Labour takes four-point lead over Tories

MILIBAND Ed official“Labour surged into a four-point lead in the polls last night, delivering a wounding blow to David Cameron as he prepares to meet the Queen tomorrow to kickstart the general election campaign. The first comprehensive national poll conducted since Cameron and Ed Miliband faced a televised grilling by Jeremy Paxman on Thursday night shows the Labour leader has benefited from a post-show bounce that puts him on course for Downing Street. The YouGov survey for The Sunday Times puts Labour on 36 per cent, with the Tories trailing on 32 per cent” – Sunday Times (£)

Kellner: what the YouGov poll would mean in seats

“YouGov’s poll for The Sunday Times indicates a swing of more than six percentage points from Conservative to Labour across England and Wales. If this were repeated in every constituency, Labour would gain enough seats to come close to an outright majority… However, past experience suggests many MPs defending marginal seats will enjoy an incumbency bonus. Taking this into account, I estimate our overall figures would give Labour 289, the Conservatives 267, the SNP 43 and the Lib Dems 28” – Peter Kellner, Sunday Times (£)

  • The hardest election result to predict for a generation – Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher, Sunday Times (£)
  • People feel unrepresented by the mainstream parties – Vernon Bogdanor, Mail on Sunday
  • Can any party break the stalemate? – Andrew Rawnsley, Observer
  • Upbeat Tories believe in victory – Isabel Hardman, Sunday Times (£)
  • Meet Patrick Heneghan, Labour’s director of field operations – Damian McBride, Sunday Times (£)
  • Kinnock attacks Tories as “fruitcakes and closet racists” – Mail on Sunday

Cameron: My plan to win back disgruntled Tories

CAMERON straight at you“In his final interview before the start of the full-time election campaign, the Prime Minister sets out his personal mission to bring job security to millions, cut taxes for married couples and help Britons to enjoy ‘the good life’…Mr Cameron offers his critics humility. ‘I accept I have a task in the next 41 days to win back people who are instinctively Conservative, who have strong Conservative values and some of them have drifted off to other parties. I need to win them back’” – Sunday Telegraph

  • The last thing we want is a strong, unbending leader – Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times (£)
  • Cameron attacks “sneering, hopeless Hampstead Lefties” – Mail on Sunday
  • Labour is focused not on winning but on replacing Miliband – Iain Martin, Sunday Telegraph
  • Cameron gives us a tiny glimpse of normality and we shoot him down – David Mitchell, Observer
  • Samantha Cameron to play starring election role – Sun on Sunday


Tory Diary: “We are with you”: The theme of Cameron’s speech to Conservative Spring Forum

Hunt promises extra £8 billion for NHS

“The Tories promised last night an extra £8bn in funding for the NHS in an attempt to wipe out Labour’s election advantage on the health service. In an interview with The Sunday Times, Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, revealed that the Conservatives will fully fund a five-year plan drawn up by Sir Simon Stevens, the head of NHS England, and keep the budget rising faster than inflation. In a further boost for families with children he announced that ministers have struck a landmark deal to vaccinate newborn babies against meningitis B” – Sunday Times (£)


Sturgeon vows to “lock Cameron out of Downing Street”

Nicola Sturgeon“Nicola Sturgeon has vowed to join forces with Labour after the general election to ‘lock David Cameron out of Downing Street’. In a speech in Glasgow tonight, she said that Scots MPs would vote to stop a Tory government ‘even getting off the ground’ in the event of the SNP getting a majority north of the border…In echoes of Conservative adverts showing Ed Miliband in the pocket of Alex Salmond, she also talked about the SNP ‘forcing Labour’s hand’ and giving the Labour party ‘backbone and guts’” – Mail on Sunday

  • Scottish Labour accused of “giving up” in key marginal seats – Sunday Herald
  • Gordon Brown warns that SNP would strike “knockout blow” to UK – Scotsman

May 1) She could become foreign secretary

“David Cameron is considering making Theresa May Foreign Secretary if he is still Prime Minister after the general election, putting in place a hard-headed negotiator in Brussels ahead of an EU referendum, The Independent on Sunday has learnt. In his speech to the Conservative spring conference in Manchester yesterday, the Prime Minister lavished praise on his ‘brilliant’ Home Secretary… If she replaces Philip Hammond in a post-election reshuffle, Mrs May would be regarded as ‘Britain’s answer to Angela Merkel’, say government sources” – Independent on Sunday

May 2) Everyone must work to eradicate slavery

MAY Theresa menacing“More than 200 years ago, the House of Commons passed historic legislation to abolish the slave trade. Last Thursday, as the government’s Modern Slavery Bill became an act, Britain once again led the way in eliminating this inhuman crime, which is as present today as it was two centuries ago…We must work to raise awareness and spot the signs that people may be victims. And we must work together across communities, religions and international boundaries to ensure that the victims of this appalling crime can go free” – Theresa May, Sunday Times (£)

News in brief

  • Blow to Assad as Islamists take city of Idlib – Observer
  • Killer pilot had vision problems – Sunday Times (£)
  • Death threat sent to BBC Director General after Clarkson sacked – Mail on Sunday