Conservative Diary

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David Cameron has the Mo

Nick Wood's High Noon.

David Cameron has got momentum. All the opinion polls today point to a widening of the Conservative lead over the other two parties.

But while Cameron is tantalisingly close to the magic figure of 326 seats, present projections still point to a hung Parliament. Cameron's challenge in the final days of the campaign is to consign this prospect, the dark horse of the election, to the knacker's yard.

One ray of light is that the public is beginning to wake up to the perils of an inconclusive result. According to today's ICM poll for the Sunday Telegraph, 52 per cent of people believe that a hung Parliament would be bad for Britain; only 24 per cent would welcome the result with another 24 per cent undecided.

Given the scale of the problems facing the country, now would be the worst time for government in the UK to be product of a messy compromise between Labour and the Lib Dems or to be the responsibility of a minority

Conservative administration without the numbers to press ahead with its programme of change.

Painful and unpopular decisions to curb the deficit must be taken immediately; Trident renewal must be given the green light to wipe out any doubt about Britain's determination to defend itself; the planned jobs tax must be scrapped now; a cap on immigration is urgently needed; and the schools revolution cannot come too soon.

But all these urgent and necessary measures would be scuppered or diluted if the election ends in a draw.

The Conservatives have to hammer home the message that a hung Parliament equals weak and inadequate government. It will need vigour and energy to get that message across - and a concerted campaign.

Nick Wood of Media Intelligence Partners


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