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Tuesday 27th April 2010

10.30pm ToryDiary update: Tonight's polls have the Conservatives 4%, 4% and 8% ahead

9.15pm Seats and candidates: How much are you prepared to donate to stop Nick Clegg holding the balance of power?

8pm ToryDiary update: Tories 8% ahead in first poll of the evening... and 4% in second

6.15pm Tea with Pickles: A brush with the Prince of Darkness... or is that the Prince of Stability?

3.45pm WATCH THE TORIES' LATEST ELECTION BROADCAST: An Election Broadcast from the Hung Parliament Party

LARDNER PHILIP3.30pm Seats and candidates: Tory candidate for North Ayrshire and Arran suspended for criticising homosexuality

3.15pm WATCH: Labour's fourth election broadcast warns of Tory cuts to benefits for higher earners

1.30pm Mark Wallace on CentreRight: What Whitehall REALLY thinks about Britain

12.30pm ToryDiary: People power can mend Britain's broken society, says Cameron

Nick Wood's High Noon column: The Tories' Hung Parliament message will only work if it is endlessly repeated until polling day

11.15am WATCH ONE OF THE MOMENTS OF THE CAMPAIGN: Adam Boulton to Peter Mandelson: Don't accuse the media of ignoring the issues when you won't tell voters how you'll cut the deficit

NineDay ToryDiary: A nine day plan to win a majority

Also on ToryDiary: Conservative options for a Hung Parliament

Quentin Langley on Platform: How to read the polls

Local government: The battles for Weymouth and Portland, Swindon and Sunderland.

WATCH: Jeremy Hunt explains why a Hung Parliament would be "bad for everyone"

Overnight polls give the Conservatives leads of 1%, 3%, 4% and 6% - ToryDiary

William Hague and Sir Reg Empey yesterday launched the UUP-Tory manifesto - Belfast Telegraph

Top heads back Tory pledge to free state schools

Screen shot 2010-04-27 at 08.07.24 "In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, 31 heads and governors back a Tory pledge to give high-performing state schools autonomy within months of a general election victory. They will be allowed to convert into semi-independent academies as early as September this year if the Tories win, giving them more power over the curriculum, qualifications, staff, budgets and admissions." - Telegraph

In The Times, Stephen Poillard explains why Michael Gove's schools policies mean he'll be voting Conservative for the first time; "Only one party offers to transform opportunities for the poor and the struggling middle classes."

Hung parliament would bring Britain to its knees, warns Cameron - Daily Mail

"Mr Cameron accused Mr Clegg of “holding the country to ransom” to benefit the Liberal Democrats, saying he was “interested in one thing and that is changing our electoral system so that we have a permanent hung parliament, we have a permanent coalition, we never have strong and decisive government.” - Independent

FT: Conservatives will stop Cameron agreeing to proportional representation

"Senior Tories told the Financial Times that Mr Cameron would be unable to get his MPs to agree to the legislation needed for a referendum on PR – a system the right fears could condemn it to a perpetual period in opposition. “You’ve got two centre parties and one on the right . . . I can’t see a system to allow the other two control getting through the party,” one MP said. Another said Mr Cameron’s “wishy-washy policies” had failed to cement the Tory support base, leaving him “dancing to the Lib Dems’ tune”. Iain Duncan Smith, former Tory leader, told the BBC he did not believe his party would “want to deal out the future of Britain for the rather messy business of swapping chairs after the election”." - FT

> ConHome survey from February 2010: "10% of Tory members said they would "accept proportional representation as the price of a coalition deal with the Liberal Democrats." 86% said no."

Cameron says he is most pro-BBC Tory leader ever

BBC "Dozens of stars, including Harry Enfield, Jo Brand, Eddie Izzard and David Tennant, publicly opposed Conservative plans for the corporation at the weekend. But the Tory leader told the Radio Times: "I'm probably the most pro-BBC Conservative leader there's ever been... I would never do anything to put the BBC at risk. Conservatives should be as proud of establishing the BBC as Labour are of establishing the NHS."" - Express

City AM impressed with George Osborne after interview

"The shadow chancellor has no wish return to the days when the government picked “winners and losers”, but he does want to change the tax system so it rewards businesses that might relocate elsewhere. “Some countries like Holland and Belgium have made changes to their corporate tax regime that have encouraged pharmaceutical businesses to locate intellectual property out of the UK. It’s one thing asking: ‘Can Britain compete against China in low cost manufacturing?’ But it’s another asking ‘can we compete against Holland and Belgium over intellectual property?’ You bet we can.”" - City AM

A Chancellor Osborne would be much more radical than is usually realised - Allister Heath in City AM

George Osborne has attempted to distance himself from forecasts that Scotland could suffer cuts of up to £4 billion in the next three years - Scotsman

Dominic Lawson: Tories have been most boosted by tax cuts

Tax cut "It is when the Cameron team has played to more traditional Tory themes that the opinion polls seem to respond most favourably. Thus when George Osborne pledged to remove inheritance tax from all estates up to £1m, the polls registered a high level of enthusiasm, so much so that a panicky Gordon Brown forced Alistair Darling to double the inheritance tax threshold for married couples to £600,000. Then, in the first week of the current general election campaign, the Tories seemed to score a palpable hit with their pledge not to implement a planned increase in national insurance tax, backed by the serried ranks of Britain's businessmen." - Dominic Lawson in The Independent

Conservative promises to protect the arts remain unconvincing - David Hare in The Guardian

Cameron was confronted by hostile voters as he hit the campaign trail on the south coast - Metro

Ed Balls says Clegg has no right to decide leader of Labour Party

"Mr Balls told BBC2's Newsnight "I don't think that it is for Nick Clegg to start telling the British people who the Prime Minister should be. Nick Clegg at the moment is giving the impression that he himself can decide who will be the prime minister of this country. That is decided by the British people in the ballot box. You cannot give the impression that politics is like a game of trumps where you can play your hand and bluff away. The hands have not yet been dealt."" - London Evening Standard

Nick Clegg: I could work with Labour, just not Gordon Brown - Guardian

Clegg accuses Labour and the Conservatives of colluding in a “secret amnesty” for illegal ­immigrants - Herald

Clegg is more posh than David Cameron - Daily Star

Should the Leader of the Opposition be the one with more votes or more MPs? - Martin Kettle in The Guardian

SNP to begin BBC leaders' debate legal bid - BBC

The two Foreign Office officials who ridiculed the Pope - Daily Mail


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