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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 October, 2004, 13:34 GMT 14:34 UK
Howard appoints elections chief
Michael Howard
Mr Howard hopes to emulate his Australian namesake
Conservative leader Michael Howard has appointed a new elections chief ahead of an expected poll next year.

Australian Lynton Crosby helped his country's prime minister, John Howard, win four election victories.

Now the UK's Mr Howard will hope he can emulate that success and bring the Tories back to power for the first time since 1997.

John Howard described Mr Crosby as "the most outstanding political professional" he has worked with.

When the Australian prime minister first won power in 1996 Mr Crosby was deputy campaign director of his party, the Liberal Party of Australia.


He was promoted to national campaigns director and helped to deliver the party's second and third victories and his company was behind polling and research for the fourth win earlier this month.

Mr Howard said: "I have known Lynton for almost 10 years and am delighted that we will have the benefit of his professional expertise in the run up to the general election."

Mr Crosby said: "Throughout my friendship with Michael I have seen first hand someone who is direct, means what he says, and has the determination to get the job done - not just to talk."

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