Cameron tells MSN: Get out and vote (even if you vote Labour)



David Cameron has urged people to vote in this year's general election, even if they don't vote for his party.

The Conservative leader spoke to MSN after an interactive question-and-answer session with members of the public at Microsoft's offices in London.

"People should want to vote because it's your democracy," he told MSN. "This is your politics, your House of Commons. If you don't like it, if you're not happy with your member of parliament, if you want to get involved, the best way is to vote.

"Whatever party you support, or if it's no party, the best thing to do is to get involved.

"Not everyone is going to support the Conservative party," he conceded, "but I'd certainly [rather] people voted than not voted at all. Get out and make your voice heard."

Mr Cameron spent an hour fielding questions from Microsoft employees and people on Windows Live Messenger and Twitter. The event was also streamed live on the official Conservative Party website.

He spelled out a few specific pledges. Cold weather payments "will stay" under a Conservative government, while ID cards and the ID database "will go". Tuition fees for students in higher education "are here to stay," but a Tory government would not set a target for the number of people attending university. Mr Cameron said he didn't think "we have good careers advice in this country".

Anybody caught carrying a knife should face immediate prosecution. "A clearer signal" needed to be sent that knife and gun crime was unacceptable.

There will be a defence review if the Tories win the next election. It would "lead to big changes" with "more emphasis on highly mobile forces".

"It's not possible to have lots of lovely tax cuts"

Mr Cameron was vaguer on issues of tax and public spending.

He acknowledged the next government would face "some difficult choices" on public expenditure, but did not spell out what they were. It was "not possible" to have "lots of lovely tax cuts" at the present time.

He branded Labour's proposal to raise National Insurance contributions for employees and employers from 2011 "a tax on jobs - a crazy thing to do", but would not scrap it on coming to power. As for public sector cuts, he and his party had not yet identified where and when they should fall.

His plan for using savings from utility bills to pay for thousands of engineers to go around the country making homes greener was ambitious but short on details. When pressed for clarification he said: "Look in the manifesto".

In response to a question on immigration from Luke on Messenger, Mr Cameron stated that "levels in recent years have been too high". He would introduce "transitional controls for new EU countries" as well as reforming the points system whereby people can enter this country.

"MPs should never vote on their own pay again"

Another Messenger user, Danny, asked whether MPs should be paid more competitively. Mr Cameron didn't answer directly, instead saying that MPs "should never vote on their own pay again."

He refused to tell the audience how much he earned as leader of the opposition, but said it was "less than the prime minister".

He believed it was a good thing that MPs maintained business interests while serving in parliament, as it meant they retained a link with the real world.

David Cameron ended by telling his audience that he believed he was "someone who tells it straight". He did not consider himself "a perfect politician or a perfect human being", but believed the Conservatives had both the right "set of promises" and the "team of people" that would be best for future of Britain.

Watch a webcast of the event on the official Conservative Party website.