MNHQ Group 3

(62 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 26-Jul-13 15:06:02

Many thanks for agreeing to take part in this closed discussion thread. As you'll know, you all have an individual user name, separate to your on-site profile. So please feel free to be as open and frank as you like, without your views being read-across to your site profile.

The aim of these discussions is to discover if, how and why women's voting intentions are shifting and what you think about each of the party leaders.

We'll ask a few questions, allow you to think them over, respond, engage in a bit of discussion with other participants, and then we will pop back on the thread. We might want to tease out the reasons behind particular views or opinions and then will crack on with the next set of questions (on Thursday) and one more set over the weekend. Do feel free to re visit the thread at any point over the next week or so. We'll email you when we add a new set of questions.

Here are the questions to get you started

Thinking about when you decide which party to vote for, how important is the leader of the party in that decision?

Why?

What do you look for in a party leader? What makes a good party leader and what makes a bad one? What makes a good prime minister and what makes a bad one?

Thinking about the party you voted for at the 2010 General Election and the party you would vote for now, has it changed?

Why?
Why not?

Feel free to include any thoughts you might have - they don't have to be the conventional, just true to how you feel!

delegate308 Tue 30-Jul-13 13:15:17

OOh Im first up! watch me be persuaded from my original post as time goes on - this seems to be one of my failings, and what possibly makes me a politicians dream - my ability to try to see every side of the argument but a terrible inability to stick to a decision or to give a totally fixed answer...

However, without anyone to influence my decsions so far, onto the questions.....

Thinking about when you decide which party to vote for, how important is the leader of the party in that decision?

yes, it is important to me

Why?

Because you rely upon the leader to have the strength of character to see the party policies through, to stick to what they have said they will do, and to not be influenced by the cronyism and big business bribery that seems to go hand in hand with modern day government. I do think the gut reaction to someone also has significance, if your automatic feeling is that someone is a creepy slimeball, then you are not going to want them in charge of yours, and the country's, future.

What do you look for in a party leader? What makes a good party leader and what makes a bad one? What makes a good prime minister and what makes a bad one?

As above. Integrity of character. Honesty. Openess. The ability to hear and understand many different peoples perspectives. The ability to acknowledge when they have made a mistake and be open about why policy needs changing. The ability to look beyond the next election - long term rather than short term planning. To have experience in the wider world, maybe from background, work, family, not just a political background.

Thinking about the party you voted for at the 2010 General Election and the party you would vote for now, has it changed?

Im a bit on the fence about this.

*Why?
Why not?*

I voted Lib Dem. previously I had always voted Labour (well, once I had escaped the grips of my very Tory family) but last time it seemed to be obvious that their head was on the chopping block. I hoped Lib Dem might just swing it, and the results of the voting clearly showed that there was no clear winner. In some ways they have shown some good stuff in government, defying some bills so they couldnt go through. I think they have been set up to be discredited as well, with the student loan thing for example being done so close to the start - I think they were scared to rock the boat at the beginning, but suspect that if the Tory's had attempted it now the Libs would have rebelled as they are obviously aware how dispised the Tory's are. I dont think they saw it coming - the Tory's have tons of experience in political manipulation and have run rings around them so its tricky to judge them really apart from despair at how they have let themselves be dessimated as a party whilst scary groups like UKIP have flourished. I think Vince Cable would have been a much better choice as Chancellor, but it was never going to happen. I think poor old Cleggie has become the Tory's whipping boy to be honest. They seem like they were the poor kids invited up to the Big House for a party, only to discover they'd been brought there to clean up and so that the posh boys could take the mick out of them. A lib Dem/Labour coalition might have been a very different kettle of fish.

delegate314 Tue 30-Jul-13 13:19:11

Thinking about when you decide which party to vote for, how important is the leader of the party in that decision? Why?

Leaders are important, but not in a tangible way. I find its more an initial reaction. I found Tony Blair totally off putting and could never have voted for a party he lead. The actual policies were irrelevant, he seemed completely untrustworthy and in it for himself not the party and certainly not the country. Of the current leaders, I don't have strong feelings on any of them, so policies are more important.

