Chairman Martin Lee Chu-ming says the Democratic Party is now less united than in the period following its foundation. Looking back, Mr Lee, who has led the party since its inception in October 1994 and who led its predecessor, the United Democrats of Hong Kong, from April 1990, said: 'At that time, we were all in one heart. 'But now, there may be some different views as to the line [the party should take].' Some of his party colleagues have admitted the party's internal strife between the so-called mainstream camp and the more radical 'Young Turks' affected results in last month's district councils election. But Mr Lee said that as happened in many other parties overseas, politicians often had their own agenda as well as that of their party. Citing British politics as an example, he said even John Major had to battle to gain power within the Conservative Party in 1990 after then prime minister Margaret Thatcher quit the leadership. 'I don't think it's a big problem even if our members do not hold the same view on certain issues,' Mr Lee said. The veteran legislator, whose party has 13 representatives in the legislature, believes the party will gain at most one more seat in next year's Legco polls. 'The whole system was designed to limit our number [of representatives in the legislature]. The Government has been very successful in this respect,' he said. 'I certainly hope that we can at least secure the nine directly elected seats [that we now have] first. 'It's really not easy to get one more seat in any of the constituencies,' he said, adding that all eyes were on the New Territories West - the party's stronghold. Many believe former party legislator Albert Chan Wai-yip could boost his chances in securing a seat in the New Territories West constituency if the party fields two separate lists in the area - one led by party legislator Lee Wing-tat and another by Mr Chan. Nine of the 13 legislators from the party were returned via geographical polls and the remaining four via the functional constituencies. Following the success of unionist legislators Leung Yiu-chung and Lee Cheuk-yan in securing their Legco seats in last year's polls without running on joint tickets, Mr Lee said the party would consider splitting its candidates in two or more tickets in any of the geographical constituencies. Outgoing head of the European Union's local office Etienne Reuter said he believed the Democratic Party would become stronger if it were more united. His remarks came after observing how the party fared in the district councils poll. '[Mr Lee] agrees with my point that the party needs to be united and clear in its message,' Mr Reuter said.