7.30pm More photographs uploaded to ConservativeHome's Election Gallery
Nick Wood's High Noon column: How do you solve a problem like the Liberal Democrats?
Overnight polls gave the Conservatives leads of +7%, +7%, +8% and +8% – Yesterday evening's ToryDiary
"Two thirds of voters in battleground seats across the country think it’s time for a change, an exclusive News of the World poll reveals. But Tory leader David Cameron is so far only on course for a six per cent swing — not enough to make him Prime Minister. An ICM survey of the 96 marginal constituencies where the election will be won or lost points to a hung parliament. Cameron has slipped behind after a surprise surge in support for the Lib Dems. Our poll shows Nick Clegg’s party up five per cent since January and closer than ever to holding the balance of power." – News of the World
Cameron: Britain needs a strong, decisive government; not the chaos of a hung parliament
"What the country needs right now is strong and decisive government, which can take decisions for the long term. A hung parliament clearly makes that more difficult. I think you can see a certain desperation in Labour's ranks with all these endless statements trying to persuade Liberals to vote Labour – all that does is highlight there is a clear choice. You can either have five more years of Gordon Brown by obeying what they're talking about or you can make a clean break and go for change with the Conservatives." – David Cameron interviewed for The Sunday Telegraph
In his Sunday Telegraph interview he also singles out three junior shadow ministers as high performers: Greg Barker, Charles Hendry and Damian Green.
State officials would have their powers to enter people's homes cut dramatically under Conservative proposals
"Under the Tory plans, all officials except police officers and emergency workers would be required to obtain warrants before demanding access to properties. The Conservatives say there are now 1,242 pieces of legislation public servants can use to enter homes, including powers to search for unregulated hypnotists, a dancing bear without a permit, bovine semen or a fridge with the wrong energy rating." – The Sunday Telegraph
Cameron would change the law so historical convictions for consensual gay sex with over-16s would not show up on criminal record checks – BBC
> Yesterday's ToryDiary: Cameron pledges "heart and soul" commitment to gay equality
Conservatives to let private firms run state schools at a profit – The Sunday Times
Where is the politician telling us the truth about our bankrupt state? – Janet Daley in The Sunday Telegraph
"This election is little more than a painfully empty charade – while our national debt continues to increase by half a billion pounds a day." – Christopher Booker in The Sunday Telegraph
"David Cameron has converted from fiscal Scrooge to Santa. Why the change back to sunny Dave?" – Martin Ivens in The Sunday Times
63 per cent of people agree with the statement that "neither Labour nor the Conservatives are being honest about how they would reduce public borrowing" – Independent on Sunday
Cameron is right to limit public sector pay inequality – John Rentoul in The Independent on Sunday
> Thursday evening's ToryDiary
The Tories' marriage tax allowance puts women firmly back in the Fifties – Ruth Sutherland in The Observer
Conservative strategy is to oust Lib Dems from their rural fiefdoms – Jonathan Isaby in The Observer
The battle-hardened team pushing David Cameron towards power – Toby Helm in The Observer
Henry Angest has funnelled almost £7m to the Tories in loans and donations over the past nine years – Observer
Labour's election manifesto will contain "no big new spending commitments" – BBC
Nick Clegg raises fears of unrest under a Conservative government
"Britain will be hit by waves of "Greek-style unrest" if a Tory or Labour government narrowly wins the election and then tries to push through draconian spending cuts, Nick Clegg warns today. In an interview with the Observer, the Liberal Democrat leader says he fears "serious social strife" would break out on the streets if a government with limited support at the election on 6 May then raised taxes, laid off public-sector workers and froze wages."
"Imagine the Conservatives go home and get an absolute majority, on 25% of the eligible vote. They then turn around in the next week or two and say we're going to chuck up VAT to 20%, we're going to start cutting teachers, cutting police and the wage bill in the public sector. I think if you're not careful in that situation… you'd get Greek-style unrest. And so, my warning to people who think the old politics still works, is be careful what you wish for." – Nick Clegg quoted by the BBC
'One slip of the tongue can be fatal' – Jim Lehrer in The Observer warns of the perils of the leaders' debates
Stephan Shakespeare on ToryDiary: "Most people find politics profoundly dull and pointless, and putting it on prime-time won't change that. It seems unlikely that many millions will give up a big part of their
evening to assess the qualities of Brown and Cameron in debate, even
with all the media hype that is undoubtedly coming."
And finally… 1
The News of the World catches Yvette Cooper sending scribbled note during Labour press conference complaining at it being a "second division" event.
And finally… 2
"At CCHQ, they are dishing out ‘Tory of the Day’ awards every evening. The winner gets a T-shirt with ‘Tory of the Day’ on it and a motorised scooter to drive round the office for the next 24 hours." – James Forsyth in the Mail on Sunday
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