SEASONED campaigner Adrian Collett is to have yet another crack at winning Aldershot for the Lib-Dems at the next General Election.

He has tried and failed three times before to capture the seat, but is optimistic that he could be fourth time fortunate.

Over the past three elections he has cut the Conservative majority from 19,188 in 1992 to 6,594 in 2001.

"The Conservative majority is now within striking distance," said Mr Collett soon after being chosen as the Lib-Dems' prospective parliamentary candidate for the constituency.

"We have been the only serious challengers to the Conservatives in this constituency for many years. Labour always comes third."

He claimed that his bid to unseat Gerald Howarth, Aldershot's Tory MP, had been given a boost by the latest opinion poll published in The Times.

The poll showed that nationally Labour's support had dropped five points since the last election, the Conservatives had flatlined, but the Lib-Dems had gained six points.

"I am really looking forward to adding Aldershot to the growing list of local Liberal Democrat strongholds," said Mr Collett.

Born and brought up in Aldershot, he has been active in local politics for most of his life.

He was Farnborough's first Liberal county councillor, and has represented Yateley and Frogmore on the council since 1985.

Mr Collett has been leader of the council's Lib-Dem group since 1997.