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Tuesday, 5 June, 2001, 20:40 GMT 21:40 UK
Labouring on the road
Correspondents on the Labour battlebus
Correspondents on the Labour battlebus
As Tony Blair's campaigning enters its fourth week, BBC correspondents Carolyn Quinn, James Helm and James Robbins report on the prime minister's quest to secure a second term in office.


James Helm's diary, Tuesday 5 June

With polling rapidly approaching, Tony Blair took his campaign to the hard fought marginal constituencies of the Midlands.


Mr Blair vented his frustrations on the media, pollsters and bookmakers

James Helm
He began the day in Wellingborough and went on to Rugby, both won by Labour in 1997 with the slimmest of majorities.

Health was the day's theme, but Mr Blair vented his frustrations on the media, pollsters and bookmakers who, he said, portray the election as a foregone conclusion.

Later in an ex-serviceman's club in the Birmingham Yardley constituency, the prime minister gave the last of his campaign speeches on Labour's core themes, entitled "Moving beyond Thatcherism".

He ended the day with another rally, this time in Derby, aimed at motivating Labour supporters.

The showbiz element came from actor Kevin Whateley and the singer Heather Small.

Mr Blair provided the main act, telling an enthusiastic audience: "Every vote counts ... the choices of this election are vital choices."

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