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The issue of broadband has grown in prominence and could impact on how people choose to vote, according to an expert.

John Russell, editor at DailyMusicGuide.com, said the decisions that parties take on issues that impact on broadband users could play a major role in whether they are successful when elections come around.

He explained that one area where this has become prominent is filesharing, as the current government's proposals to encourage providers to disconnect persistent offenders have proved controversial.

Mr Russell said the plans may "signal a warning" to other parties that they may want to "steer well clear of the issue".

He added: "Any party attempting to win votes on this issue will ultimately have to endorse filesharing; the cost of publicly announcing policy the other way could be detrimental."

Recent figures published by the Open Rights Group found that people would choose not to vote for a party that supported the automatic disconnection of filesharers without court action.

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