Prime Minister urges UKIP and Lib Dem voters to ‘stop and think’ about Miliband

David Cameron 14-04-15“David Cameron will today issue a rallying cry to Lib Dem and Ukip voters as fears grow that Britain is heading for weeks or months of political paralysis in a hung Parliament. The Prime Minister says he wakes in the night worrying about the country ‘falling into the wrong hands’ after Thursday’s election. Speaking at a rally today, the Tory leader will urge backers of smaller parties to switch to the Conservatives – warning of their ‘inescapable choice’ between him or Ed Miliband. He will put Tory plans to cut taxes for 30 million working people, by raising the income tax threshold to £12,500 and the 40p threshold to £50,000, at the heart of his campaign. On a visit to Yorkshire and Warwickshire yesterday, he directly addressed Lib Dem or Ukip voters, urging them to ‘stop and think’ about the dangers of letting in a Labour government propped up by the SNP.” – Daily Mail

  • The Prime Minister charms voters at the Tour de Yorkshire – Daily Mail

Cameron and Clegg plan new coalition

“David Cameron and Nick Clegg are preparing for talks on a new Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition within hours of Thursday’s general election, if the Tories win the most seats in a hung parliament. With polls still putting the Tories and Labour neck and neck, Ed Miliband is also within touching distance of power with the support of the Scottish National party. The impasse has forced Mr Cameron to draw up plans to try to stay in office short of outright victory… Mr Cameron’s allies say they expect him to “move quickly” on Friday to try to seize the initiative if the Tories emerged as the biggest party on May 8, while Mr Clegg said on Sunday he would initially talk exclusively to the party leader with the biggest mandate.” – Financial Times

  • Lib Dem leader hints that party could accept EU referendum… – The Independent
  • …and back Tories to end onshore wind subsidies – Daily Telegraph
  • Clegg won’t split Lib Dems for sake of Tory alliance – Daily Mail

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Clegg discusses his coalition red lines

Tories and Lib Dems refuse to rule out further rise in tuition fees

MANIFESTO money“Appearing on BBC One’s Andrew Marr show, he refused to answer five times under questioning from Labour’s Yvette Cooper demanding he rule out an increase in fees.’Will you rule out an increase in tuition fees?’ Ms Cooper asked repeatedly. Mr Clegg insisted: ‘You are not going to have youngsters going to university if you don’t support nursery schools and colleges. Why do you want to cut the money to nursery schools and colleges?’ But Ms Cooper replied: ‘You won’t rule out a further increase in tuition fees.’ Later Mr Hague conceded that the Tories have not ruled out further rises either.” – Daily Mail

Conservatives go local in final phase of the ‘ground war’

“In seats across the north of England, as the election’s ground war nears its climax, the Conservative campaign hangs on one word: not “security” — the official party message — but “local”. Jason McCartney, the defending Conservative in Yorkshire’s Colne Valley, and Andrew Percy, in the Humber seat of Brigg and Goole, use the tag “a local champion”; Andrew Stephenson in the Lancashire constituency of Pendle “uses the same local services as everyone else” and boasts he has attended 3,000 community events in five years. This may be a less uplifting and headline-grabbing message than the national debate over the economy and leadership — but it is in the ground war in such seats, mostly out of sight of the television cameras, that the election will be won or lost.” – Financial Times

Clarke counsels against a second election

CLARKE Ken older“A second general election later this year after an inconclusive result on Thursday would resolve little and would probably produce a similar outcome, former chancellor Kenneth Clarke has said. In a warning to the main political parties, which are making tentative plans for a second election as opinion polls suggest that Labour and the Tories are largely tied, Clarke said: “You can get out of a hung parliament by having a second election but, not surprisingly, the public tends to return a parliament which looks rather like the first one,” he said. Clarke’s intervention came as supporters of David Cameron prepare to face down the Tory right; there are fears that internal critics will try to unseat the prime minister if he fails to achieve a decisive victory over Ed Miliband.” – The Guardian

>Today: ToryDiary: If he has a chance of forming a government on Friday, Cameron should stay on

Is Swire under threat from an independent?

