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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 September, 2004, 11:56 GMT 12:56 UK
Kennedy's speech: Delegates' reaction
As the Liberal Democrat conference draws to a close in Bournemouth, BBC News Online's Hannah Goff asked delegates what they thought of leader Charles Kennedy's speech - and whether the conference marked a turning point for the party.

John Bridges, 42, councillor for Manchester Gorton

John Bridges
John Bridges
"It was very good indeed. He capped the conference nicely, everyone was on their feet looking forward to the campaign.

"I think he reminded everybody why we are hear and what we stand for.

"I don't think the conference is a turning point in itself but over the past five years we have been turning a big corner.

"This conference has demonstrated that we have come of age. There's a confidence that we have never had before.

"We have never been at 22% in the polls in the Parliament before a General Election. The only way is up."


Emma Coakley, 21, member of the Westminster local party

Emma Coakley
Emma Coakley
"I really enjoyed it, I thought it was really good our main policies came out really clearly which was one of the main things.

"Hopefully it will be picked up and reported properly so that everybody knows what we stand for.

"This is my first conference and everybody seems really excited about the next year.

"We feel really confident that we are going to do well in the next election - as good as the Tories if not better.

"It's really exciting to be part of it."


Catherine Smart, 66, delegate for Cambridge

Catherine Smart
Catherine Smart
"I thought it was very positive. I was very pleased that he stuck to our agenda.

"The little mention of Cambridge trouncing Labour was rather special and unexpected for me.

"But I was glad he concentrated on what we have to offer. Now it's up to the general public to decide.

"Ask me next May or June or whenever the election is whether the conference marks a turning point. It's much more a step on the road to somewhere but we don't know quite where that is.

"The swing that we got in the recent by-elections is way beyond what we would need to capture Cambridge where we are fighting Labour."


Sajjad Malik, 36, Oxford councillor
Sajjad Malik
Sajjad Malik

"It was a great speech with lots of positive things to come out. We are moving forward towards power.

"We feel really upbeat there's a big smell of success in the air.

"It's been going really well we are having a very good momentum after all these by-elections.

"The press has given us all this attention and really serious coverage. It shows that they recognise we are a coming force. We can be the real opposition to a Labour government."


Erlend Watson, 40, delegate for Orkney

Erlend Watson
Erlend Watson
"I thought he was very good. He was saying a lot about our policies and that people in many different parts of the country are liking our policies and are voting for us.

"I also don't think he was very negative about the other two (parties) he was just saying people like us."

" It's been a very positive conference. It's as if people feel really at ease with themselves - not that they're taking it easy.

"At most political conferences you hear back biting and there hasn't really been any of that. We feel really united."


Sue Proctor, 56, delegate for Chester

Sue Proctor
Sue Proctor
"I'm really proud and excited. Charles talked about the issues that really matter to people across Britain.

"We are the only credible opposition and we can win.

"It's been a very positive conference and I've been very pleased about the amount of media attention and interest because it means they are taking us seriously.

"Steadily we are gaining influence and votes because people know what we can do."


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