5.45pm WATCH: Dominic Grieve addresses Big Brother Watch about the the powers of entry now accrued by the state

Picture 75.30pm Parliament: Edward Timpson shows why Commons debate still matters

5pm ToryDiary: Latest Angus Reid poll has more evidence of the Tories getting a bigger swing in the seats which will decide the election

4.30pm: LeftWatch: Labour now relies on the unions for more than 60% of its funding

4pm ToryDiary update: The biggest donors to the Conservative Party during the final quarter of 2009

3.30pm Julia Manning on CentreRight: The NHS culture of fear has to go

2.45pm WATCH: Eric Pickles and Conservative Future chairman Michael Rock use a special war room briefing to explain how CF members can make a difference during the general election

2.15pm Andrew Lilico on CentreRight: If you don’t want to cut the deficit early,
then combine early spending cuts with temporary tax cuts

Picture 331.45pm WATCH: The clashes at PMQs between David Cameron and Gordon Brown over Alistair Darling and the "forces of hell"

1.30pm Local government: Welsh Council Tax to rise at more than double the rate of England.

12.30pm ToryDiary David Cameron taunts Brown about his relationship with Alistair Darling at PMQs

11.45pm ToryDiary: Conservatives raised more than twice as much money as Labour in the final quarter of 2009

11.30am Seats and Candidates: Sylvia Hermon MP will not be the Conservative/UUP candidate for her North Down seat

10am WATCH: Gordon Brown denies that he undermined Alistair Darling

Picture 29ToryDiary: The frontrunners emerge for the post-election battle for the chairmanship of the 1922 Committee

Also in ToryDiary: Are you better off than you were four years ago?

LeftWatch: Alistair Darling brands Gordon Brown's spinners "the forces of hell"

Robert Hazell on Platform: David Cameron could be the most significant Tory constitutional reformer since Disraeli

Local Government:

Grant Shapps MP on CentreRight: We must shout from the rooftops about our radical and progressive policies on housing and planning

Graeme Archer on CentreRight: Rationing, not religion, is the problem with education

Another day and another journalist says that the Tories can win big, whatever the polls say…

FINKELSTEIN DANIEL "In 1997 Mr Blair’s Labour built a new coalition, winning support across social classes. They therefore won in suburbs and prosperous towns that had always voted Tory in the past. Labour swept in with a huge victory. Now precisely these voters in precisely these seats are returning to the Tories… Voters have been targeted using canvassing, polling and the Experian consumer database with biddable voters receiving large numbers of carefully written direct-mail letters… All the published and private polls in marginals show a much bigger swing to the Conservatives in battleground seats than the national figures suggest." – Daniel Finkelstein in The Times

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Reasons – from the Guardian – why current polls still point to a Conservative victory

…as today's Sun/YouGov has the Tory lead still at 6%The Sun

> Last night's ToryDiary: Tory lead stuck at 6%

Tories make inroads as public switch from Nick Clegg to David Cameron

"Voters are abandoning the Liberal Democrats in parts of their South West stronghold as dislike of Gordon Brown boosts support for the Conservatives. A tour by The Times of Lib Dem constituencies in the region found genuine signs of support for the Tories, with voters who backed the Lib Dems in 2005 now responding positively to the high-spending Tory campaign." – The Times

> Last summer in Seats and Candidates: Eric Pickles is bullish about the party's chances of "love-bombing" the Liberal Democrats out of swathes of the West Country

The FT profiles David Cameron's ascent to the Tory leadership over two decades

David Cameron waist up "Experiences in his early 20s, perhaps more than any others in his life, moulded the politician running for office today. He found his patrons. He acquired the disciplines of high – and low – politics. He navigated the pitfalls of Whitehall as a special adviser and befriended the team he plans to take to Downing Street. In the words of one Whitehall mandarin, this was the “Cameron apprenticeship”… Former colleagues describe a precocious, sure-footed man breezing through some of the most august institutions. Few recall him expressing strong political views – if they ever existed – as he passed through the elite Conservative research department, worked as a special adviser to Mr Lamont at the Treasury and Michael Howard at the Home Office." – FT

Conservatives can't reverse Labour tax rises, David Cameron admits

"David Cameron has admitted he cannot promise to reverse planned increases in National Insurance if the Conservatives come to power. Despite repeated hints that the Tories would reverse at least part of the NI rise due next year, Mr Cameron has conceded that he cannot find public spending cuts to raise the money to stop the tax increase." – Daily Telegraph

The Mail repsonds to ConHome's questions about where its loyalties lie

Picture 30 "As a long-time supporter of the Conservatives, the Mail wishes David Cameron nothing but well. But isn't the truth that the great majority of voters still have very little idea of what he stands for?… Nobody is asking for details, down to the last penny. But what we're still waiting for is a clear and consistent message, even if it's a painful one, about how Mr Cameron proposes to deal with Labour's catastrophic legacy." – Daily Mail editorial

> Sunday's ToryDiary: Why, Mr Dacre, haven't you declared war on Labour?

