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Will you vote for Nick?

The Clegg Factor - will you switch to Lib-Dem?

Published on April 27th 2010.

Will you vote for Nick?

Those Leader Debates eh? Suddenly as if by magic, two likely lads have become three.

Nick Clegg has stylishly beaten Gordon Brown and David Cameron over the two debates we've had so far. He's displayed sang froid when necessary but a bit of passion too. He's shown himself statesmanlike. From the joker in the pack he's become the man who would be king – or PM.

On policy, aside from his bonkers zonal immigration plan he's probably come out on top over constitutional reform, banking, the economy, education and health. With his pay rises for the lower ranks of the armed services he might also have won out on defence - although in the Confidential office at least we're split this morning 7-5 in favour of keeping Trident, contrary to the Liberal Democrats' policy.

People have criticised the Leaders Debates, saying they're like X-Factor, a personality contest. Yes of course they are; well apart from the intelligence of these contestants and the importance of their 'talent show' and the lack of cutaways to anguished faces saying, “I've dreamt about it all my life, it's make or break time.” Although the closing statements from Cameron, Brown and Clegg sound a bit that way.

But those who complain about the debates are, in truth, being silly, politics is all about charisma.

Think Obama, think Blair rather than Brown. When Churchill 110 years ago campaigned for Parliament in Oldham, he would get a 1500 capacity crowd to turn up regularly to the main theatre to listen to him. His rivals got a couple of hundred. Shouldn't we want our leaders to be 'big' characters? Natural leaders always are.

Clegg might be a long way from that level of charisma, but his success is placing doubt in the minds of longstanding voters of Labour and the Tories.

My brain's the biggest - look

The editor of Confidential was talking to a trad Labour voter the other day who was almost weeping over the fact that he felt Labour had let him down and that Clegg's education and economic policies were more appealing. He could hardly believe that he was going to vote against Labour for the first time.

That's the key. If Clegg can get more people to move that X they've always placed in the Labour or Conservative box, through gut-feeling or tradition, to one placed in a Lib-Dem box ,based on what people have heard from him, then he may get, if nothing else his place on the top table of a hung government.

There's regional form in this too. Much of Greater Manchester was traditionally Liberal (or Whig) before it was Labour, much of it remains so.

Will you swap your vote? Will you vote for the Liberal Democrats? Has Nick Clegg got you on his side?

If you came through the headlines on the site, you won't have been able to vote on this Vote. If you want to do so go back to the Homepage and scroll down half the page and you'll discover click buttons. We're working on a remedy for this. Thanks.

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63 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Lord of the PiesApril 27th 2010.

The Lib Dems definitely get my vote. I think they have been honest about what they what to do and what it all involves. I can't think of anyone better to manage the economy other than Vince Cable.

What annoys me are these loons who say a vote for the Lib Dems is a wasted vote. No it isn't.

A vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote for the Liberal Democrats. There are no extra points given for supporting who you think the winning side will be, or for &quottactical voting&quot just so you can feel satisfied that your vote counted, even though your choice was crap.

I'm not telling you to vote Lib Dem, all I'm saying is vote for who you think is the best candidate next Thursday.

AnonymousApril 27th 2010.

The only thing Clegg stands for is election. Oh, and voting reform.

Sam13124April 27th 2010.

he's the lesser of three evils....
the other two are complete and utter ballbags

AnonymousApril 27th 2010.

How do you vote on this vote?

AgricolaApril 27th 2010.

You go back to the Homepage and find the actual form half way down the page. Clumsy but you get there in the end. I'm for Clegg.

Thomas13215April 27th 2010.

&quotWhat annoys me are these loons who say a vote for the Lib Dems is a wasted vote.&quot Agreed - same goes for those who say that voting Lib Dem is in effect a vote for Labour/the Tories. People who use this scaremongering to bully others into not voting for the party that represents their views, seriously undermine democracy and if I had my way they'd be disenfranchised.

AnonymousApril 27th 2010.

What do people thinks of Clegg's policies? Or do they not matter anymore?

AnonymousApril 27th 2010.

EDITORIAL COMMENT: Idiots are unwelcome on this Vote. Swearing, obscene posts from the foolish will be deleted.

Lord of the PiesApril 27th 2010.

