Kennedy confident of Lib Dem progress

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Indy Politics

Charles Kennedy yesterday insisted that the Liberal Democrats could make gains at the expense of both Labour and the Conservatives by capitalising on disillusionment with both major parties.

Charles Kennedy yesterday insisted that the Liberal Democrats could make gains at the expense of both Labour and the Conservatives by capitalising on disillusionment with both major parties.

Speaking at the final press conference of the party's local and European election campaign, Mr Kennedy said voters were dismayed with Labour but had no appetite for turning to the Tories under Michael Howard. He claimed the party could make gains across the board because of anger at the war in Iraq and the Liberal Democrats pledge to reform the council tax.

Mr Kennedy said his party had benefited from a "seismic shift" in opinion among ethnic minorities, because of slumping support for the Government in the aftermath of war in Iraq. He said: "People are dismayed with Labour. They are dismayed by our role in the Iraq War. Dismayed that the Prime Minister turned his back on the UN and on Britain's European allies to prosecute this war with the United States. Dismayed by the lack of planning and confusion in the aftermath.

"They are angry about the year-on-year rises in the council tax. They are angry that it is pensioners and less well-off families that are bearing the brunt. The Liberal Democrats are the only party to have pledged to scrap the unfair council tax and replace it with a local tax based on people's ability to pay. It is not the Conservatives that disillusioned voters are turning to. It is the Liberal Democrats."

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