7.45pm ToryDiary: 42% would never vote Conservative
2.30pm ConHomeUSA: Today's newslinks focus on Rick Perry's declining support
12.30pm Andrea Leadsom MP on Comment looks forward to the likelihood of a two-speed Europe: "I think it’s inevitable that Greece will default. What Greece should do, and what it should have done 18 months ago, is to leave the Euro and renegotiate its debt. The markets can cope with sovereign default – there have been many over the years; what they cannot cope with is uncertainty and lack of transparency."
10.30am LeftWatch: Sayeeda Warsi launches dossier that aims to brand Ed Miliband as "weak"
ToryDiary: What's the big economic idea, George?
Charlie Elphicke MP: We need a Government hotline for small business
Local government: The hypocrisy of the leading opponent of free schools
Also on Local government: Council by-election result from Thursday
George Osborne: “I think there is a clear deadline set which is the Cannes G20 summit. The eurozone has six weeks to resolve this political crisis.” – The Times (£)
"Mr Osborne also signalled dramatic plans to prop up Britain's faltering economy, opening the door for a rescue plan that would see the Bank of England lend directly to struggling small businesses. There is a growing expectation in Whitehall that the Bank of England will authorise another emergency injection of cash into the economy with a second round of 'quantitative easing' – essentially, printing money. As much as £300billion is expected to be flooded into the economy despite the risk that it will push inflation still higher, increasing the cost of living." – Daily Mail
But is Osborne up to the task?
"Osborne is in a fair bit of trouble. His last budget was billed by David Cameron as being “the most pro-growth budget this country has seen for a generation”. It was not to be. Instead we’ve seen more tax, more regulation, more spending – little sign of the supply-side reforms that you’d think a Conservative Chancellor would implement. For all the talk of cuts and paying down the nation’s credit card, the fact remains: Osborne’s Plan A will increase the UK national debt by 51 per cent over this parliament." – Fraser Nelson in The Spectator
Lord Mandelson backs Osborne's buddy hotline for big business but Federation of Small Business say it's we who create 84% of new jobs – Times (£)
Charles Moore and Matthew Parris united in gloom
"What Europe faces, then, is a disaster that was predictable – and predicted – and is now unavoidable. In the process, millions will lose their jobs, an entire generation will miss the opportunities which their parents enjoyed, and blood will probably be shed. The rulers of Europe have never been so wrong since the late 1930s." – Charles Moore in The Telegraph
- We will be 25% poorer at the end of this – Matthew Parris in The Times (£)
Ed Balls: I was right
"For the last year we have argued that a Tory policy of kamikaze deficit reduction – too far and too fast – and the delusion that Britain is a safe haven was never going to work. The evidence is now compelling that their economic plan is not working: slow growth and higher unemployment are making it harder to get the deficit down." – Ed Balls in The Guardian
62%, now agree "the cuts are too deep and too fast, they will harm Britain's economy more than they help it"…
"The tide of public opinion has turned against coalition spending cuts, according to a Guardian/ICM poll which shows a majority of voters now believe excessive austerity is doing more harm than good to the economy… Only 32% agree with the statement "the government's tax increases and public spending cuts are essential to protect Britain's economy"."
…but Miliband's ratings remain dire
The same Guardian poll finds, however, dre ratings for Ed Miliband; "Only 30% of all voters – and crucially just 49% of Labour supporters – agree with the statement 'the party has the right leader in Ed Miliband'."
A YouGov/ Sun poll finds similar results: "A damning new poll reveals just one in 20 think [Miliband] is a "natural leader" and fewer than ten per cent describe him as "strong" or "decisive", Only six per cent say Mr Miliband is "charismatic" and just four per cent argue he would be "good in a crisis"."
Ed Miliband set to focus on "squeezed middle" during Labour Conference – BBC
Ed Miliband to focus on rising energy and rail prices – Guardian
- "Miliband will say a future Labour government would ban firms from producing gas and electricity and then selling it on themselves." – Daily Mail
- "The energy market is dominated by six companies – which produce and supply gas and electricity. Under Labour's system, all energy would go into a central "pool" to be bought by anyone at a clear and transparent price." – Independent
- Drawing on Lord Ashcroft's polling, the Labour leader is seen as "weird" says Patrick O'Flynn in The Express
- Labour insiders offer Ed Miliband some advice – Independent
- "Labour figures worry that the party's attempts to regain economic credibility are being hindered by a refusal to go further in admitting its past errors." – Andrew Grice in The Independent warns that a sceptical public isn't going to listen until Ed Miliband says sorry.
Labour's Yvette Cooper wants to make stalking a crime – BBC
The Telegraph continues its campaign against the planning reforms, claiming that an aide to David Cameron aide privately told builders that new NPPF would 'trigger more development' – Telegraph
- David Heathcoat-Amory accuses National Trust of 'jihad’ – Telegraph
The FT continues its campaign against Michael Gove with quotations from freedom of information campaigner – FT (£)
Police reforms 'are rushed and lack coordination' says Police Federation – Telegraph
- Murdo Fraser, Ruth Davidson, Jackson Carlaw and Margaret Mitchell (pictured) all submitted the 100 endorsements they needed from party members – Telegraph
- Hardline Unionist candidate Margaret Mitchell was a late entry into the Tory leadership contest yesterday – Herald
- "Scottish Tory leadership contender Margaret Mitchell has attacked her rival Murdo Fraser's proposals for a new breakaway centre right party as "absolute madness"." – Scotsman
- A poll on ToryHoose suggests a close contest but ToryHoose's methodology is not clear.
Alex Salmond's "Plan MacB" involves £849 million raid on business – Telegraph
Andy Coulson is suing News International over its decision to stop paying his legal fees – Belfast Telegraph
Simon Heffer: Cameron has a reckless and offensive "desire" to spill soldiers' blood – Daily Mail
This generation of voters will never forgive the Liberal Democrats for tuition fees – Graeme Archer for The Telegraph
Forget what Peter Oborne says, the Eurosceptics now dominate the media – Denis MacShane MP in The Guardian
> Please use the thread below to provide links to news topics likely to be of interest to ConservativeHome readers and to comment on political topics that haven't been given their own blog. This thread is moderated but during working hours (that's 6am to 10pm for ConHome) comments will usually be delayed no longer than sixty minutes. Read our comments policy here.