What do you look for in a party leader? What makes a good party leader and what makes a bad one? What makes a good prime minister and what makes a bad one?

I look for someone who doesn't care too much about what other people think, who isn't easily swayed and who has a sense of purpose.
A good party leader needs to be popular and reflect the views of the majority of the party, they need to be comfortable with the media and aware of their image. A bad party leader puts themselves above the party and cares more about their own advancement than the advancement of the party.
A good Prime Minister puts the needs of the country above the needs of the party, is capable of making unpopular decisions and doesn't care about image or popularity. A good Prime Minister doesn't worry about re-election or what will happen to them personally after an election.
A bad Prime Minister follows the party line without any consideration for the needs of the country, cares about opinions polls and worries about re-election. A bad Prime Minister is fickle and blows hot and cold depending on public opinion.
I don't think the qualities needed to be a good party leader are necessarily the same as those needed to be a good Prime Minister.

Thinking about the party you voted for at the 2010 General Election and the party you would vote for now, has it changed?Why?Why not?

I would vote for the same party now as I did in the last general election. I still feel they have the best policies and and am happy with the contribution they have made to the coalition government. I would find it very hard to vote Labour as I find the links to trade unions outdated and no longer necessary, I agree with some Conservative policies and feel they have a better idea how to get us out of the recession than other parties, but, I trust the Lib Dems and feel they have provided a steadying hand within the coalition. I am a big supporter of proportional representation and will continue to vote for a party that supports this.

delegate321 Tue 30-Jul-13 15:17:49

Hello!

Thinking about when you decide which party to vote for, how important is the leader of the party in that decision?
It shouldn't be important but somehow it is - poor nick clegg might be a strong clear politician but he's totally overshadowed as Dave's second. However, of the current leaders, none of them provoke strong enough feelings either positive or negative to sway my vote for or against.

What do you look for in a party leader? What makes a good party leader and what makes a bad one? What makes a good prime minister and what makes a bad one?
A good leader will take other people's opinions on board yet still be strong enough to know his/her own mind. A good leader will be able to admit to wrong decisions without it knocking them off course. A good leader is prepared to go against the party line in the country's best interests.

Thinking about the party you voted for at the 2010 General Election and the party you would vote for now, has it changed?Why?Why not?
I would still vote for the same party. I would want that party not to be part of a coalition but able to rule the country with their own policies rather than backing up the Tories. I believe the libdem policies to be best for this country and that they have restrained the Tories thus far.

delegate315 Tue 30-Jul-13 16:57:13

Thinking about when you decide which party to vote for, how important is the leader of the party in that decision?

Quite important, because they will be overall shaping the policies, with advice. Sometimes a leader appears pigheaded and I worry they will not be able to take advice, other times they appear to change their policies with their underwear and I cannot trust that they actually believe in them.

Overall the policies are more important, but different leaders put a different slant on things, and if I thought 2 parties were very similar, then I would probably be swayed by the perceived characteristics of the leaders.

What do you look for in a party leader? What makes a good party leader and what makes a bad one? What makes a good prime minister and what makes a bad one?

Someone who is not jumping on every bandwagon, who has a history of standing up for what they believe is right, and of consistency.

Thinking about the party you voted for at the 2010 General Election and the party you would vote for now, has it changed?

No. I do not think any party is perfect, but the core policies that matter most to me have not changed, and one party is much closer to those than the others.

delegate316 Tue 30-Jul-13 17:44:08

Thinking about when you decide which party to vote for, how important is the leader of the party in that decision?

i think the leader is very important, the policies of the party are paramount, but with the wrong leader I guess it feels they may not be adhered to, or followed. I think the leader also needs to have charisma and some charm (yes, I really am that shallow).

What do you look for in a party leader? What makes a good party leader and what makes a bad one? What makes a good prime minister and what makes a bad one?
I think the leader needs to be honest and trustworthy, also someone who is confident and who you feel will be dogged in the face of adversity or disagreement. It needs to be someone who can be admired. I think again they need charisma and charm, and outspoken maybe at times too.

