WITH just 10 days to go before polling day and the national opinion polls still neck and neck, our panel of undecided voters are reflecting the campaign stalemate.

While some have now decided on who will get their cross on the ballot paper, neither of the main parties has established a decisive lead.


Labour and Tories have picked up some definite supporters but many of our panel are waiting for a ‘game-breaking’ policy from one of the contenders.

Overall, the nine East Lancashire residents who volunteered to join the Lancashire Telegraph panel of undecided electors have yet to indicate which of the parties is destined for government or who will be prime minister.

Operations director Dean Simpson, recruitment consultant Laura Hartley, telecoms worker Paul Rishton, production manager Ian McLean, pop choir organiser Sue Sykora, student Ikram ul-Haq, business woman Melissa MacFarlane, first-time voter Caitlin Jones and lawyer Juber Deriwala are still following every move.

Mr Simpson has made his mind up and said change was needed in Blackburn.

He said: “I shall be voting for Blackburn Tory candidate Bob Eastwood.”

Mr ul-Haq has also made up his mind and said: “I am going to vote Labour, especially after Ed Miliband said he would make Islamaphobia a specific hate crime.”

Mr McLean is almost there, saying: “I think I shall be voting Conservative. Ed Miliband does not give me confidence. I think David Cameron has done alright on most things but I haven’t completely made my mind up.”

Ms Hartley has made her mind up but is keeping her decision to herself: “I think I have made my mind up but it is a secret ballot and its a matter between me and the polling station.”

Mrs MacFarlane has also come to a conclusion: “I will continue to vote for a Labour government despite my lack of faith that Ed Miliband is the man for the job. I have grave concerns about a coalition government with SNP.”

Mr Rishton still has a big question to be answered.

He said: “The public need to be told the benefits of being involved in Europe and the benefits of positive immigration, I don’t believe any government has been able to do that as of yet.”

Miss Jones remains undecided saying: “I haven’t made my mind up yet. I want more information and policies before I do.”

Mrs Sykora remains confused: “I am working my way through the party’s manifestos but I haven’t made my mind up yet.”

Mr Deriwala has virtually made up his mind and said: “I think I am going to vote Tory this time but I haven’t absolutely made up my mind.”

On election day, polling booths will be open between 7am and 10pm, with officials ready to count votes in 650 constituencies as soon as polls close. Each seat must begin counting within four hours of polls closing at 10pm. Exit polls soon follow that will give an initial estimate of how the nation has voted.