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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 September, 2004, 15:00 GMT 16:00 UK
Will the Lib Dems gain power?
Charles Kennedy says three party politics has arrived in the UK. But will his party ever form a government in our lifetime? BBC News Online's Hannah Goff asked people in Bournemouth, where the party's conference is taking place.

Joyce Wright
Joyce Wright
Joyce Wright, 61, retired machinist, Norbury, Staffordshire: "I hope so. I like their views and I am feeling very disillusioned with the Tories. I was always Tory. I also don't have a lot of faith in the Labour government at the moment. The Lib Dems have got stronger and stronger over the years so I guess it's possible they could get into government. I do their think policy to scrap the council tax is very sensible."

Brijmohan Chabra
Brijmohan Chabra
Brijmohan Chabra, 44, self-employed of Stratford on Avon: "It's a possibility. There may be a better alternative to the other parties. The Iraq war has given them a boost. The British public have been split over the war. Maybe 50% of Labour voters are looking somewhere else in the future and maybe that place is the Liberal Democrats. But I can't see the Lib Dems getting in for the next 15 years."

Mike O'Neill
Mike O'Neill
Mike O' Neill, 34, a computer programmer, Northampton: "I don't think so. Politics is just dyed in the wool - you're either Labour or Conservative. It just depends on how you are brought up. I think Labour will get in next time around. The Conservatives still need more time but the pressure is building on Blair to deliver some results. It's quite hard to say whether they (the Lib Dems) will ever be in government - but never say never."

Carol Hall
Carol Hall
Carol Hall, 26, Lib Dem party worker in Bournemouth for the conference: "At 26 I think that is very possible. There's plenty of years to go. There's a real momentum in the party at the moment and people have more energy - it's not even tiring to campaign. It's really got people riled up and there's a feeling that we can do it. If we seize the opportunity then I think we could be the official opposition after the next general election and then we will be well-placed to be in government at the election after that. Then maybe we could form a government on our own any time in the next 10 years or so."

Barry Morgan
Barry Morgan
Barry Morgan, 22, postgraduate working at an ice-cream stall, from Merley, near Bournemouth: "No I don't think I will see the Lib Dems in government. I don't think much of their policies. Politics is having a hard time because nobody really wants a Conservative government and nobody really wants the Liberals in power and no one wants Labour either. It's more for the smaller parties at the moment like the BNP and UKIP. I don't like the Lib Dem policies on public transport. It's all well and good saying use public transport but where I live there is one bus into Bournemouth every two hours. "

Roy Stowe
Roy Stowe
Roy Stowe, 55, upholsterer, Oxford: "I hope they do get in personally. I don't think the other two parties have done very much good over the years. I think I would vote for them but I don't think they will get enough support to outdo the others next time around."





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