7.30pm LeftWatch: The Guardian endorses the Liberal Democrats
5.15pm WATCH: Cameron launches his 'contract' with voters
2.30pm Election gallery: The spoofs of Labour's new poster have started…
Nick Wood's High Noon: The Contract with Britain is a great idea
1.15pm On CentreRight:
- Paul Goodman on The prescience of Graham Brady
- Matt Sinclair: It is hard to argue that new fuel protests aren’t justified
11.45am The Lucher on CentreRight: Winning the election is not the same as winning a mandate
10.30am Stephan Shakespeare records the reaction of the YouGov Debate Focus Groups: Will voters turn away from Labour to the ‘untrustworthy’ Conservative Party or the ‘inexperienced’ Lib Dems?
Also on ToryDiary, Paul Goodman: "If Cameron can form a government as a result, he will hailed as a Tory Houdini, as the Great Survivor, as Marathon Man – the leader who escaped the grammar schools debacle; who fought off a 2007 election with that noteless conference speech; who recovered from the blunder of letting Clegg into the debates…and who hauled himself off the floor, like Eric Liddell in "Chariots of Fire", gathered speed, powered first over the finishing line, and won the debates…"
Tim Montgomerie on CentreRight: Proportional representation would tug Britain to the Right
David Cameron is the winner in the five post-debate polls – ToryDiary
ConHome's expert panel assesses tonight's leaders' debate – ToryDiary
Key political verdicts from commentators
"David Cameron simply refused to engage with Mr Brown, scarcely glancing in his direction and dismissing his attacks as desperate stuff from a dseperate man. He attacked Labour's record but turned his real fire on Nick Clegg – on his party's policies on immigration, the euro and welfare reform." – Nick Robinson, BBC
"Mr Cameron was the only Man With A Plan last night. The Tory leader's courage, clarity and sense of purpose must have swept away any doubts that his party can lead us out of trouble. Mr Cameron ruthlessly exposed how Brussels fanatic Mr Clegg would put us in peril by dumping the Pound for the euro – madness as financial chaos engulfs the EU." – The Sun Says
"Cameron was very assured, delivering his best debating performance when it counted most. He was optimistic, reassuring, steady – key qualities for a leader who needs to pull back voters who have flirted with the Liberal Democrats all this month. He pressed a lot of liberal buttons about schools, the family and the poor. And at the finish he precisely encapsulated how he wants the contest to be seen: more of the same (Brown) versus uncertainty (Clegg) versus change (him). He will have felt very good as he wound down afterwards." – Martin Kettle in The Guardian
"Suddenly tonight it feels like weeks of uncertainty have been replaced by the likelihood that Dave is going to do it." – Benedict Brogan in The Telegraph but Matthew Engel in the FT is not so sure: "Instant opinion favoured David Cameron over Nick Clegg. But it was hard to see anything in this performance likely to give him the overall majority he craves."
Clegg was winner over the course of all three debates – Steve Richards in The Independent
Allister Heath: Economic questions were not answered in debate
"On the economy itself, the quality of debate was weak. The assumptions shared by David Cameron and Nick Clegg appeared to be that all banks (even prudent ones) and the financial system are evil, the services sector is inferior to manufacturing (“actually making things”), foreign takeovers are bad and imports of Chinese goods even worse. The protectionist and demagogic undertones were deeply worrying." – Allister Heath in City AM
"In one sense, last night’s debate was very gloomy. Immigration has been a bubbling issue of the campaign and none of the three candidates answered in an entirely honourable way. Nobody, it seems, dares to offer a liberal sentiment. But, in another sense, the debate was not gloomy enough. The cuts will be huge and they will be painful." – Times leader
My advice to David Cameron? I've made savings, so can you – Boris Johnson interviewed in The Telegraph
Labour deploy Tony Blair in final week of campaign
"Tony Blair is to be unleashed on the Labour election campaign tomorrow in marginal seats in south-east England as the party seeks to undo some of the damage inflicted on the campaign by Gordon Brown's encounter with a pensioner in Rochdale." – Guardian
Labour's record on immigration
"Mr Brown would have us believe that many immigrants are, in reality, British people returning to this country. Yet in 2008, 86 per cent of all immigrants – 505,000 – were non-British, about the same proportion as in 2007. Net foreign immigration – the difference between foreign nationals leaving and arriving – was 251,000. Net British emigration was 87,000. So the balance of foreign nationals in the population has changed by 330,000 in one year. In 1997, that total was 61,000. In other words, immigration is five times what it was when Labour took office – which makes it a subject worthy of debate, not least because this policy was never endorsed by the people." – Telegraph leader
Mrs Duffy refused to dance to anti-Brown tune played by ‘The Sun’ – Independent
Mervyn King: The winner of the election could be out of power for a generation
"Voters will be so angry about forthcoming tax hikes and public spending cuts that the party winning next week’s General Election could end up being thrown out of power for 30 years. The stark warning comes from Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England. Mr King, in private remarks that emerged yesterday, has raised serious alarm about a potential public backlash over austerity measures needed to curb the Treasury’s record debt." – Express
And finally… Clegg's starring role as the Noel Coward toff we suspect he'd rather forget – Daily Mail
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