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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 September 2005, 10:49 GMT 11:49 UK
Do Lib Dems have faith in Kennedy?
Charles Kennedy's leadership is under the microscope at the Lib Dems' Blackpool conference. We asked party members if Mr Kennedy is the man to lead them to power.


Helen, from Cheadle, Cheshire, was in no doubt Mr Kennedy was the right man for the job.

She said "Charles Kennedy inspired me to join the party. I have been a member for two years now.

"I think he is young, dynamic and genuine. A man of real integrity. More and more of the British people are beginning to recognise this.

"Charles's profile is growing, particularly now that he has become a true family man. I think we still haven't seen the best of him. There is definitely more to come."


Simon, 28, from Finchley and Golder's Green Lib Dems, thought the party needed to change - but not necessarily the leader.

He said: "We should not underestimate the extent to which the party has been getting it wrong - but I think it would be wrong to see it in terms of personality.

"To a certain extent we all have to examine how we conduct ourselves and how we campaign."


Seth Thevez, chairman of Lib Dem students at Cambridge, thought questions about Mr Kennedy's leadership were largely the invention of the media.

He said: "The same things were said when Paddy Ashdown was leader. Then it was has Charles Kennedy got enough experience?

"There are far more interesting stories than the leadership debate."


Hazel, from Chelmsford, Essex, said: "It's going to take time, but the first main barrier to getting into power is to become the opposition.

"We are doing well in elections and making steady progress. The more credible and well-known our policies become, the more likely we are to succeed."


Douglas, from Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, said: "We have gone from strength to strength as a party. We control billions of pounds of local authority budgets and people can see we are doing a good job all over the country.

"Charles Kennedy is a popular leader. It's possible but not necessarily probable that he will become prime minister. It would be rather a pity if he did not."


Glynis Dumper, of Exmouth, Devon, said: "What we are doing this week is important to getting the message across.

"We have to persuade people that there are not just two parties and that we are allowed to have power just as much as they are. I don't think Charles Kennedy is the wrong person.

"I know some of the younger people look for someone more "go-getting", but there is "go-getting" and go-getting. We have a party where people have enough political brain to understand issues and argue about them."

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