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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 October 2005, 17:05 GMT 18:05 UK
Fox says he has 'great momentum'
Liam Fox

Liam Fox has said he has "great momentum" after finishing third in the first round of the Conservative leadership election.

Dr Fox, a 44-year-old former GP, got 42 votes - well above his publicly declared support of 23 MPs.

He said he had a "great chance" of making it into the top two in Thursday's vote, and so going through to the run-off vote of party members.

"We've polled way above what anyone was predicting even this morning," he said.

"I think we have got a great chance of getting into the last round and giving the party a real choice.

Liam is the man who can unite the party and who has the momentum behind him
Eleanor Laing

"It is clear that we have got a lot of support from right across the party as we go into the next ballot.

"I think a lot of votes will be moving around in a lot of directions in the next few days."

Shadow Scottish secretary Eleanor Laing, a key Fox supporter, said she was pleased with the result.

"Liam is the man who can unite the party and who has the momentum behind him," she said.

She added that he had both youth and experience on his side as well as energy and vision.


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