Picture 16 5.45pm Seats and Candidates: Bob Stewart selected for Beckenham

5.45pm Louise Bagshawe on CentreRIght celebrates David Cameron's fourth anniversary as leader: "In every single set of nationwide local elections since Cameron became
leader, without exception from 2005 up to this summer… the Tories have not just won – they have gained to
a degree that made even Labour's "expectations management" look bad."

5.30pm Seats and Candidates: James Edsberg selected for Blackley and Broughton

5.15pm Seats and Candidates: Matthew Sephton selected to take on Hazel Blears in Salford and Eccles

Picture 1412.30pm WATCH: George Osborne refuses to rule out a windfall tax on bankers' bonuses

11.30am Seats and Candidates: Labour is reportedly aiming to stop Green voters from switching to the Conservatives

ToryDiary: On the fourth anniversary of his election as Conservative leader, a quick summary of the Cameron years so far

Also in ToryDiary: David Cameron brands Brown's class warfare "petty, spiteful and stupid"

Charlotte Rook on Platform: Free trade is the most effective way of promoting economic growth in developing countries

Seats and Candidates: Somebody will inherit the safest Tory seat in the country this afternoon

Picture 12 LeftWatch: Harriet Harman grotesquely distorts Tory support for marriage as "rewarding philanderers"

Mark Wallace on Local Government: West Sussex County Council's YouTube Channel is an embarrassing waste of money

Also in Local Government: Tory council leader wins libel apology from Lib Dems

Melancththon on CentreRight: There is never a scientific case for policy action against anything

WATCH: Greg Hands MP explains the shadow Treasury team's priorities in an interview with by Nick Allsopp of Nottingham University Conservatives during his recent visit to the campus

No sudden Afghanistan exit under Conservatives, says Cameron

Picture 4 "The number of British troops in Afghanistan is unlikely to fall if the Conservatives are elected next year, David Cameron has said. On a visit to the country, the Tory leader said he did not want to raise "false hopes" that there would be a reduction in troop numbers next year, even if Afghan forces took over control of districts in Helmand province. Troop withdrawals would depend on the success of the transfer of power to Afghan authorities." – Guardian online

"The Tory leader has travelled to Helmand, where he has spoken to locals at a market and addressed British troops at their Lashkar Gah base. He was also meeting military leaders and Afghan president Hamid Karzai in Kabul, as well as watching Afghan forces train. Mr Cameron has used the trip to promise to double bonuses paid to troops returning from Afghanistan." – Mail online

> Yesterday's related posts:

Latest polls see Tories back at 40% and on course for a majority

"David Cameron has received a boost with an opinion poll by The Sunday Telegraph's ICM showing the Conservatives once again on course for a majority at the general election. The new survey sees the Tories hitting the key measure of 40 per cent with Labour 11 points behind on 29 per cent and the Liberal Democrats on 19 per cent." – Sunday Telegraph

"The latest YouGov poll for The Sunday Times shows that the Conservative party is retaining a commanding 13-point lead, contradicting recent suggestions that Labour had narrowed the gap enough to make a “hung parliament” likely." – Sunday Times

> Last night's Tory Diary on the polls

George Osborne: For economic confidence to return, Britain needs a credible plan

George Osborne on Marr 2 "Far from "leading the world" out of recession, as Gordon Brown once boasted, Britain's recovery lags the rest of the world. Far from being "better prepared", as Alistair Darling once claimed, we have the worst public finances in the developed world. International investors are increasingly questioning Britain's reputation… Britain needs an urgent change of direction to tackle the deficit, reform banking, and go for growth. Above all, we need a government that stops doing everything for short term political gain and starts governing in the long term interests of the country – and for that, I fear, we are all going to have to wait for a General Election." – George Osborne writing in the Sunday Telegraph