“The election could see some upsets, with big names like Nick Clegg and Douglas Alexander under threat. But now Conservative Foreign Office minister Hugo Swire may find himself feeling the pressure due to independent candidate Claire Wright. Mr Swire has so far been politically impregnable in his East Devon seat, which he first won in 2001 with a majority of 8,200 votes, going on to build it up to 9,114 in 2010… But the bookies aren’t so sure, and as they say in politics, it’s good to follow the money. Ms Wright is the Conservative minister’s best-placed challenger, the bookies say, with Ladbrokes giving her 5-1 odds to win, better than Ukip (14/1), the Liberal Democrats (66/1) and Labour (100/1). Her odds, originally quoted at 66/1 by William Hill, have improved and now stand at 9/2. Hugo Swire’s odds, however, have deteriorated, slipping from 1/12 in late February to 1/6.” – Daily Telegraph

Matt Ridley: My vote, if I had one, would go to the reformers

mattridley“I, as a peer — alongside lunatics and criminals — am prohibited from voting on Thursday, but if I could it would be for the party most likely to reform. And that’s the Tories, by a mile. Ed “Moses” Miliband wants to do a lot of things like put platitude-laden megaliths in his garden, fix prices (in energy and housing), clamp down (on non-doms and Islamaphobia), tax (mansions and pensions) and spend (on the NHS and wind farms). But hardly any of what he wants to do counts as reforming, let alone challenging the perverse incentives of entrenched bureaucracies. Indeed, it looks set to undo, or stall, recent reforms to education and welfare.” – The Times (£)

Miliband warned not to ‘sneak’ into Number Ten

“Ed Miliband will not have the right to govern if he wins 15 fewer seats than the Conservatives in Thursday’s election, senior Labour party figures have warned. In a series of interviews with The Times yesterday, parliamentary candidates rejected claims by allies of Mr Miliband that he could become prime minister even if Labour was not the largest party in the Commons. One frontbencher suggested that Mr Miliband should resign if he finished as few as 12 seats behind David Cameron. Others fear that Labour’s future in key battlegrounds in England would be compromised if he scraped a parliamentary majority only with the help of Scottish Nationalists. A forecast by Peter Kellner, of YouGov, puts the Tories on 283 seats and Labour on 261, with the Nationalists and Greens on up to 60, meaning that Mr Miliband would be within touching distance of governing with the help of other left-wing parties, but 22 seats behind Mr Cameron.” – The Times (£)


NHS 1) Labour leader accuses Tories of secret plans for reorganisation

NHS_Logo“Ed Miliband will on Monday try to put the NHS at the heart of the runup to polling day by asking the Conservatives to explain why they have not published a plan – commissioned by the government from a former supermarket executive – for another re-organisation of NHS bureaucracy after the election. Labour is also highlighting a letter published in the Guardian from US doctors warning that, on the current course, the NHS is on a “slippery slope” to pay-as-you-go healthcare. Miliband, who will campaign alongside cookery writer Delia Smith on Monday, is highlighting an unpublished report commissioned by the Department of Health (DH) from the former Marks & Spencer chief executive Stuart Rose, a Tory peer.” – The Guardian

  • Crosby firm called to explain plans for private healthcare – The Independent

NHS 2) Burnham plans to ‘reset’ public expectations of the NHS

“Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham has vowed to “reset” the public’s expectations of the NHS if Labour wins power, saying Britons must be more realistic about what the health service can provide and stop treating it as an “on-demand” service. His comments in an interview with the Financial Times represent an acknowledgment of the strains on the publicly funded health service, which ended the financial year more than £1bn in the red and is consuming an ever-increasing proportion of public spending.” – Financial Times

>Yesterday: Dr Rachel Joyce in Comment: Why I, as an NHS doctor, will be voting Conservative

Yet more mockery for Labour’s ‘Biblical tablet’

