5.45pm WATCH: Two minutes of Gordon Brown's press conference
5.30pm Simon Chapman on CentreRight: "The Conservative Party should no longer worry about who leads the Labour Party into the next election (although clearly strategy may need adjustment). Our task now is to make sure we are elected with as much popular enthusiasm and goodwill as possible, not because we are not Labour. We will have a horrendous mess to fix, and will need all the electoral mandate and political capital we can muster."
- Soon to be Lord (Alan) Sugar becomes Gordon Brown's Enterprise Tsar
- Tories would win majority of 32 on today's results in so far
3.45pm Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: And in other news… UK economy to contract by 4.3% in 2009
12.45pm Professor Matt Qvortrup on CentreRight: 'If the precedents hold true, Brown will be out of office within days'
10.30am: ConHome's no-expense-spared, high-tech Will Brown Go? Swingometer has just been launched on the live blog.
It's currently pointing to Brown staying. Smiles on the faces of the Labour AND Conservative leaders.
It will be updated throughout the day.
- "In Mid Bedfordshire the Conservatives won 54 seats, Lib Dems 11 and there was one independent. Labour did not win a single seat."
- Labour meltdown in Lincolnshire
- Monkey wins third term in Hartlepool
James Purnell's full resignation letter – BBC
Labour's conspirators believe 100 MPs are ripe for revolt – Independent
Brown is the "half-dead" Prime Minister – Polly Toynbee in The Guardian
Labour's leadership election rules: how the challenge could proceed – Times
Ed Balls's track record at the Treasury makes him unfit to be Chancellor, argues Jeff Randall – Telegraph
…and Darling wants to stay: "There was growing support for Mr Darling from Labour MPs amid warnings that he might not go quietly if Gordon Brown forces him out. Mr Darling is said by colleagues to put great store in his personal integrity: they warn that the chancellor would be dismayed if Mr Brown’s team justified trying to move him from the Treasury on the basis of allegations about his expense claims." – FT
Alan Sugar asked to be Gordon Brown's business and enterprise tsar – The Sun
Rachel Sylvester: Even if Brown goes, the TB-GBs will continue
"After Tony and Gordon have exited stage left, the jostling for
position will only intensify. “The TB-GBs will live on in the shape of
Balls versus Purnell, or Balls versus Miliband,” says a minister. “The
real tragedy is that this may not in fact be the last act of the
psychodrama.” – Rachel Sylvester in The Times
On Alan Johnson
"Mr Johnson’s strength is the personal story of someone who has risen from humble beginnings to high office without, as far as one can tell, making any political enemies. Yet his firmest supporters would struggle to argue he has anything resembling a compelling political vision for the country. Put bluntly, he is a limit-the-damage choice." – Philip Stephens in the FT
"Mr Johnson is no “clean skin”. He has been in the Labour government almost since the beginning. In his assorted offices, including his current one—but especially when he helped steer Mr Blair’s plan for variable university-tuition fees through the Commons—he has won a reputation for low-key charm and persuasion. Those skills could matter to Prime Minister Johnson, who would need to create a united government from the traumatised wreck of a party he would inherit." – The Economist's Bagehot
"At the next election, the Conservatives intend to stick to their
strategy of presenting their party as the one of change, as opposed to
“more of the same”. The last thing they want is for Labour to change.
Yet it is hard to see how a Johnson candidacy could achieve a
convincing generational or ideological shift. He might bring David
Blunkett back into the Cabinet, but that would hardly mark a radical
break with the past. He would still need to keep Ed Balls and the
Milibands onside." – Camilla Cavendish in The Times
> Wednesday's ToryDiary: Tories draft a strategy to beat Alan Johnson
The Conservatives take four seats and become the second biggest party on Bristol city council behind the Lib Dems – Guardian
UKIP threatens to demand rerun of European elections
Kalms likely to be expelled from Conservative Party
"Former Conservative party chairman Stanley Kalms is facing expulsion from the Conservative party after 'lending' his vote to UKIP… It also comes after he called for Shadow Chancellor George Osborne to be replaced after he was accused of trying to solicit a donation from the Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska. Lord Kalms also spoke out against Ken Clarke's return to the shadow cabinet last year and attacked shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague's condemnation of Israel's bombardment of Lebanon." – Daily Mail (wrongly calling Kalms a former Tory Chairman (he was Party Treasurer))
Please use this thread to highlight other interesting news and commentary and visit PoliticsHome.com for breaking political news and views throughout the day.