I think someone who is too quiet, insipid or just flakey makes a bad leader/prime minister. Not someone you could respect or admire or want to follow and trust.

Thinking about the party you voted for at the 2010 General Election and the party you would vote for now, has it changed?

I would vote LibDem again, but I would not be as confident in them as I was during the last election campaign. It feels they have dumbed down since the coalition and become LibDem Lite or something. I thought Nick Clegg was quite convincing and trustworthy during the campaign, he now seems a bit insipid and 2nd fiddle to Cameron, which is a shame.

delegate303 Tue 30-Jul-13 18:14:33

Thinking about when you decide which party to vote for, how important is the leader of the party in that decision?

Although we have a system of party politics, I believe that parties do, to a great extent, stand or fall by their leader, and when a charismatic leader, loved or loathed, is ousted, the party does not stay in power for long - eg Thatcher, Blair. The leader would feature highly in my decision.

What do you look for in a party leader? What makes a good party leader and what makes a bad one? What makes a good prime minister and what makes a bad one?

A good party leader leads should embody the party's values, but not be single-minded - they must be prepared to listen and change their views if necessary, when the country's mood has changed. Ditto for a leader. Anyone in t for personal gain or glory would put me off.

Thinking about the party you voted for at the 2010 General Election and the party you would vote for now, has it changed?

I voted Conservative (I think!) and that was mainly due to the local situation, not wanting to split the vote. However, I will not vote C again, again due to local reasons. The incumbent MP has not proved himself, and is actively supporting government policy on a matter that affects the local area, contrary to the views of local people.

delegate319 Tue 30-Jul-13 18:53:11

Thinking about when you decide which party to vote for, how important is the leader of the party in that decision? Why?

I'd never vote for a party with a bad leader ( I could never bring myself to vote for Tony Blair, he just sets my teeth on edge), but a party with the correct values and agendas, with a mediocre leader would be worth considering. In either case the leader may well change in the term of office, but a leader who I don;t trust (for whatever reason) I wouldn't vote into office.

What do you look for in a party leader? What makes a good party leader and what makes a bad one? What makes a good prime minister and what makes a bad one?

Good: One I could trust, that I beleive will follow the items set out in the manifestos, and can inspire not only their party, but persuade the rest of the house of commons to vote the "right" way in a free vote (e.g. abortion limits), and the population in general.

Bad: uninspiring (Gordon Brown), make me uneasy (Tony Blair), go agenst the manifesto which got them elected.

Thinking about the party you voted for at the 2010 General Election and the party you would vote for now, has it changed?

Yes, changed. I voted LimDem. Round here there was no way on earth Conservative would get in, so the choice is basically Labour or LimDem. I'm not actually sure either would do anything for the country atm. So I'm not actually sure I'd do anything except register a blank vote - ie execute my right to vote (DH and I get default postal votes), but not actually vote for anyone.

Right, back to read what others have written - this was done before seeing what others wrote.

delegate315 Tue 30-Jul-13 19:24:34

There are a lot of Lib Dem voters on here. I wonder whether that was deliberate grouping?

delegate318 Tue 30-Jul-13 19:52:10

I haven't read other responses yet, will do so after posting.

Thinking about when you decide which party to vote for, how important is the leader of the party in that decision?

I'm torn on this. I want to say no, it doesn't matter. As long as the party promotes and supports the policies that I agree with then the leader should not matter as long as she/he champions those policies.

However... When the Liberal Democrats elected Sir Mingus Campbell as their leader I was greatly disappointed. Although not a Lib Dem voter, I was wavering and considering supporting them. I felt like I did not identify with the party as much as I didn't like their leader. I am not sure what I disliked about him, I think it may have been a reaction to the distasteful circumstances in which the former leader was ousted, but certainly my interest in supporting the Liberal Democrats wavered. They were not on my radar again until Nick Clegg was elected.