MILIBAND Ed red background“Ed Miliband was accused of hubris ‘on a Biblical scale’ for unveiling an eight-foot monument carved with Labour pledges to be erected in the Downing Street garden. The Labour leader, who commissioned the giant slab of limestone despite polls being too close to call, said he would look out on it every day if he became prime minister. Sources suggested the monument, featuring Mr Miliband’s signature and the Labour logo, could be installed in No 10’s rose garden. Opponents claimed it had echoes of Stalinist architecture, with David Cameron saying it resembled a tombstone.” – Daily Mail


  • Will they dance around it every solstice? – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail
  • Miliband’s carved pledges could sink like a stone – John Crace, The Guardian
  • He needed something symbolic, rock solid: like Moses, only better – Ann Treneman, The Times (£)


Boris Johnson: Don’t let Miliband sink this country with his commie slab of rock

“It’s the smugness that gets me. It’s the brass-necked complacency. As a piece of premature chicken-counting combined with insolent disrespect to the will of the electorate, this Labour stunt is frankly unbeatable. Never mind measuring the curtains for Downing Street, Ed Miliband is so confident of victory this Thursday that he has already commissioned a vast monument to himself. He has caused a stonemason to engrave an 8ft 6in slab of limestone with a series of fine-sounding but essentially vacuous slogans, as if this were East Germany circa 1973, and he has promised – nay, sworn – that on the very first day of his regime the work will be religiously installed in the garden of the prime minister’s offices.” – Daily Telegraph


Labour leader’s Praetorian work on ‘Save Ed’ campaign

Miliband Labour Left“Allies of Ed Miliband have discussed how to keep the Labour leader in his post if both main parties fail to win a majority in Thursday’s general election, as part of preparations for a possible second election months later. If David Cameron were to secure an outright majority on May 7, Mr Miliband would be expected to resign straight away, according to one member of the shadow cabinet — but the polls suggest that outcome is very unlikely… “There is already a ‘Save Ed’ campaign that has been planned in case Cameron only cobbles together 323 MPs [with allies from other parties],” said one party insider.” – Financial Times

Balls dismisses Byrne note as ‘silly’

“Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, has dismissed a note left by the last Labour government claiming there is no money left as “silly” despite a furious public backlash. Last week Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, was urged by an audience member during the BBC’s Question Time debate to sack Mr Balls for claiming that the note was a “joke”. During an appearance on BBC Radio 4′s World at One, however, Mr Balls appeared unrepentant about the comments. He said: “What happened in 2010 was Liam Byrne wrote a silly note. It was intended to be silly, and it was in fact a very silly note to write. That’s something he is reminded about regularly.”” – Daily Telegraph

The Labour rally that segregated the sexes

LABOUR holes“As high priestess of political correctness, Harriet Harman, Labour’s deputy leader, has been a fearless champion of women’s rights — even touring the country in a pink battle bus trying to win the female vote.So what will she make of the decision of five defending Labour candidates to appear as ‘chief guests’ at a public meeting where the women were segregated on one side of the room from the men? The rally took place on Saturday in the packed Diamond Suite hall in Saltley, two miles from Birmingham city centre, while the flyer indicates a separate event was also organised only for women.” – Andrew Pierce, Daily Mail

Two thirds of the 25 MPs with worst voting records are Labour

“The 25 backbench MPs with the worst Commons attendance record of the last five years are today named by The Sun. Seventeen are Labour MPs, seven are Tories and one is a Lib Dem. Some missed one in every two votes in Parliament from 2010 to 2015. Roger Godsiff, Labour candidate for Birmingham Hall Green, took part in 610 out of 1,239 votes — 49.2 per cent. Tom Watson, Labour candidate for West Bromwich, had the same record. The list does not include Cabinet Ministers, Shadow Ministers and MPs who battled health concerns.” – The Sun (£)