The only thing that I've heard people going on about in terms of Lib Dem policy is the nuclear issue. I'm for scrapping trident. Some people say we need them for our protection, I say we have them so Britain can say 'look, we sit at the top table with all the big players'. On the other hand trident currently costs 5% of the defense budget each year, it provides complete immunity from invasion, I have a feeling it's gonna be renewed no matter what. If not having nuclear weapons was a problem then venezuela, which incidentally has the worlds largest oil reserves, would surely be one of the first targets for a radical self-interested nuclear regime, no? I think it works the other way round trident is merely a way of showing political and military dominance. After all its the western powers that have the most of them.

AnonymousApril 27th 2010.

Some of the policies have been alluded to in the article. But as the article also says, it's also about appeal, and Clegg seems the more appealing.

AnonymousApril 27th 2010.

Do you know what, if there's a minute chance we'll ever need Trident then christ I hope we've still got it. It's also helpful with international policy and our international standing. This is important, unless we want to be Belgium. His complete anti American and socialist party friendly foreign policies are a bit half baked. Vote on policies, not personalities. May be interesting if some of you go to http://www.whoshouldyouvotefor.com/

Lord of the PiesApril 27th 2010.

I don't think he is Anti-American. All he thinks about it (at least according to the lib dem manifesto) is why should Britain have a subservient relationship with America? Why should we just bend over and do what they say all the time?

DescartesApril 27th 2010.

Can anyone with good conscience vote Labour or Conservative? I'll put my stake in the ground here: Unless something wild happens, I will certainly be voting Lib Dem.

AnonymousApril 27th 2010.

Descartes, can you explain that sweeping comment? Anyone tried the website?

Lord of the PiesApril 27th 2010.

Thst site is just a questionnaire about what you think on various issues and based on your answers it tells you who to vote for.

Rather than choose a limited number of answers on some website I'd rather think for myself then make a decision, thanks.

AnonymousApril 27th 2010.

I love the picture caption.

AnonymousApril 27th 2010.

And your decision is based on what exactly? Apart from trident.

DescartesApril 27th 2010.

My thinking on Labour.....
Gordon Brown was the Chancellor that deregulated the FSA and personally made it possible for the banks to do whatever they wanted - which we all know brought our country to it's knees. With him at the helm I have absolutely no confidence in the party. That's my biggest reason for labour.
Conservatives, I've just not heard anything that's convinced me they've changed from Conc's of old, colour me stupid if you wish but I just don't trust David Cameron. I can't really quantify it properly, but I don't - and anyway we've been there before. We need a change, something new, it's done sweet FA in America, but it could do something good here, and the Lib Dems (in my opinion) offer that change. The revolutionary in me wishes for a hung parliament, now that really would be something good.

AnonymousApril 27th 2010.

I'm changing from the Tories to Lib Dems. All because of the Leaders Debates

Simone13024April 27th 2010.

I saw a press conference this morning with Mandelson and it was shocking. As a parent I know a bit about the child trust fund and it is such an astonishing waste of money that the fact Labour mock the other parties for wanting to get rid of the thing tells me they have no intention of tackling the debt. &#194&#163250 for every child born in savings account they get where they're 18, it'll just be a piss up fund.

Simone13024April 27th 2010.

Me again. I just don't think the Lib Dems are even approaching Government material. After one of the leaders debates I went on their website and read through the policies. It's utter pie in the sky. Have a look!

AgricolaApril 27th 2010.

Simone, they're going to put pie in the sky. I'm voting for them

AgricolaApril 27th 2010.

I think that they will bring fresh ideas untrammelled by the government limitations of office which the other parties would abide by. This is a strong plus. They would be freer to break protocols with the Whitehall Civil Service and go their own way

Lord of the PiesApril 27th 2010.

The biggest issue on the table right now is the economy and this huge deficit.

Vince Cable will see us through as Chancellor. I think he has always been honest and upfront. Just look at the debate when he was asked about guarantees about saving the NHS budget. Cameron wants to ring fence it, meaning that all other budgets will suffer greatly. Brown said Labour would increase NHS spending and keep it safe from cuts. Vince Cable comes along and upfront and honestly says 'I can't give a cast iron guarantee because to do so would be irresponsible'. This might not be the answer people want to hear but at least he's honest. I would much rather be told the truth than listen to Tory and Labour spin and rhetoric.