What do you look for in a party leader? What makes a good party leader and what makes a bad one? What makes a good prime minister and what makes a bad one?

The leader does not need to be the most charismatic, or the wittiest but needs to be be clear in setting out party policies and have confidence in what they are saying. I can not bear it when cheap points are scored - e.g. David Cameron's 'calm down dear' to Angela Eagle. Actions like that would turn me off a party completely.

Thinking about the party you voted for at the 2010 General Election and the party you would vote for now, has it changed?

The party I support has not changed since 2010. However I am not able to vote for them due to it being a contest between two other parties in my area. The party I support does not get a look in. I vote tactically for my second choice party as I would not want the other third party to get in.

delegate318 Tue 30-Jul-13 19:58:59

Was the last bit a tad confusing? To clarify I am a Labour supporter and voter who moved areas after the 2010 election. Where I now live is a Tory/Lib Dem fight, so I have to vote Lib Dem to help ensure that the Tory party does not get a win. I have actually voted Lib Dem since 2010 as there was a recent by-election.

delegate318 Tue 30-Jul-13 20:05:07

I have now read other responses and whole heartedly agree that the current leaders of the main parties are so utterly meh that they don't really influence my voting intentions or party support.

delegate305 Tue 30-Jul-13 21:21:30

Thinking about when you decide which party to vote for, how important is the leader of the party in that decision?

It is important, but I am not sure to what extent.

Why?

Well, they are the face and figurehead of the party, it is hard to separate them from the policies. As 308 says - if your automatic feeling is that someone is a creepy slimeball, then you are not going to want them in charge of yours, and the country's, future. Ultimately it is the policies that should shape your decision, but it can be really hard to get to the bottom of those, there is so much spin at election time it takes real time and effort to properly weigh it up. Nothing annoys me more than campaigns based on criticising the other party's policies and actions, it is so unhelpful.

I don't plan to vote labour, but I found it easier to see David Milliband as leader rather than Ed. I see him as such a puppet for the unions I find little to identify with him or his party and it would take a lot to get me to consider them. In that circumstances, the leader of the party has been key in the decision, as it has also impacted on the way the party moves forward.

What do you look for in a party leader? What makes a good party leader and what makes a bad one? What makes a good prime minister and what makes a bad one?

As others have said, honest, trustworthy, charismatic. I like the sound of someone who is prepared to listen, but that seems rather pie in the sky sometimes, and then runs the risk of being accusd of going against their manifesto or being too changeable. A bad one, insipid, dishonest, weak. I agree with 315's comment that the qualities needed to be a good party leader are not necessarily the same as those needed to be a good Prime Minister.

Thinking about the party you voted for at the 2010 General Election and the party you would vote for now, has it changed?

*Why?
Why not?*

I really am not sure. I don't think that the coalitition has been that disastrous but they have come in for a lot of flack. I am not sure any other combo could have done much better in the current climate. I voted Lib Dem last time, but am not sure if I would stay or switch, it would depend on many factors.

delegate322 Tue 30-Jul-13 21:38:04

Thinking about when you decide which party to vote for, how important is the leader of the party in that decision?

I think that the personality of the party leader is absolutely crucial - so many people seem to vote for the leader rather than the party. Saying that how many party leaders project their 'real life' personalities and how much is PR / spin? I really do believe that a strong, charismatic leader can win elections. I believe that history has shown this and that strong, charismatic party leaders have consistently fared better in elections than non charismatic leaders, however principled or trustworthy the latter may be.

What do you look for in a party leader? What makes a good party leader and what makes a bad one? What makes a good prime minister and what makes a bad one?

I look for someone I feel I can instinctively trust, trying to look beyond the PR. I look particularly at how an individual deals with issues which may run contrary to their own personal beliefs. A good leader and a good prime minister (to me) inspires confidence, particularly in challenging circumstances. They are also able to make complex ideas and situations understandable to a wide range of people.

Thinking about the party you voted for at the 2010 General Election and the party you would vote for now, has it changed?

