8.15pm ToryDiary: Tories urge £600m investment in a new generation of scientists and engineers

2.15pm ToryDiary: Darling may be about to set second supertax trap for Tories

Picture 512.45pm WATCH: Tories are enjoying economic bad news, says Mandelson

Noon Robert Halfon on CentreRight enjoys the new In The Loop film: Labour's Alan B'Stard

11.45 am Local Government: Let's use bandstands again

10.45am ToryDiary: Tories see England and St George as winning theme

ToryDiary: Updated post records that Cameron is now leading Brown on nearly all personal quality measures


Seats and candidates: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 reasons to vote Conservative

Fiona Hodgson and Glyn Strong on Platform: We must not let women's rights be eroded again in Afghanistan

Mark Wallace on Local government: A lack of “joined up government” in Newcastle

Greg Hands MP on CentreRight: Let's be clear about what Northern Rock (Guernsey) Limited is – it is a UK taxpayer-owned bank, encouraging UK taxpayers to avoid paying UK taxes

Labour slide in opinion polls:

Labour_header_1904_35594a Today's top story: The Labour Party's general secretary attended a meeting on online strategy with the men caught up in the e-mail smear campaign rowBBC | News of the World

"Ed Balls ‘ran’ Labour’s smear unit" – Schools Secretary Ed Balls is also caught up in Smeargate web according to The Sunday Times

And a leader in the Mail on Sunday concludes: "As Mr Brown’s Government steps deeper into the mire with each day that passes, all we can hope is that we are soon allowed to head to the polls to vote his maladroit police state into oblivion."

Former Labour MP Alice Mahon quits party

"Alice Mahon, a well-respected leftwinger who retired at the last election, said she was quitting the party after half a century because Labour no longer stood for what she believed in. She said she was "shocked and absolutely scandalised" by attempts by Gordon Brown's close aide Damian McBride to smear David Cameron and other Tories over their personal lives." – Observer | Video

Will the Conservatives be any different?

CAMERON-in-classroom Peter Oborne says the party has failed on expenses but David Cameron still has an opportunity to prove that he'll govern differently – The Observer

Cameron must resist the control freakery of Brown and Blair – Iain Martin in The Sunday Telegraph

Francis Maude used “second home” expenses to pay for a £345,000 London flat just 70 yards from a house he owns in LondonThe Sunday Times

Vice madam to name four top Tories in tell-all bookSunday Mirror

Could McBride come back in the PR industry?

"Charles Lewington, the managing director of Hanover Communications and a former press secretary to John Major, thinks not. "I am loath to kick a man when he is down but he demonstrated a clear lack of judgement and professionalism," he says, "I fear his reputation is so badly damaged that only a long period building churches in Rwanda will restore it." – Independent on Sunday

PR firms are in a rush to recruit Tories with access to the Cameron circleObserver

Skinhead-(1) Labour MP Phil Woolas: I'd much rather you voted Tory than BNPMail on Sunday

BNP hides its skinheads to woo voters – The Sunday Times

Darling may 'beef up' 45p tax hike

"Darling is also considering new postelection tax rises, which could include beefing up the planned supertax on higher earners. Last year the chancellor announced the introduction in 2011 of a 45% top rate of income tax for people earning more than £150,000. Darling has come under pressure from Labour colleagues to reduce this new top-rate threshold to £100,000 – a move that would lead to higher tax bills for 500,000 high earners." – The Sunday Times

Other Budget stories

"We should not be overtaxed because Labour has overspent." – A great line from George Osborne in The Sunday Times

"There need to be significant cuts in future years in spending and unfortunately, probably tax increases for years ahead." – Norman Lamont in The Sunday Telegraph

Alex Salmond warns Labour it will suffer at polls if public spending is slashed – Observer

The British Chambers of Commerce wants freeze in minimum wage and cuts in corporation tax – BBC

The events and policies of Margaret Thatcher's tumultuous, divisive 11-year premiership are affecting us even now, says Andrew Anthony – The Observer


Please use this thread to highlight other interesting news and commentary and visit for breaking political news and views throughout the day.

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