AnonymousApril 27th 2010.

Although I don't agree entirely with the Lib Dem policies (Trident, illegal immigrant amnesty, joining the euro and letting Turkey join the EU) I do think that they're the lesser evil of the 3 main parties. Labour had a good chance at running the country but instead took this country to the dogs and I don't believe the Tories have changed one bit. If there is a hung parliament then I hope Vince Cable becomes chancellor, he seems the only candidate with intelligence.

AnonymousApril 27th 2010.

Vince Cable is the massive plus point to the Lib Dems.

Leigh ScottApril 27th 2010.

A truly well thought out economic policy is not something that any of us will see until the votes are cast and the election is over with. Governments have in the past ‘come clean´ about their economic intentions far sooner- but the British public don't like to hear the truth and have been far too readily swayed against. There were two occasions when both the Tories and Labour took this approach one in the mid thirties and again before the conservatives were voted in during the mid 70´s.
My point is – any party coming clean about the true numbers required to close the huge deficit/gap before the election is over is political suicide. none of the targets in any of the manifesto´s add up ,certainly none of them are in line with the EU targets that have been set 34 billion a year is required to keep on track over the next 5 years. I think 13 billion is the best set of measure I have seen so far. I won´t be voting either of the old parties this time around. Thursday will turn in to a circus as each of the three leaders tries desperately to hide behind the mask of honesty when the economic issue is addressed ,but once again it will come down to character and gut feeling for the majority who know little about policies but know all about a smiley face through the T.V set

Leigh ScottApril 27th 2010.

I have no idea why this rant facility translates commas and apostrophes´ in to pound signs and trade marks. Not that my comments ever seem to read much better anyhow!

AnonymousApril 27th 2010.

I like the sound of this Pedro. I like the rattle he makes as he walks and all the knuckles of the dead chinkle in his pocket

AnonymousApril 27th 2010.

I don't think any of the major parties are really being honest about what a hole we're in. It's going to take drastic action and cuts and I think the only people who would take on the public sector are the Conservaties. We need to scrap the child trust fund completely, make child benefit means tested, end all public sector final salary pension schemes, scrap most of the quangos and bring down public sector employment. Do we really need every one of the 4173 people employed at the Office for National Statistics? The 11,040 at the Child Support Agency? Do policemen really need to START on 24k? Enough is enough.

Nick CleggApril 28th 2010.

Our economy is f*cked thanks to Brown and Labour. Remember that Brown is the color of sh*t, and that labour is hard work, vote for change, take a chance, vote lib dem.

Leigh ScottApril 28th 2010.

@reader17005 I think anon makes a fair point. We dont have a terrible problem employing police officers.The average national wage is 24k many starting employess don't earn anywhere near that.firefighters for example have to deal with the same 'nob heads' as you put it, when they go on jobs.Paying a higher salary for new recruits is not going to increase the bobbies on the beat, the police service it's self needs to look at re-deploying their existing numbers to achieve that.Not that I manage a shoe shop but i'm not sure I get that point?

David CameronApril 28th 2010.

I know I'm pretty short sighted anyway, but did the lights go off on the webbsite? I can hardly read anything.

Gordon BrownApril 28th 2010.

My turn to speak! Ah, erm, I think we should concentrate on the issues here. What's that? No I don't know what the issues are, but that's not the issue is it?

Jonathan Schofield - editorApril 28th 2010.

Er...I think that's enough spoof leader names now.

AnonymousApril 28th 2010.

Isn't that an argument for the removal of the spoof name function?

Vince CableApril 28th 2010.

I saw that coming.

Nick CleggApril 28th 2010.

You always do Vincey, you always do. Pint later in the dog and duck? I've got a budget quandary to run through with you - could be tricky but you're quantum economics theory might be able to solve it. Then we'll go throw eggs at Camo again, was fun that.

Alistair DarlingApril 28th 2010.

I didn't, Vince. My eyebrows were in the way.

Jonathan Schofield - editorApril 28th 2010.

Oh go on then.

John MajorApril 28th 2010.

Can we give out some free Edwina Currie? I'd have a bit of that.

VINCE CABLEApril 28th 2010.

