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LOCAL ELECTIONS: LIB DEM CONFIDENCE WHILE LABOUR ADMIT 'HARD CONTEST'

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Labour party chairman Charles Clarke predicted a higher than expected ...
Labour party chairman Charles Clarke predicted a higher than expected

turnout in tomorrow's local elections.

Speaking on BBC Radio Four's Today programme this morning, Mr Clarke said: 'Initial returns on postal ballots indicate quite high numbers voting well before polling day' (see LGCnetfor details).

Labour's target is to do better than in the May 2000 local elections. 'But

it's going to be a hard contest', he said.

Alan Beith, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, told Today he expected

his party to win many seats, particularly at the expense of Labour where

Labour has held power for a long time.

The Liberal Democrats hope to take control of a number of councils, he said,

including Milton Keynes, Norwich and Southwark.

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