Have the Tories Given Up on Clacton?

If their candidate’s website is anything to go by, the answer is yes. ‘I’m the only candidate at this by-election with a clear plan to secure our area’s future’ says Giles Watling, just six months out of date:

watling

Eric Pickles cancelled a visit at the last minute last week – and UKIP sources report a complete lack of Tory presence trying to win back the seat. Guido hears that the results of a survey put out in the constituency by the Conservatives were so dire for the party that they decided to divert resources elsewhere…

Sorry Dan:

Nigel Farage is in Clacton today visiting a hinge factory – insert your own jokes here – yet it’s clear there’s not going to be much of a swing back to the Tories in May. The same cannot be said of Rochester,  however…

Murphy Blows Labour’s “Fiscal Responsibility” Line

IMG_2285

Well that didn’t take long. The IFS verdict on Labour’s manifesto is in: “Literally we would not know what we were voting for if we were going to vote for Labour”. They aren’t the only ones who are confused…

Here is Jim Murphy blowing Miliband’s fiscal responsibility line out of the water this afternoon:

“Ed was really clear at the UK manifesto launch today. It’s only Labour that will end austerity.”

Which is literally the opposite of what Miliband actually said:

“it is a manifesto which shows Labour is not only the party of change but the party of responsibility too… A clear vow to protect our nation’s finances… The deficit will be cut every year… This commitment to fiscal responsibility is the foundation.”

Forcing Chuka to slap down Murphy on the Daily Politics:

“The leader of the Scottish Labour Party will not be in charge of the UK budget.”

It is almost as if in England Labour are telling voters they will make cuts and can be trusted to be responsible, but in Scotland they are vowing to end Tory austerity. As the IFS say, “Literally we would not know what we were voting for…”

ICM Gives Tories 6% Lead

icm+6

That’s tomorrow’s Guardian splash sorted…

WATCH: Pie Minister’s Eating Tour Goes Global

Coverage of Cameron’s calorie consuming, pie-tastic tour of Britain last week has gone global. John Oliver’s Daily Show spin-off Last Week Tonight is fascinated by the PM trolling Miliband over how to eat in public:

Sun readers will know the real secret behind Dave’s stump eating habits:

Normally conscious of his diet, Cameron has an unflattering cartoon of himself on his fridge at home to stop him snacking. But it’s not as easy on the road. Aware that he soon slips into a bad mood when his tummy starts to rumble, glamorous aide Gabby Bertin kept emergency snacks in her handbag. Is an expanding waistline a price worth paying to stop “Hangry” Dave doing a Clarkson before the election?

24 days to go…

Thursday’s ‘Challenged’ Debate Line-Up

Miliband dodges the bullet of being drawn in the middle for Thursday’s BBC debate. Still not going to be a fun outing… 

Ed Miliband’s Girly Laugh

Ed Miliband or Jimmy Carr?

WATCH: Allegra Stratton V Ed Miliband

Turns out Ed’s not tough enuss to stand up to Newsnight’s Allegra Stratton.

WATCH: Ed Begs Labour Members Not to Boo Journalists

Perhaps the most cringe-worthy moment, from a crowded field at Labour’s manifesto launch, was when Ed had to beg members not to jeer and boo journalists:

It didn’t work though, they were soon jeering Sky News.

Yet Ed confirms he would legislate to gag the press:

MEDIA

Presumably it means they will break up the BBC…

Dugher Defeated: Labour’s War on Motorists Back On

“Labour car war is over- New transport chief’s vow to help road users” screamed the Mirror late last year. The then new Shadow Transport Secretary Michael Dugher promised: “to stop demonising motorists and start championing them as it declared its […]

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Read: Labour Manifesto in Full

[…]

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Ashcroft Reaffirms Dave Bio Is Post Election

Boo! There was a growing school of thought that Lord Ashcroft would bring forward publication of has ‘gak and all’ biography of Cameron to this side of the election. Especially after he resigned the Tory whip and his seat in […]

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Sausage Roll Treating Kipper Turns Up to Police Station… With Sausage Rolls

Remember Kim Rose, the UKIP candidate shopped to the fuzz for apparently bribing voters with sausage rolls? Here is he turning up at a police station in Southampton to be questioned this morning:

They see him rollin’, they hatin’[…]

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Quote of the Day

Labour candidate Clive Lewis tells the Staggers:

“I mean, in the multiverse there’s still three universes in a hundred where there’s a Green MP in Norwich, so anything could happen. I could be caught with my pants down behind a goat with Ed Miliband at the other end – well, hopefully that won’t happen.”

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