abour electoral reform, while telling us to take advantage of the broken system to keep them them in power.

    Everytime this lot open their mouths they show that they lack even the modicum of integrity. Hypocritical, and self-serving - those are the attributes you need in the modern labour part.

  • Comment number 97.

    Simple. Smaller government that understands that the private sector is the only source of the money to pay for the public sector. This blatantly obvious fact escapes both the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties. Only the conservative party understands that wealth can NEVER EVER be created in the public sector.

    Anyone with a milligram of understanding of the economic facts of life will vote Conservative. And no, I am not from a wealthy background. I am a sciences graduate born of poor inner city parents that had not one academic qualification

  • Comment number 98.

    55. At 11:57am on 04 May 2010, Jon wrote:
    =============================================

    Brilliant, you have just insulted your way to persuading people not to vote for your Party. People can see the tactical game by None Labour and will do the opposite, it is Human Nature.

    I am but an idiot so what do I know!!!!!

  • Comment number 99.

    I'm voting Lib Dem purely in order to get the voting system changed. It's absurd that the public are effectively forced to choose between 2 big parties, who know they'll each always get their cyclical turn in and out of power every couple of elections, even though most of us agree with neither.

    I should be able to vote for the party of my choice without my vote being completely wasted. Surely that is the basic idea of a democracy?

  • Comment number 100.

    I know exactly how I am voting on Thursday and no Ed Balls/Peter Hain will ever deter me from doing it my way. Ive never listened to them over the past 13 years, so why would I want to now? I hope we have decent and unbrainwashed people in this country who will vote for what they believe in and let us hope we do not have the outcome of a hung parliament as this would be a catastrophic disaster and the quicker people realise this the better.

 

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