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Paddy Ashdown, former Lid Dem leader
"I can't complain if people vote intelligently"
 real 56k

Saturday, 2 June, 2001, 14:14 GMT 15:14 UK
Lib Dems step up campaign
Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy
Mr Kennedy spent Saturday campaigning in Scotland
The Liberal Democrats are to redouble their efforts in the final days of the campaign to win more seats and more votes.

Party leader Charles Kennedy said the party was "buoyed" by trends in the opinion polls which suggest support for the Lib Dems is increasing.


We don't take a single vote for granted

Charles Kennedy
Mr Kennedy was speaking after a summit of key advisers in Inverness, Scotland, on Saturday.

Jim Wallace, deputy first minister of Scotland and Alan Beith, Lib Dem deputy leader, were among those discussing campaign tactics at the summit.

'More to be done'

Mr Kennedy said there was potential for the Lib Dems to win more seats and votes than 1997.

"We are going to up the campaigning zeal between now and Thursday, polling day itself.

"There's a lot already being done but we do feel there is still more that needs to be done if we are to deliver the kind of national share of the vote that is possible and the number of seats that can follow on from that."

He said the Lib Dems would be seeking votes and continuing their campaign on 7 June "right up to the 59th minute of the 11th hour" on polling day.

He added: "We don't take a single vote for granted quite simply because we don't have the luxury of taking a single vote for granted."

Mr Kennedy said the Lib Dems were putting themselves forward as a better alternative to the Conservatives in opposition.

"There is a growing mood in the country that they don't want a government that doesn't have a decent check on it," he said.

"But they increasingly feel they are not going to get much representation in an effective sense from the Conservatives so they are looking to us and we have to be up to the mark."

The Lib Dem leader said the party would "push with vigour" to have its key policies implemented after the general election.

He said it would put pressure on Labour, if it wins the election, to scrap tuition fees and to pay for long term personal care for the elderly.

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