Party sparks fury after writing off three quarters of Scottish seats…

SNP logo white background“Labour has written off nearly three quarters of its seats in Scotland because of the rise of the SNP and is now focused on saving the careers of the party’s leadership. The party is now focusing on just 12 of its 41 seats in Scotland as polls suggest that Labour is facing electoral wipeout north of the border. According to reports activists are now being focused on the constituencies of Jim Murphy, Labour’s Scottish leader, Douglas Alexander, the shadow foreign secretary and Margaret Curran, the shadow secretary of state for Scotland. The approach has provoked fury among Labour MPs, who have accused the leadership of “abusing” the machinery of the Labour party as part of an anti-decapitation strategy.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Murphy dares Nationalists to vote down a Labour government – The Scotsman
  • Cameron must make Scots feel welcome – Robert Salisbury, Daily Telegraph

…as Sturgeon claims Miliband’s disavowal has further boosted the SNP

“Support for the SNP is on the rise after Ed Miliband refused to work with them, Nicola Sturgeon claimed today. The SNP leader, riding high on a funfair carousel, claimed the Labour leader had ‘appalled’ many of his supporters north of the border with the suggestion he would let the Tories back into power than do a deal with the nationalists. She held out the prospect of the SNP propping up Labour on a vote-by-vote basis, something the Tories have warned will see the UK held to ransom. Polls suggest more than half of Scots plan to vote for the SNP in Thursday’s election, putting them on course to win more than 50 of the 59 seats in Scotland.” – Daily Mail

  • First Minister vows to shackle Labour on welfare cuts – Financial Times
  • Sturgeon claims her MPs would vote down a Labour budget – The Independent
  • Nationalist leader backs vote-by-vote deal – The Sun (£)
  • SNP and tuition fees loom large as parties fight against toxic reputations – The Times (£)
  • First Minister refuses to rule out second referendum – Daily Telegraph

>Today: Lord Flight’s column: In Scotland, the Conservatives, Labour, and the Liberals should merge into a single Unionist Party

UKIP calls for an end to BBC entertainment programming

UKIP glass“The BBC should stop making all entertainment programmes, Nigel Farage said today triggering a row about the future of hit shows like Dr Who and Strictly Come Dancing. The Ukip leader said the Corporation should stop making entertainment shows, in a move branded ‘terrible’ by Lib Dem Nick Clegg. Mr Farage, who has said he is boycotting the BBC over its coverage of his election campaign, used an interview on BBC One to demand curbs on its power and a cut in the licence fee. Despite saying ‘the BBC does not need to be doing all of these things’ when discussing Doctor Who, the Ukip leader later rushed out a statement insisting it was actually makeover and dating shows he had a problem with.” – Daily Mail

  • Farage backtracks on Strictly ban – The Sun (£)
  • UKIP leader blames celebrity culture for worst election campaign in history – The Independent

Bennett calls for reduced role for royal family

“The leader of the Green Party has called for a “People’s Constitutional Convention” to relegate the royal family to a ceremonial role. Natalie Bennett said her party believed that the “hereditary principal should have no place in our constitution” as she explained her proposed reforms. Speaking on Sky News’s Murnaghan programme, Ms Bennett said: “We want to have an elected House of Lords as well as proportional representation in both the lower House and the upper House. “That is the kind of constitutional reform we are focused on.”” – The Times (£)

  • The Greens and UKIP deserve more than one MP each – Tim Montgomerie, The Times (£)

News in Brief:

  • One third of primary pupils would fail new exams – Daily Mail
  • NUS under fire for endorsing radical Islamic group – The Times (£)
  • Greek talks stall as country fights to remain in Eurozone – Daily Telegraph
  • Chancellor announces new Star Wars film will be filmed in Britain – The Sun (£)
  • Two gunmen slain after opening fire on Mohammed Cartoon convention in Texas – The Independent
  • Italy rescues thousands of migrants in the Mediterranean in huge weekend operation – The Guardian
  • ISIS effect sees surge in hate crimes – Daily Mail
  • Watch Sinn Fein’s bizarre Star Wars-themed election video – Belfast Telegraph

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