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5.45pm Latest from Parliament:

5.30pm ToryDiary: Lynton Crosby is running Libertas's campaign for the European elections

MoreForLess12.30pm ToryDiary: "More for less"

12.30pm: Local Government: Tory scepticism over £50 visa gimmick

12.15pm Parliament: Timothy Kirkhope calls on Gordon Brown to back the scrapping of the Strasbourg chamber

Noon: Parliament: European Parliamentarians told to use "gender-neutral language" 

10.30am CentreRight updates:

LaboursstillnotworkingToryDiary: Unemployment is rising fastest in battleground seats

> Yesterday evening the Conservatives relaunched the 'Labour isn't working' poster

Oberon Houston on Platform: Why I've changed my mind on Scottish (and English) independence

Question of the day on the Local government blog: "The National Housing Federation says the recession is causing "a dramatic surge in the demand for social housing." It predicts that waiting lists will rise by 200,000 with 80,000 of that due to repossessions and unemployment. They demand a "crash programme" of state house building. That sounds expensive and unattractive. What is the alternative?"

Also on Local government:

Seats and candidates:

WATCH:

Labour MP Jon Cruddas: Cameron could be the "real deal"

"In an interview with the Economist, Jon Cruddas warned Gordon Brown the Conservatives are capturing the public mood. "It's hugely dangerous to the Labour Party, because at a time when we could appear slightly shrill and mechanistic in terms of the language we use, Cameron is talking about relationships, empathy and fraternity," he says.  "And this goes with the seam, it goes with the grain of the people's sense of unease about what's happening in the modern world."  Asked if he believes Mr Cameron is "genuine", Mr Cruddas said: "I take him quite literally. I think he could be.  "I think we have to be prepared for the fact he might be the real deal in terms of what he's talking about." – Quoted by Sky News

It is not enough for Labour to lose the election – David Cameron in The Spectator

"David Cameron is to warn his party on Thursday that the next election is far from won and predicts a dirty campaign in which Labour will resort to distorting the Tory "masterplan" in a desperate bid to hang onto power." – Telegraph

Andrew Lansley probes Government's role in Stafford Hospital deaths

Lansley-Big-Ben "The Tories yesterday accused the Health Secretary Alan Johnson of failing to intervene when he could have done so to protect patients in Stafford. Mr Johnson earlier apologised for the disaster in the Commons, describing it as "inexcusable". The shadow health secretary, Andrew Lansley, said the chief executive, chairman and non-executive board members should all have been sacked or suspended last year when the Department was first informed of the concerns by the Healthcare Commission." – Independent

Theresa Villiers welcomes break up of BAA

Statement issued from CCHQ: "The Conservatives have been calling for BAA’s monopoly to be broken up for over a year, so I welcome the Competition Commission’s recommendation that BAA should loosen its grip and sell Gatwick and Stansted. We will continue to keep pressure on BAA to ensure it improves the quality of service it gives customers in the airports it retains.  Only then will it be possible to address the Heathrow hassle that can cause so much frustration to business passengers and holiday-makers.”

Government's treatment of Equitable Life victims "shabby" say MPs Telegraph

"A growing divide between a burgeoning public sector and struggling private sector emerged yesterday as figures showed that the number of people out of work rose above two millions in January – the highest level since Labour came to power in 1997." – Times

Dan Lewis seeks Tory crackdown on quangocracy

"Dan Lewis, the research director of the Economic Research Council think-tank, said: "The quango was a late 1990s Blairite policy solution. You give it a good name, you set up a fancy website, people are given good titles, it starts off well. And then it starts to lose its way." He said quangos offered a "tremendous reform opportunity" for a Tory government. "We need to look closely – if we are going into a nasty recession – [to check whether] they are engaging in activities which private companies are doing already or whether they are even crowding private sector activity."" – Independent

Picture 8 Maggie signs Mini to raise funds for British forces The Sun

Profile of the next generation of Labour candidates The Guardian

"The Government should ignore calls to scale back Britain’s military operation in Afghanistan and send a full battalion of reinforcements instead" Times leader

And finally…

  • A 5.5% swing to the Tories makes Labour the second party in a hung parliament, with David Cameron's team swelling to 313 MPs, still 13 seats short of an overall majority.
  • On a swing of 7.5%, the Tories get a workable majority of 48, leaving Labour with 233 MPs – still far more seats than the Tories have now. Only one election since 1945 has produced a swing of more than 6% but the Tories need a swing of 7.1% to get a majority of one.
  • The Tories get the kind of swing Tony Blair got in 1997 (10.2%) giving them a majority of 152. Labour will have lost a total of 162 MPs, including Alistair Darling, the chancellor (Edinburgh South West), chief whip Nick Brown (Newcastle upon Tyne East), leading backbencher Jon Cruddas (Dagenham), and Scotland secretary Jim Murphy (Renfrewshire East).

Quoted in The Guardian based on analysis by Anthony Wells of UK Polling Report.

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18 comments for: Thursday 19th March 2009

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