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TV debate fuels Lib Dem interest surge

PUBLISHED: 12:57 22 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:51 25 August 2010

LIBERAL Democrats are confident of winning more seats on the council after the success of their leader s performance on the much-hyped television debate.

LIBERAL Democrats are confident of winning more seats on the council after the success of their leader's performance on the much-hyped television debate.

The so-called third party say the knock-on effect of Nick Clegg's surge in popularity will see them take over Tory places on Bexley council.

The next debate is due to take place tonight (Thursday), where Clegg is expected to face a frosty reception from Gordon Brown after labelling him 'desperate' on Tuesday.

Old Bexley and Sidcup hopeful Duncan Borrowman said: "The debate was clearly a deciding factor. I saw the rise in our support in the weeks leading up to the debate and then rocket immediately afterwards. And it continues to climb.

"The one area that I have seen an incredible increase is via the internet, where this election has really taken off. I've received a large number of offers to help come in through people visiting the Liberal Democrat website.

"One striking factor is that this is particularly among the young. I am literally getting thousands of extra leaflets delivered through doors thanks to young people offering to help via the web. I'm actually finding it almost impossible to keep up with the email offers of support."

When asked if he was expecting gains on the council, Mr Borrowman said: "Yes."

Liberal Democrat climate change spokesperson Simon Hughes was out canvassing in Orpington last Saturday afternoon.

He said: "Our aim is to win as many seats as possible. We will work with whatever result the British people give us. We are not looking beyond May 6.

"It would be great to have something that breaks the political system. It would be hugely refreshing and in the public interest.

"We have had more people come into our offices asking for posters since 1997.

"After the debate, we have had a much more positive response from those who were not going to vote before. The feeling that you either vote Labour or Conservative has changed. They now have an alternative which is us. We will deliver fairness.

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