10.30pm Harry Phibbs on Centre Right: Expenses abusing Lib Dem MPs in the top Tory targets

8.45pm Jonathan Isaby on CentreRight: Another of Brown's business council loses faith with Labour's economic strategy

8.15pm The Shakespeare Report: "Message testing is an extremely valuable and reasonable form of research. Push-polling of any kind is plain wrong. YouGov, like all members of the British Polling Council, does lots of message-testing, and zero push-polling."

8pm ToryDiary update: Tories two points ahead of the Lib Dems in latest YouGov/Sun poll

7.45pm WATCH: The opening statements from William Hague, David Miliband and Ed Davey in today's BBC Daily Politics debate on foreign affairs

7.15pm ToryDiary update: Tories three points ahead of the Lib Dems in Opinium/Express poll

Eric Pickles 2 20107pm Tea with Pickles: "The main threat that the Lib Dems pose is a hung Parliament, propping up Gordon Brown who can't deliver the change we need… The question remains on the doorstep: "Do you want five more years of Gordon Brown?"

6.45pm ToryDiary update: Tories four points ahead of Lib Dems and Labour in new ComRes poll for ITV News

5.30pm ToryDiary update: Tories and Lib Dems neck-and-neck in new Angus Reid poll

5.15pm Latest on CentreRight:

5pm Seats and Candidates: Snapshots of the second week of the campaign from ConservativeHome's panel of candidates – Part two

Picture 124.30pm ToryDiary update: David Cameron speaks directly to the British people in tonight's election broadcast includes link to the full broadcast

4.15pm Local government: Cllr Lynne Hillan on The battle for Barnet

3.45pm WATCH: Unable to attend in person due to the transport chaos, David Cameron sends a video message to the launch of the Scottish Conservative manifesto

3.30pm ToryDiary: New ICM poll for The Guardian has Tories three points ahead of the Lib Dems

2.45pm Local government:

Picture 402.30pm WATCH: Samantha Cameron talks about the latest social action project she has visited

1.45pm ToryDiary: Tonight's planned Conservative election broadcast to be replaced with a "from the heart" straight to camera address by David Cameron

12.45pm LeftWatch: Vote Clegg, Get Brown: A Lib Dem candidate admits what his leader will not – that you have to vote Conservative to remove Labour from power

12.30pm Graeme Archer on CentreRight: The Agony of the Cleggstasy

Nick Wood's High Noon: Tory high command must find a way of demonstrating that Nick Clegg's claims to represent a new kind of politics are spurious

Screen shot 2010-04-19 at 11.19.0411.15am Paul Goodman on CentreRight: Why I'm a convert to Twitter (and just about the least likely one on the planet)

11.15am WATCH:

10.45am Roger Helmer MEP on CentreRight: Nick Clegg is not only wrong on the EU, but his caricature of the Conservative position is downright dishonest

10.30am ToryDiary: Take the ConHome survey on how to beat the Liberal Democrats


LeftWatch: Half the public admit they don't know what the Lib Dems stand for – and don't like much of their agenda when asked about it

Picture 11
Seats and Candidates: Snapshots of the second week of the campaign from ConservativeHome's panel of candidates – Part one

Sophia Parker on Platform: How the votes of low earners could deliver a Conservative election victory

Local Government:

Dan Munford on CentreRight: Why Europe is to blame for the economically damaging over-reaction to the volcanic ash cloud


Tory and Labour rivals reassess their anti-Lib Dem strategies

TV Debate Clegg and Brown "With bookmakers yesterday installing a hung Parliament as the favourite outcome of the election, the Conservatives and Labour rejigged their strategies to deal with the insurgent Liberal Democrats. The Tories said that they would “redouble the positive” — and attacked; Labour went through the motions of picking disagreements while actually flirting." – The Times

"David Cameron will surely hesitate to launch the traditional, full-frontal, right-wing assault on the Liberal Democrats for being "soft" on crime and immigration (or even defence and Europe) which risks alienating exactly those younger, socially liberal middle-class voters he has made a good job of courting in the past two years. Although he has criticised those policies on the stump and, presumably, will continue to do so, his preferred central message yesterday was that the "real" contest was between the Tories and Labour. If the poll results are sustained, he may find it more difficult to resist the internal pressure to go more fully on the offensive." – Donald Macintyre in The Independent

"The Tories must waste no time in ensuring some of the more fantastical policy pledges carried in the Liberal Democrat manifesto are exposed for what they are. Mr Clegg and his team have had three days basking untroubled in the political sunshine; it is high time they were held to account for a crudely irresponsible manifesto drafted on the cynical assumption that it would never be implemented. Bizarre as it may seem, they are now up with the big boys and should be subject to the same rigorous analysis." – Daily Telegraph editorial

> Nick Wood's High Noon yesterday: Time to fire up the attack dogs (but Cameron must stay positive)

> Yesterday's LeftWatch: Labour attacks Liberal Democrats as wanting to give the vote to murderers and rapists