Tories pledge rapid reform on regulation…

"The Conservatives set a maximum five-year deadline on Tuesday for completing their proposed radical shake-up of financial regulation, including the creation of a consumer protection agency – despite City concerns about the potential costs and disruption. The Financial Services Authority would be disbanded and a new consumer body set up within the first parliament of a Conservative government, said Mark Hoban, the shadow financial secretary to the Treasury." – FT

…as business "blows cold" on Tories

"Many business leaders remain “very unconvinced” by the Conservatives even though they have lost faith in Labour, according to the head of a leading business organisation. Businesses were “barely” warming to the Tories, Miles Templeman, director-general of the Institute of Directors, told the Financial Times in a video interview. Mr Templeman also warned that companies must step up investment and exports if the UK." – FT

Tory MPs threaten to send green image up in smoke with emissions vote

"A significant number of Tory MPs are expected to abstain today on a vote to cut emissions from coal-fired power stations like Kingsnorth, threatening to tarnish the party's carefully cultivated green image. The Guardian has learned that Conservative party officials have not imposed a three-line whip ordering MPs to vote for an amendment to the government's energy bill to avoid a confrontation with those sceptical about David Cameron's green agenda." – The Guardian

Liam Fox slams MoD after 3,900 state-of-the-art battlefield radios go missing

Liam Fox Daily Politics "The Ministry of Defence has been criticised after thousands of battlefield radios went missing – raising fears they have fallen into the hands of enemy fighters in Afghanistan. The Commons' Defence Select Committee said it was 'unacceptable' more than 3,900 state-of-the-art Bowman digital communications systems – or 11 per cent of the total handed out – had vanished… Shadow defence secretary Liam Fox said: 'Endangering our troops by losing vital radios is inexcusable'." – Daily Mail

Dannatt queries need for Trident subs

"In the latest challenge to plans to spend £20bn building submarines for the Trident D5 missile, General Sir Richard Dannatt, former chief of general staff, said retention of the UK nuclear deterrent needed to be re-evaluated constantly… Military experts said Gen Dannatt’s comments were of interest, not least because David Cameron, the Conservative leader, appointed him defence adviser to the party last autumn." – FT

Andrew Lansley criticises money spent on 'flu jabs we will never need

"Blundering bureaucrats have spent £200million earmarked for hospital buildings on doses of the swine flu jab that will never be used… Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said it was outrageous that such a simple mistake would cost the NHS and the taxpayer so much money." – Daily Express

Labour blamed as home ownership falls to lowest level in nearly 20 years while rental sector booms

"Home ownership has plunged to its lowest level for nearly two decades, official figures revealed yesterday… Tory housing spokesman Grant Shapps said: 'Home ownership is falling under Labour, with the lowest number of first-time buyers since 1974 and fewer homes being built than at any time since 1946. The Government's housing policy has been exposed as a failure'." – Daily Mail

Culture Select Committee calls for reform of libel laws

"A parliamentary committee said on Wednesday Britain's libel laws should be reformed to reduce the number of litigants from abroad using British courts to take advantage of rules seen as favouring claimants." – Reuters

"The publishers of the News of the World suffered "collective amnesia" over the extent of illegal phone-tapping by its reporters, a group of MPs have said. The Culture, Media and Sport committee interviewed News International bosses after the Guardian claimed the practice was widespread at the Sunday tabloid." – BBC

"[Committee] members wasted seven months – nearly half their time – on unfounded claims made by the Labour-supporting Guardian newspaper against News International, publisher of The Sun and the News of the World. Shamefully, the committee colluded with The Guardian, giving it leaks and tip-offs. But not a shred of new evidence was found to support The Guardian's claims." – Sun editorial

Commons backs sex education move

"MPs have backed a government move to allow sex education to be taught in England in a way that "reflects" a school's "religious character". – BBC

> Last night's post from Melanchthon on CentreRight on sex education

And finally… Amanda Platell previews the battle between Cameron and Brown (Samantha and Sarah, that is)

Samantha Cameron "With both Gordon Brown and David Cameron still in with a chance of victory at the General Election, and Dave's poll lead slimmer than a Size Zero model, never have the wives mattered more. That's why the hitherto shy Sarah Brown sometimes seems like she is never off the TV, the catwalk or the charity circuit…. Samantha Cameron, undeniably the more naturally stylish of the two women, is playing a more cautious game – for the time being. But the moment the election is called, these women will each become an integral part of Team Gordon and Team Dave." – Daily Mail


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