5.45pm General Election One Minute Guide: Tories off to a flying start to 2010

5pm WATCH: Channel 4 News examines the likelihood and consequences of a hung parliament

4pm LeftWatch: 'Five ways Gordon Brown can still win'

Screen shot 2010-01-03 at 11.17.593.15pm WATCH: Gordon Brown claims 'playing fields of Eton' jibe was 'only a joke' during Andrew Marr interview

1pm ToryDiary: One to watch in 2010


Local government: In a list of new year resolutions for councillors Mark Wallace of The TaxPayers' Alliance urges local authorities to drop speed cameras, cut promotional budgets, abolish snooping powers and cut allowances. And more besides.

Jessica Lee on Platform: The benefits of supporting and encouraging volunteering in our local communities cannot be underestimated

Stephan Shakespeare on CentreRight: Here's the beef at the heart of Project Cameron

Rejected in his own country

By 54% to 46% Scots say Cameron is better leader than Brown – Scotland on Sunday

Whitehall "will take a haircut" if I win power, promises CameronMail on Sunday

The poor will get a bigger share of protected NHS funding promises first chapter of Tory manifesto

Screen shot 2010-01-03 at 07.50.52 "David Cameron will attempt to shed the Tories' image as the party of the rich and privileged tomorrow by pledging to divert billions of pounds to healthcare in the most deprived areas of the country. The promise to direct a higher share of NHS resources to boost health in run-down areas was described last night by a senior party source as proof that Gordon Brown's "class war" attacks on the Conservatives were baseless." – The Observer

"The Conservatives launch their election campaign tomorrow by putting the NHS at the heart of their battle for Britain. The party’s policy blitz begins in earnest, with the publication of the first chapter of its draft manifesto. While focusing on plans to shake up the health service, it comes with a guarantee that frontline spending will not be touched." – Sunday Express

The Sunday Telegraph: Cameron needs to be bolder

"The Cameron road map is pointing in the right direction, but he needs to travel more courageously. He should consider, for example, cutting the main rate of corporation tax to 20 per cent, rather than the 25 per cent rate currently proposed. The 50p income tax rate must be scrapped. His promise to ring-fence the National Health Service could have been restricted to clinical services, without granting immunity to burgeoning bureaucrats. His rhetoric, too, needs to eschew such Blairite flourishes as "building the big society"." – The Sunday Telegraph leader

Steve Hilton's private briefings to Tory MPs under attackMail on Sunday

> Yesterday evening's ToryDiary: CCHQ fury at 'briefings against Steve Hilton'

My long march to be a Tory MP in Cumbria – Rory Stewart on touring Penrith and the Border, The Sunday Times

Labour strategists will target George Osborne as the "weak link" in Tory operationIndependent on Sunday

"Cameron ordains an "age of austerity" – except of course for the privileged few." – Harriet Harman attacks the Tory agenda in The People

DALEY JANEY BLOG "The only way you can win sympathy and support from Labour is to remain deprived and disadvantaged but rather wistfully aspirational. Whatever you do, don't try to take your fate into your own hands, or to make articulate, forceful representations on behalf of yourself and your loved ones – that would be "pushy" and selfish. You must put your trust in the Government's all-seeing beneficence, which will provide "fair" opportunities to everyone equally, even if their talents, attitudes and efforts vary wildly." – Janet Daley in The Sunday Telegraph

Harriet Harman has attacked the BBC for "not valuing" older female newsreadersBBC

Up to one-third of seats may not count on General Election night

Screen shot 2010-01-03 at 07.37.03 "New figures from the Electoral Commission watchdog reveal that the results of one in three of the 650 constituencies may not be declared until the day after the election. According to the Electoral Commission, returning officers for 64 seats — many of them key marginals — say they will wait until the morning after the election to begin their count. Another 161 are considering following suit." – The Sunday Times

> Jonathan Isaby launched his Save General Election Night in October – here is his update on the campaign from 10th December

Fraser Nelson predicts a Tory majority of 45 in a May electionNews of the World

The role of new (online) media in the General ElectionThe Observer

Opposition to mass immigration is reasonable and civilisedMail on Sunday leader

Are we about to see the end of the much-vaunted eurozone? – Peter Oborne in The Observer

Make drunks pay! Sounds great but who do we tax next, the fat? – Liz Jones in the Mail on Sunday

Prince Charles tried to stop Iraq warNews of the World

And finally… You couldn't make it up!

"The Whitehall department in charge of ensuring that the government gets value for money from its public awareness campaigns spent more than £20,000 on a lavish beach-themed staff party that included buying sand to give the event an authentic "tropical island" appeal. The Central Office of Information (COI) confirmed to the Observer that it spent £21,598 on its summer party in 2007 at a time when ministers were urging all departments to cut back. The event, held at the COI's London headquarters, was described by one person who attended as "incredibly lavish", with fine wines including champagne flowing freely as bands played." – The Observer


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