Boris Johnson socks it to Nick Clegg

Johnson Boris Pointing "What crouton of substance did Clegg offer last Thursday, in the opaque minestrone of waffle? He wants to get rid of Trident. Great! So Lib Dem foreign policy means voluntarily resigning from the UN Security Council, abandoning all pretensions to world influence, and sub-contracting our nuclear deterrent to France! They are a bunch of euro-loving road-hump fetishists who are attempting like some defective vacuum cleaner to suck and blow at the same time; and the worst of it is that if you do vote Lib Dem in the demented belief that there could ever be such a thing as a Lib Dem government, you won't get Prime Minister Clegg. You'll get Prime Minister Gordon Brown, for five more holepunch-hurling years, because the Lib Dems almost always vote with Labour." – Boris Johnson in the Daily Telegraph

Bruce Anderson: Don't be taken in by Clegg's 'niceness'

"Mr Clegg is proposing an amnesty for 600,000 illegal immigrants. The experience of other countries reinforces the obvious common-sense point: amnesties attract illegal migrants in the way that a lamp attracts moths. "We'll smuggle you into Britain," the people-traffickers will be saying. "Then you won't have to wait long for the next amnesty." As the Liberals rarely think through the consequences of their policies, they may not realise this. But in effect, they are calling for uncontrolled immigration." – Bruce Anderson in The Independent

Melanie Phillips: What have we come to when the whole election can turn on 90 minutes of Britain's Got Politics?Daily Mail

YouGov daily tracker has Lib Dems in the leadThe Sun | Last night's ToryDiary

John Curtice: The electoral implications of the latest polling

Picture 12 "A hung parliament now appears to be much more likely. But the movements also mean that, despite running third in votes, Labour's chances of coming first in seats are looking better than at any time since that 2007 crisis. Even on 30 per cent, the electoral system is still likely to reward the Liberal Democrats with far fewer seats than the other two parties. They might still be slightly below 100 seats. But at the same time, the potential bias against the Conservatives means a four-point lead over Labour could be insufficient to make them the largest party – unless they really can perform better than average in the key marginals." – Professor John Curtice in The Independent

Investors fear the effects of a hung parliament

"A clear election victory by either Labour or the Conservatives is needed to sustain the appetite for gilts among the world’s biggest investors, according to a Financial Times survey that highlights market concerns about the increasingly tight opinion polls. Ten leading investment funds, with in total more than $7,000bn (£4,570bn) of assets under management, all told the FT that a hung Parliament, potentially delaying action to tackle the UK’s £167bn deficit, was the biggest threat to the market." – FT

David Cameron accuses Labour of "sidelining" the elderly

David Cameron in classroom casual "David Cameron, the Conservative leader, has accused Labour of ‘sidelining’ elderly voters and promised that older people would play a full part in society under a Tory government. Launching the party’s “grey manifesto” in a pub garden in Swindon, he was watched by his own parents, Ian and Mary Cameron, as he set out how pensioners could take part in his “Big Society” vision of community involvement." – Daily Telegraph

Parties target the youth vote The Times

SAS soldiers "had to buy their own body armour" Daily Star

Gordon Brown takes a gamble by focusing Labour campaign on economy…

TV Debate Gordon Brown "Gordon Brown will gamble by placing the economy at the centre of Labour’s campaigning this week despite a series of statistics that could damage his central pitch. Figures will be published on inflation, unemployment, retail sales, public finances and, crucially, growth figures for the first quarter, the final snapshot of the economy before polling day." – The Times

…as he admits he lost last week's leaders' debate

"I lost on presentation, I lost on style, I maybe lost on smiling. But I've learned that substance will come through. This is a long campaign." – Gordon Brown quoted in The Sun

IFS concludes that Brown left the public finances 'ill-prepared for the crunch'

"Gordon Brown put Britain's public finances in a better shape in the run-up to the credit crunch than the Tories managed prior to the recession of the early 1990s, but he fell short of efforts by other industrialised nations to cut government debt and left the UK in a weak position to handle the fallout from the financial crisis, according to the Institute of Fiscal Studies." – The Guardian

Labour 'has misled public over the true scale of crime' Daily Mail

Clegg outlines green jobs plan

"Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg is to outline a £3 billion plan to create a new economy based on green jobs…  The Lib Dem leader said his party's plans will make the economy "financially and socially sustainable". Later this week he will turn his attention to the City, with plans to restructure the financial system." – Press Association

Cobra discussing response to volcanic ash cloud this morning…

"The UK's emergency committee Cobra is due to discuss the ash cloud chaos, amid suggestions the Royal Navy could help ferry stranded Britons back home… The Conservatives said they would like to see ships chartered to bring people home who are stranded in Europe and urged ferry and rail operators to retain their normal pricing structures. Shadow transport secretary Theresa Villiers said: "With thousands of Britons stuck in airports overseas, it is hugely worrying that there is no end in sight for the flight ban." – BBC

> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Theresa Villiers launches eight point plan to deal with flight standstill

…as Tony Blair is left stranded in Israel

Tony Blair pensive mid-interview "Tony Blair's role in the election campaign looks likely to be affected by the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud. The former prime minister is currently in Israel but was expected back in Britain this weekend, according to his wife Cherie. Mr Blair's spokesman said: ''Tony Blair is in the Middle East in his role as Quartet Representative at the moment. He is planning to be back this week to rejoin the campaign trail but that is obviously subject to him being able to travel.'' – Daily Telegraph


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79 comments for: Monday 19th April 2010

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