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10pm ToryDiary: YouGov/Sun puts Tories 5% ahead

5pm Parliament: John Bercow allows Dennis Skinner's question on Lord Ashcroft, denies Mark Pritchard's question on Unite

3.30pm LeftWatch: Alan Johnson humiliated by u-turn on dog tax

2pm Interviews: Paul Goodman interviews Nick Herbert

12.30pm Alex Deane on CentreRight notes that An unemployed youth gets an apology from Job Centre after claiming that his hoodie was part of his Jedi religion

UnionCampaign Noon LeftWatch: Michael Gove lists the ways in which Labour has rewarded its union paymasters

11.15am ToryDiary: Will The Indepenski give the Tories a fairer deal?

10.45am Julia Manning on CentreRight: Unless patients exercise more 'self-care' the cutbacks to the NHS will be much greater than they need to be

Truth ToryDiary: This election is a choice between a party
leader who is honest about the tough economic choices facing Britain
and one who is fundamentally dishonest

Tim Clark on Platform: Freedom with support and guidance (rather than dictation, strangulation and bureaucracy) is the way to improve education

Local government: Sutton Conservatives push for Council Tax cut

International: Battered by voters, Sarkozy is set to become another French leader to retreat from reform

If Conservatives do win, says Melanchthon on CentreRight, it will be because of "Brown's epic errors" and "not the modernisers' good judgement"

Tories ahead by 5%, 9% and 11% in three new pollsYesterday evening's ToryDiary

The EU is preparing to demand tougher government action to rein in the UK's record peacetime deficit

Screen shot 2010-03-16 at 08.08.30 "In findings which were seized upon by the Conservatives, Brussels warned that the current plans for repairing the black hole in the budget left by a deep and long recession needed to be more ambitious." – Guardian

British Airways strike and union funding row is election gift to ToriesGuardian

By 59% to 23% voters say strike is NOT justified – The Sun

Do the Tories have a plan for the trade unions?

"Unite is clearly capable of desperate action. Should the Tories win the election and implement the public sector cuts promised, it will be them fighting a union backlash. But where are their plans for such a situation? Is there a Tory strategy for dealing with the risk of widespread strike action. What has the front bench learnt from those early Thatcher years of unrest? Any repeat of those scenes, or indeed of Jim Callaghan's final year in office, would be seen, quite rightly, as a failure of foresight and planning on the part of Tory high command. They can crow all they like now at Labour's deserved discomfort, but unless they have a credible approach of their own to dealing with troublesome unions the joke will be on them." – Telegraph

Shirt-sleeves Dave addresses party faithful at trendy Shoreditch venue (shame someone forgot to tell the rest of the keen young Tories not to wear their ties)Daily Mail

> "Obama-esque" photographs of last night's rally.

NEIL-Andrew Andrew Neil will host nine “Cabinet Contender” debates, in which Labour ministers will take on their Shadow counterpartsTimes

Brown: I will stay even if we lose… because it's my duty to the party and the peopleDaily Mail

Gordon Brown leads the tributes at the funeral of Michael Foot, 'one of the greatest parliamentarians'Independent

The Liberal Democrats face only one question

"The Liberal Democrats have only limited cause to feel pleased with the current situation. They are only relevant as a national force because of the possibility of a hung parliament, which means they are asked about little else. This brings dangers too. Arguably the biggest is the high risk that voters will turn away from them out of boredom." – Steve Richards in The Independent

Transport Minister Sadiq Khan has paid back more than £2,500 he wrongly claimed in Commons expenses for greetings cards BBC

Number of ministers should be cut by a third, say MPs

"The number of UK government ministers should be cut "by as much as one third" to reduce costs and make Parliament more independent, a report by MPs says. The public administration committee recommends no more than 15% of MPs should be on the government payroll." – BBC

A new bribery law for tackling corporate corruption is in danger of being derailed by business lobbying and proposed Tory changesFT

And finally… There would be something marvellous about an election campaign free of opinion polls

"We would spend less time pontificating about the prospects of a hung parliament and the various putative deals which the parties would or would not make with each other in such an eventuality, and more time thinking about the actual issues which are at stake in the election – and which, after all, are the matters which will actually decide how the public eventually cast their votes. Besides, if all newspapers were able to agree a mutual poll non-publication pact, imagine how much money they would save, to be spent instead on genuinely creative journalism rather than the mere purchase of rows of numbers." – Dominic Lawson in The Independent

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74 comments for: Tuesday 16th March 2010

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