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George Osborne concludes that Labour's campaign is "in disarray" as he confirms that the Tory battleground has expanded to include Ed Balls' seat, among others

George Osborne 2010 Chancellors debate Shadow chancellor and general election campaign co-ordinator, George Osborne, has just issued his weekly campaign update to party members.

Here are selected highlights:

Mocking Labour's campaign

"After a lot of Twitter excitement, Labour have revealed their secret 'big name' ... an Elvis impersonator. An appropriate choice as according to the polls the public are fast reaching the conclusion that Gordon Brown should leave the building.

"In fact Labour's campaign is now in disarray. They have been reduced to briefing journalists that Gordon Brown is going to be meeting more "real people". Unfortunately for them, the more people see of Gordon Brown the more they are convinced that they don't want another five years of him."

Exposing Labour's scaremongering and negative campaigning

"One of the most powerful moments of Thursday's debate was when David exposed Gordon Brown on Labour's shameful scaremongering leaflets. For too long Labour have been trying to scare pensioners by saying we would scrap the Winter Fuel Allowance, cut pension credit and other key benefits, end free bus travel fo pensioners and get rid of free TV licences for the over-75s. As David Cameron told the whole country in the debate, none of this is true.

"Having been found out, Gordon Brown could only respond with the extraordinary claim that he hadn't approved any of these attacks. Yet many of them were included in Labour's election broadcast and on their website. Once again he is taking the country for fools.

"We're picking up rumours that Labour are going to get even more negative next week. If true, this will be just another sign of desperation as their campaign continues to collapse."

Expanding the Tory battleground

"Labour's collapse has opened up new opportunities for us that we will be making the most of in the week ahead. We are expanding our battleground against Labour and now have a good chance of winning many more seats where they are haemorrhaging votes, including Ed Balls's seat in Morley & Outwood. In many seats Labour seems to have given up.

"Today David was in Thurrock where Jackie Doyle-Price is running a fantastic campaign. We are also targeting the next door seat of Dagenham & Rainham as well as seats in the North of England like Middlesbrough South & East Cleveland. And we are keeping up the pressure on the Lib Dems in seats like Romsey & Southampton North and Winchester in the South, and in towns like Cheltenham and Harrogate & Knaresborough and across the South West."

Exposing Lib Dem failings

"This was also the week when the Lib Dems' policies - on immigration, on the economy and on national defence - fell apart under the spotlight. In the face of the scrutiny that his party has avoided for so long, Nick Clegg was unable to defend his confused and contradictory manifesto promises. And in a debate with me and Alistair Darling, Vince Cable also showed that he could not stand up to sustained scrutiny."

Mr Osborne concludes by announcing what the party's focus over the next seven days:

"Next week we will be explaining the clear choice on the economy at this election. People know that Labour have failed and that all they offer is a jobless recovery from a weak government. But we'll also be explaining why a hung parliament would bring economic paralysis that would put the recovery at risk. Only a Conservative majority will bring the leadership that we need to deal with our debts and get the economy working for everyone."

Jonathan Isaby


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