I'm already in the Dog & Duck. I find this way by around 3pm I'm able to see the future clearly.

AnonymousApril 28th 2010.

READER17005, we're talking about a starting wage here, an entry level wage and it's just very high. This is the minimum they get, after 2 years they are guaranteed a minimum of 28k at todays wages, so more in 2 years. This is for a constable, the basic level. It is possible to earn over 40k a year as a constable. Also worth noting that all these figures are before the lucrative and widespread overtime.

Nick CleggApril 28th 2010.

Is the future yellow? Or are you still excited about your mobile and shouting about the future being orange?

Alistair DarlingApril 28th 2010.

Oh dear. The traffic is terrible at the moment. How on earth will I get back to Tracy Island tonight?!?!?!

VINCE CABLEApril 28th 2010.

Sorry Nick, I was just signing autographs. Like I said, ask me at around 3pm. I can see the future much more clearly then, I can see all obstacles in my way. Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind, it's gonna be a bright bright bright sun-shiny day. Think I should switch to one of those new 4% lagers.

Caroline LucasApril 28th 2010.

The future's Green Nicky boy. See your problem is housing reform, much of the lib dems planned housing is a result of hothouse economic strategy – which focuses on the South-East, East of England and London at the expense of other areas of the country and at the expense of quality of life in these regions. What about Manchester, how can you promise these voters you won't turn it into a ghetto?

Robert Kilroy SilkApril 28th 2010.

The future is Silk, baby!

GORDON BROWNApril 28th 2010.

Bigots, each and every one of you.

Nick GriffinApril 28th 2010.

There's room for Gordon Brown in our party, the British National Party.

Churchill would be proud!

VINCE CABLEApril 28th 2010.

Even I didn't see this coming.

ChurchillApril 28th 2010.

F*ck of Griffin. I'll never be proud of you.

Nick GriffinApril 28th 2010.


V for Victory!

Sir Richard LeeseApril 28th 2010.

All of you stop it... or you'll get a clip round the ear!

Cllr Pat KarneyApril 28th 2010.

Shut up and get back to your garden Leese, or it'll be YOU getting a clip around the ear.

Albert EinsteinApril 28th 2010.

A typical Mancon debate. Very intelligent. Loads of people hiding behind pseudonyms. Pathetic.

Chris RyanApril 28th 2010.

Irony Alert ^^

ScoteeeApril 29th 2010.

Isn't albert dead, surely that very pseudonym is far more ironic?

ScoteeeApril 29th 2010.

Er yeah hindsight and all that chris... I'm one o'them that builds the bunk bed before Reading the instructions ;@)

goose72April 29th 2010.

I'm probably gonna swing to the right and vote LibDem. Course with a 10k majority to overturn in Manc Central it'll mean nothing, but no less than my past votes for various lefty parties have. To pick up on a couple of points above - I find it odd that these right wing nutcases equate 'good for this country' with 'anti-American'. Are we voting on what's good for us, or good for America? Scrap Trident (I can't see us using it against the families on Northern estates that realistically present the greatest current threat to our national security?), and if having a massive metaphorical cock is what it takes to be taken seriously internationally I'd take my chances with the non-aligned movement (where we'd be a massive player - biggest cock of the lot!), get out of various illegal wars. And for the record, whoever said it, Venezuala has the world's 4th largest oil reserves, not largest. It does have the largest to be owned by the people. Even our bloody water is privatised.

IanApril 29th 2010.

Looking at todays new Guardian poll regarding seats in which the Lib Dems came second in 2005, it looks like Manchester Central turning yellow isn't so far fetched after all.

I voted for them anyway (by post).

Speaking of post, I'm sure I walked in on our postie putting BNP flyers in all the mailboxes in our building, is he allowed to do that?

DescartesApril 29th 2010.

Colour me crazy if you like; but I bet if everyone that wanted to vote Lib Dem (but didn't because they thought it'd be a wasted vote) actually did, they'd storm in.

IanApril 29th 2010.

Correct, in an article from the Indi:

YouGov also found that if people thought Mr Clegg's party had a significant chance of winning the election, it would win 49 per cent of the votes, with the Tories winning 25 per cent and Labour just 19 per cent..... That would give the Liberal Democrats 548 MPs, Labour 41 and the Tories 25.

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