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Tory poster puts Cameron front and centre of campaign

This is the second of ConHome's new quick daily election briefs. The first was here.

ElectionBriefing The Tories emphasised David Cameron, the economy, health and compassion in poster launch. Today's Tory poster 'I'll cut the deficit, not the NHS' will be on 1,000 poster sites. It is striking how personal it is. It's not the Tories promising to cut the deficit and protect the NHS but David Cameron personally. The big new health policy contained in the first chapter of the draft manifesto - a commitment to tilt NHS resources towards the poorest communities - confirmed the continuity of compassionate conservatism.

Labour's accusation of a £34bn hole in Tory plans was quickly rebutted by the Tory Treasury team. You can read the full rebuttal within this post but the CCHQ response was fast and comprehensive. Judging from my lunch with one political editor of a national newspaper Labour won't get a good press from the dossier tomorrow.

Reports of the death of the Tory commitment to a marriage tax allowance are exaggerated.  The BBC's Nick Robinson is trying to hype this up but there has been no big switch in the Tory position.  The aspiration to introduce the commitment is still there but the deficit makes a timetable impractical. The Daily Mail wouldn't forgive a U-turn on this commitment.

Chris Grayling is back as leading Tory 'attack dog'. The Shadow Home Secretary has been in the news commenting on topics well beyond his portfolio, including a rebuttal of Gordon Brown's new year message.

Two interesting signs of Tory life online. First is the party's own online manifesto consultation and there's also ToryBear's online effort to oust Labour's Twitter Tsar, Kerry McCarthy MP.

Tory MPs have been out in force in marginal seats. Paul Goodman MP records his own experience in Harrow. More photographic evidence from Brighton Kemptown. And has anyone checked that Nadine Dorries MP's nosehas been found?

Screen shot 2010-01-04 at 17.56.48 Tim Montgomerie


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