Darling plans windfall tax on bank bonusesObserver

Darling to cut public spending by £40 billion over three yearsSunday Times

William Hague: The French are outmanoeuvring Gordon Brown's Government

William Hague serious square "France has triggered a fresh row over EU power-broking by excluding Britain from key-Europe wide talks on the future of farm subsidies to be held in Paris this week… tThe Conservatives said news of the talks was further proof that Gordon Brown's government was being outmanoeuvred within the EU by the French. William Hague, the shadow foreign secretary, said: "While the French are pro-actively advancing their interests in Europe this Labour Government is yet again failing to exercise leadership." – Sunday Telegraph

Lord Taylor of Warwick "lied in house dodge"

"A Tory peer has been caught using someone else’s home address to claim tens of thousands of pounds in expenses. Lord Taylor of Warwick, a 57-year-old former barrister, told the House of Lords that his main home was a terrace house in Oxford which he neither owned nor lived in." – Sunday Times

> Last night's ToryDiary: Tory peer facing possible police investigation over housing claims

Chris Grayling slams Baroness Scotland for shrugging off illegal immigrant cleaner as "administrative error"

"Baroness Scotland has sparked new controversy by dismissing her illegal employment of an immigrant – for which she was fined £5,000 – as no more than an 'administrative error'… Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said: 'Baroness Scotland clearly doesn't get it. The Government expects employers to take responsibility for the legal status of the people they employ. To dismiss this as an administrative error is utterly unacceptable'." – Mail on Sunday

Baroness Warsi on being pelted with eggs

Warsi egged "They were like playground bullies. I invited them to calm down and engage in a civilised debate — a little optimistic given that there were eggs flying. The last Tory to be pelted with eggs in Luton was John Major in 1992, and he went on to win the general election, so maybe it’s a good omen." – Baroness Warsi writing in the Sunday Times

> WATCH: Sayeeda Warsi confronts extremist Muslims who pelt her with eggs

Andrew Rawnsley: The Tories have put all their chips on David Cameron

"He's been a talented leader of the opposition but the Conservative
party's one-man-band approach is beginning to look risky." – Andrew
Rawnsley in The Observer

Janet Daley: Why can't David Cameron seal the deal?

"The Tories' wobble in the polls shows that David Cameron needs to be respected as well as liked." – janet Daley in the Sunday Telegraph

Zac Goldsmith talks about democracy, his tax status and the Copenhagen summitSunday Times

Tories criticise cuts to Army Cadet Force

Bailey Shaun "The Ministry of Defence, which has a total annual budget of £37billion, has pulled the plug on weekend training for the Army Cadet Force… Youth worker Shaun Bailey was sent along by his mother after falling in with the wrong crowd on a west London estate. He is now a prospective Tory parliamentary candidate and is critical of the MoD’s decision. “It is penny pinching,” he said. “But we as a nation are broke. If some of our major procurement projects had not been so badly managed, maybe we would not have to cut something so socially significant.” – Sunday Express

Enemies eye chance to dethrone John Bercow

"John Bercow faces attempts to oust him as the Commons Speaker immediately after the general election amid crossparty anger about his conduct. Tory and Labour backbenchers are devising an extraordinary plan: to object to his automatic reappointment if there is a change of government." – Sunday Times

> Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight yesterday

An interesting fact for followers of Labour's class war

"In the past 50 years the Conservatives have been led for longer by state-school-educated leaders than have Labour." – Anthony Seldon in the Sunday Express

George Osborne's brother becomes a MuslimMail on Sunday

Gordon Brown snubbed by soldiers' 'curtain' protestSunday Times

And finally… the Tory candidate with "the poshest name in British politics"

Drax Richard "He is favourite to win a key marginal seat for the Tories at the General Election. But the man billed as plain Richard Drax on Conservative political posters is the ultimate ‘Dave’s de-toff’. In fact, the Tory parliamentary candidate’s full name is Richard Grosvenor Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax, and he lives in a vast Elizabethan stately home. Quadruple-barrelled Mr Drax, believed to be a shoo-in for the ultra-marginal seat of South Dorset, has the poshest name in British politics." – Mail on Sunday


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