10.45pm Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: Labour are now copying the Tory stage set

9.45pm ToryDiary: Conservatives 38% and Labour and LibDems both on 23%

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7.15pm Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: Labour hope for 5% boost from Brighton

6.45pm Update to earlier Parliament post: The Guardian is reporting that The Speaker has now called off the 'expenses mole' hunt

6.30pm ToryDiary: CCHQ ready for Marr to question Cameron's drug history

5.45pm International: BREAKING NEWS Exit poll suggests Merkel (CDU) and Westervelle (FDP) may have won enough support to form a centre right coalition

4.30pm ToryDiary: How would you trim the deficit?

3.45pm WATCH: Gordon Brown denies he is taking prescription pills during Andrew Marr interview


3pm Ruth Lea on CentreRight: "Given the expected scale of fiscal tightening over the next few years, there has to be the danger that the higher taxes and/or spending cuts will undermine the economy’s recovery – if not throwing it back into recession. But I take the view that the financial position is so dire that the most sensible objective would be to get the tightening over as quickly as possible and trust that the Bank of England could maintain overall spending power in the economy at a satisfactory level by keeping interest rates low, extending quantitative easing if necessary."

Noon, On International today, a rolling thread on the German elections

10.15am Parliament: John Bercow is spending tens of thousands of pounds in search for expenses whistleblower

10.15am ToryDiary: Less chit chat please



Jacob Mchangama on Platform: A UK Bill of Rights should be the first step in a human rights (counter)-revolution

Local government: Mark Wallace wants your help in spotting public sector organisations active at party conferences and Camden cuts libraries scissors plan

David T Breaker on CentreRight: Labour plans to serve up Grandmar's apple pie to win the election

Tories 14% ahead in ICM pollNews of the World | Yesterday evening's ToryDiary

Ipsos MORI: "Only 13% of people trust politicians to tell the truth, down from 21%, while 82% think they do not tell the truth, up from 73% last year." – Observer

The Conservatives are planning a "radical simplification" of the national curriculumThe Sunday Telegraph

Jeremy Hunt wants to cut Lottery bureaucracy and plough £40m of savings into British heritageObserver

"Both Brown and Cameron are going into party conferences knowing the public is not sold on either of them" – Fraser Nelson in the News of the World

What Cameron still needs to do in order to win over the Blairites

John Rentoul: "There are two things he could do that would make it easier for soft-core Blairites to complete the transition from New Labour to liberal Conservative. One would be to accept the Lisbon Treaty; the other would be to ditch the promise of an inheritance tax cut for estates of up to £1m, as Kenneth Clarke tried to do earlier this year. He succeeded only in pushing it back towards the end of a first parliament." – John Rentoul in the Independent on Sunday

George Osborne says the Prime Minister who doubled the national debt cannot be trusted to halve the deficit

OSBORNE speaking

Following reports in The Sunday Telegraph that Brown will announce a legally-binding plan to halve the deficit, George Osborne issued this statement:

"The idea that Gordon Brown can reinvent himself as the guardian of the nation's finances, after doubling the national debt and spending the whole year opposing anyone who said that borrowing was getting out of control is the latest attempt to treat the public like fools. We Conservatives proposed a year ago a legally binding Office for Budget Responsibility, and Gordon Brown spent the whole year telling us we were wrong. He is now conceding that the Conservatives have got it right all along."

Barack Obama pollster tells Labour to concentrate fire on Tory 'toffs'The Sunday Times

Lord Mandelson: I would work for the ToriesThe Sunday Times

Mandelson to back Ed Miliband as future Labour leader – The Sunday Telegraph

Alistair Darling: Labour leadership has lost the will to liveObserver

Last night Tim Montgomerie compared Labour to the Tories in 1996 but… Peter Hain hopes it's 1992


"I think the next election will be like that of 1992. Then, everyone expected John Major's Conservative government to lose, but in the end voters considered the Opposition too much of a risk. I think that next time, too, voters might set aside their dissatisfaction with their government and ask themselves if they really, really trust the Tories with their jobs, their mortgages, their families, their pensions." – Peter Hain in the Independent on Sunday

Peter Hain warns of "really bad defeat": "Labour is heading for a “really bad defeat” unless the party dramatically improves its performance, Peter Hain, the cabinet minister, warned last night. In an outspoken interview with The Sunday Times, Hain admitted that ministers had been gripped by “defeatism” and said too many serious mistakes had been made." – The Sunday Times

David Miliband: "'Future' is the most important word in politics."Independent on Sunday

Labour may lurch to the Left after defeat

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"Labour has responded to defeat before by lurching to the left. Its leadership election in 1980, when Denis Healey won the first ballot but lost to Michael Foot in the second, was the prelude to the left-wing unilateralist 1983 manifesto, otherwise known as the longest suicide note in history. Along the way, some of the party’s biggest names broke away to form the Social Democrats. The names have changed but the party faces a similar choice now. A generational shift is taking place." – The Sunday Times leader

Michael Ashcroft's wealth gives him huge influence in political life… and the power to crush debate – Nick Cohen in The Observer

Internal Education Department report reveals waste of taxpayers' money

"The report, by former WH Smith chief executive Richard Handover,
has been seen by BBC One's Politics Show… He described how £50,000
was spent installing three toilets at a primary school – 10 times the
required sum, while another spent £35,000 on a £1,000 photocopier." – BBC


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