I am another who voted lib dem last time around and while Nick Clegg isn't the charismatic leader to inspire a nation, I don't believe the other party leaders meet this criteria either. I feel he has done an ok job in extremely difficult circumstances and overall the lib dem manifesto still appeals more to me than that of the other parties. Yes, compromises have been made, many off them unpalatable, but realistically democratic government is about compromise.

delegate302 Tue 30-Jul-13 21:39:59

Evening All,
I'm not sure how the leader of a party influences my vote. My preference is for a strong speaker capable of intelligent debate. I would also prefer someone with an understanding of britain's people, not just the scholarship kids at eton that made them feel oh so grounded. And this also needs to be balanced with the ability to be a world leader also.

But here's where it gets confusing. I voted lib dem and regret it. I believed Nick Clegg believed in his policies and had his head screwed on. I would have voted conservative last despite finding David Cameron a more likely 'leader'. And then, blow me, Clegg takes my vote and aligns it with Cameron, jumping right into bed exactly where I was keen that my vote wouldn't go.

While I like Clegg's manner, I feel he's screwed up by becoming a Tory gimp.

And at the end of the day I wouldn't vote for the Miliband brother (whichever one of those glaikit flunkies is the leader) I forget, and find them equally repulsive...and I'd like to vote labour but not with these donuts in leadership.

As for who I would vote for now? I really don't know. My favourite politicians are tory, my favourite politics are labour, and the most likeable and likely to represent me is lib dem.

This all leaves me confused and undecided!

delegate311 Tue 30-Jul-13 21:40:22

Thinking about when you decide which party to vote for, how important is the leader of the party in that decision? Why?

Until recently, I would have always said that the personality of the potential prime minister was paramount, because I would have wanted someone with some integrity as the leader of the country. Knowing that the person at the end of the batphone (they have one of those right?) was someone that I could trust to make the best decision.

I've recently begun to realise, through work, the amount of autonomy that key ministers are given over their departments (unless they screw up). I will be looking closely at the education, health and work/benefits policies in 2015, as the key players in the potenial cabinet will be showing their colours through those pledges.

What do you look for in a party leader? What makes a good party leader and what makes a bad one?
Echoing what others have said, from my perspective a good party leader is able to communicate both the specifics and spirit of the direction they would take the country in. Conversely, a bad one would either lie through their teeth or simply be unable to get across what they mean to do. From the party's perspective I suppose they need to be able to mediate factions negotiate with rivals and give a good speech.

What makes a good prime minister and what makes a bad one?

In addition to masses of integrity, I genuinely think a good measure of gravitas helps. Worryingly, the party leaders are most likely to be able to show this if they are already prime minister.

Thinking about the party you voted for at the 2010 General Election and the party you would vote for now, has it changed? Why? Why not?

I have never stuck to a particular party and wouldn't join one on principle, so I genuinely don't know who I voted for in 2010. I'm in a pretty safe Labour seat anyway, so I think it probably depends on whether I was more concerned about keeping the far right down or whether I was persuaded to change the status quo.

I noticed that quite a lot of you voted lib dem, I think I must say that though a lot of people have bashed Nick Clegg for cooperating with the Conservatives, I think he honestly believed that the financial systems would go into meltdown if we had no government and also that they have done their level best to beat down any extreme policies and institute good ones (e.g. pupil premium). I wonder if people will credit the lib dems with this or will they just think the Conservatives are not as extreme as they are?

delegate312 Tue 30-Jul-13 21:44:18

Adding my initial thoughts without looking at others, will go back after!

Thinking about when you decide which party to vote for, how important is the leader of the party in that decision? Why?
Relatively important, in that I have to feel that I trust them, that they seem to embody the values the party has and they are able to convey those qualities effectively. However the policies that the party has would carry more weight overall. I am also very careful to consider who the local MP is as they will ideally know why I am concerned about specific issues. One of the party leaders is also the MP for a neighbouring constituency to mine and does seem to overshadow things locally, but that will probably come up later!

What do you look for in a party leader? What makes a good party leader and what makes a bad one? What makes a good prime minister and what makes a bad one?

I want someone I can respect, that has integrity and doesn't just spend their time mudslinging. Someone with charisma and gravitas, who won't be laughed at on an international stage. Someone who really seems to believe in their party and policies even if they don't necessarily match with mine. Mainly I would like someone who has had a career and life outside of politics. So many leaders and MPs now are professional politicians and I'm not convinced they really understand how things are in the real world. Anyone who bows and scrapes to the Americans needs a smack.

Thinking about the party you voted for at the 2010 General Election and the party you would vote for now, has it changed? Why?

I voted Lib Dem. Labour have no real support locally and I always felt quite distant from the Tories. I have always voted Lib Dem. When the coalition was formed I thought it would be a good thing, that some of the more extreme Tory policies would be curbed and a bit more moderation introduced. But they seem to have been ignored, pushed to one side and policies that were essentially 'Lib Dem' have been entirely overturned, in some cases. So now, I don't know. If there was an election tomorrow I don't know how I would vote. I disagree with a lot of Tory policies, I dislike Labour and their leader just riles me, and the Lib Dems have shown that for whatever reason, they don't carry the weight in government that perhaps I hoped they would. I don't have any time for UKIP or the greens. I'm probably very open to suggestion!

delegate306 Tue 30-Jul-13 21:53:13

Thinking about when you decide which party to vote for, how important is the leader of the party in that decision?

The leader is important, but is not the be all and end all; the manifesto and policies are also very important. I am in Scotland, and I have to be honest and say that the leaders of the main political parties in Scotland all leave something to be desired...

Why?

Because you are voting for them to be Prime Minister and lead the country so clearly their personal qualities are important, but the party's politics themselves provide the backbone for their leadership

What do you look for in a party leader? What makes a good party leader and what makes a bad one? What makes a good prime minister and what makes a bad one?

Integrity, consistency and charisma are important characteristics. A bad leader would be inconsistent, vain and megalomaniacal (is that a word??) A good prime minister has the interests of their country at heart, not their own interests.

Thinking about the party you voted for at the 2010 General Election and the party you would vote for now, has it changed?
Why?
Why not?

Yes. I voted Lib Dem and will be unlikely to do so again, as they have allowed themselves to be overly influenced and led by the conservatives.

delegate312 Tue 30-Jul-13 22:06:33

Interesting that so many of us on here seem in agreement, at least on the qualities the leaders should have. Which brings me to ask, do the current leaders of the parties have those qualities? I admit that I am a bit out of touch on politics as I have been unable to watch/read the news for 9 months, pregnancy turned me into an emotional wreck who couldn't handle anything upsetting. But it does mean that I am very much in a position of 'innocence' over the leaders.

DC: I don't dislike him. I think at the moment he is the best of a 'meh' bunch (very good assessment there 318). But I struggle with the posh background. He is very popular locally though, I live about 15 miles from Witney and my goodness, don't they get a kick out of him being PM. I worked in Witney when he was elected PM and that was enough to make me rebel. Childish, I know.

NC: I really liked his demeanour through the live debates before the 2010 elections. He came across as sincere and educated without being snobbish. I agree that he has become a whipping boy for all that is wrong with government and it is unfair. But still there's something missing. Maybe a feeling that the party around him is just not capable.

EM: I couldn't believe it when Ed was elected leader. He struck me as so weak compared to his brother, who was far more charismatic and electable. But the very fact that there were siblings involved put me off, the whole political culture and old boy network looming large. I couldn't vote Labour simply because they say they stand for things that are different to the Tories, but they all come from privilege. I felt the same about Blair. YYY to slimeball!

Sorry if that's off on a tangent. I'm loving that this is making me think about it all though, I feel like I need to know more about what's going on in the world again!

delegate302 Tue 30-Jul-13 22:22:47

312 I agree with your synopsis on the leaders entirely. I have a feeling we are all going to be fairly similar in opinion due to the excellent grouping skills at MNHQ.

Do you who I would like to see in charge. William Hague. I really really like him. And he could turn me Tory as I tend to agree with him a lot. Isn't he doing a lot of work with women's rights in India? Very intelligent and amiable man in my opinion.

delegate320 Tue 30-Jul-13 23:48:49

Thinking about when you decide which party to vote for, how important is the leader of the party in that decision? Why?

As with any organisation the person at the top has a great influence in the whole organisation so the leader plays an important part in my decision.

What do you look for in a party leader? What makes a good party leader and what makes a bad one? What makes a good prime minister and what makes a bad one?

I do think charisma has a huge influence on how I feel about a leader. I want to see someone with passion, who says things that I agree with, who is honest and trustworthy, who does not allow the secretaries of state to follow their own bandwagon, who has the confidence to stick to things they believe in but the good sense of when to change their minds. A bad one is weak but on the other hand a bad one is also so arrogant that they stick to a policy even though it is so evidently unfair.

Thinking about the party you voted for at the 2010 General Election and the party you would vote for now, has it changed?

Why?
Why not?

I have always voted Lib Dem (except when we moved to an area where lib dem could not win so I voted 'against' the conservatives) Although I have been less than impressed with how Nick Clegg 'jumped into bed' with the conservatives and how I think the lib dems have been damaged by the coalition I am passionately anti conservative and labour have no chance in our area.

delegate312 Wed 31-Jul-13 10:11:28

I'm liking the William Hague idea! In truth I haven't heard of a lot of the other ministers and shadow cabinet but I have heard of him at least. I do think that a younger leader is more electable. Was it Ming Campbell that lead the Lib Dems for a time? A nice chap and all that, but old. I really loved Paddy Ashdown, his style was quite no-nonsense and I appreciated his honesty. Brown was so boring and I couldn't watch him on TV as his jaw did this 'drop' after each sentence. DH used to mock it something chronic. Blair was too slick. I need to go and see who is in the main government positions and see what I think about them all now!

delegate313 Wed 31-Jul-13 21:03:18

Thinking about when you decide which party to vote for, how important is the leader of the party in that decision?

I would say it's fairly important, but not so important that I would change my vote entirely. It might be enough to sway me between two parties with similar politics.

What do you look for in a party leader? What makes a good party leader and what makes a bad one? What makes a good prime minister and what makes a bad one?

A good leader should be genuine, straightforward (as straightforward as a politician gets!) and charismatic. They should be someone who inspires confidence, someone who can make a great speech and someone who really believes in their policies.

A bad leader could be either end of the scale - woolly and weak or overpowering and cold. I want to support someone who is personable.

Thinking about the party you voted for at the 2010 General Election and the party you would vote for now, has it changed?

No, it hasn't. I voted LibDem at the last election and I would do the same next time. They aren't perfect, but they are the only party who come close to representing my views.

I think they were unfairly burdened with a lot of the failings of the coalition, and I believe that without them, the actions of the Tories would have been much more unforgiving.

delegate308 Wed 31-Jul-13 22:22:29

Blair was so smug and smarmy he made me sick, but I positively froth at the mouth if I see either Cameron or Osbourne, and start swearing under my breath.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 01-Aug-13 09:43:24

Thanks for answering the first questions: some really interesting feedback. Now we want to try to what you really think about the specific leaders.

1) So, these days how well or badly do you think the current main party leaders are doing on understanding the issues and concerned facing women like you.
First of all David Cameron?
And then Nick Clegg?
And then Ed Miliband?
What about another party leader you know of (or one you think should/ could be a party leader) - please name them and then say: how well or badly do they do on this aspect?

2) and how well or badly do you think they make sure or take account of women being heard in their party and in politics generally?
First of all David Cameron?
And then Nick Clegg?
And then Ed Miliband?
What about another party leader you know of (or one you think should/ could be a party leader) - please name them and then say: how well or badly do they do on this aspect?

3) Finally for now - which party - if any - do you trust the most to look after the interests of women? Why? And which do you trust the least? And why?

thanks again - we will add some more questions for the weekend.

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