Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Everyday I love you less and less..

100 days to go until Polling Day and Peter Dominiczak has found David Cameron in an ebullient mood. He feels he's "being opposed by someone who has nothing left to say", while he has "a real record to stand on". Cuts all round is the message from the PM: tax cuts for working families and further reductions in the benefits cap, from £26,000 to £23,000. It's the latter which takes the headlines. "PM: I'll cut benefits cap to £23,000" is our splash, while "New Welfare Crackdown On Workshy" is the Mail's. (Read Peter's interview in full here.

The Labour leader is in Manchester today where he'll warnthat the NHS "faces its most perilous moment in a generation". Andy Burnham was out this morning preparing the ground and banging the drum for his plans to integrate health and social care.

It's the PM who will find more to be cheerful about in today's polls The Conservatives are ahead in ComRes' phone polls for the first time since 2011, on 31% to Labour's 30%, with YouGov on 34% to 33%, and Survation on 31% to 30%.  "Tories take lead with 100 days to go" is the i's frontpage. 

As ever, the usual rules about getting too bothered about a few polls here and there apply, and that the NHS continues to be at the forefront of voters' minds according to the latest Populus survey should dampen Tory enthusiasm. But it's Labour who really have reason to be worried. As James Kirkup explains, the final phase of the campaign wears hard on the Opposition: in all but one election, Labour have done worse in the final standings than the polls at this point in the campaign.

The scene is set for a fairly traditional campaign, despite the new entrants snapping at the heels of both parties. Tax cuts and welfare reductions from the Conservatives, lovebombing the NHS from Labour. The thing about a traditional campaign, as the only man to win a working majority for Labour in Ed Miliband's lifetime recently noted, is it tends to yield "a traditional result". 


The PM was less upbeat on the Today programme. The Eurozone's worries are the one remaining "warning light" on the dashboard and there needs to be a further £30bn reduction in spending; departmental spending, tax avoidance and welfare will make up the costs. On the debates: "Yes, I would like that to happen," David Cameron says. 


The Sun has laid out their "Sunifesto"; their programme for Britain in 2015. "Whichever party gets nearest to making it a reality will get our backing," they say. Their To-Do List: Clear the deficit, cut tax, "reward work" demand "a better deal" on immigration, reform the NHS, cut welfare, increase free schools, get fracking going, get fuel prices down, scrap the 0.7% target, cut jail terms for lesser offences, build more houses, strip down the BBC, "let spooks beat IS", and stand up to Twittermobs. 


Minsters have been accused on using taxpayers' money for electioneering, after it emerged that constituencies held by Coalition MPs recieved four-fifths of the Coastal Communities Fund, Chris Hope and Ben Riley-Smith report.  


The excellent Polling Matters team sat down with John Curtice.  He explains further the challenge facing Scottish Labour, and his take on how the general election will play out in Scotland. 


The Government has U-turned on fracking after a rebellion of its own MP forced it to accept a Labour amendment; areas of outstanding natural beauty will be protected while 13 new regulations will be applied to any fracking sites. Emily Gosden has the story, while Caroline Flint and Angela Eagle make their case in the Guardian.

You can get in touch with me by pressing "reply" or on Twitter. Our cartoon is the work of Christian Adams- a gallery of his work is available here.


Conservatives 32% Labour 33% Liberal Democrat 8% Ukip 15% Greens 7% (Ashcroft-ComRes-Ipsos-ICM-Populus-Survation-YouGov 


Ashcroft: Conservatives 32% Labour 32% Ukip 15% Liberal Democrat 9% Green 6%

ComRes: Conservatives 31% Labour 30% Ukip 17% Liberal Democrat 8% Green 7%

Populus: Conservatives 32% Labour 36% Liberal Democrat 9% Ukip 13% Green 6%

Survation: Conservatives 31% Labour 30% Ukip 23% Liberal Democrat 7%  Green 3%

YouGov: Conservatives 34% Labour 33% Liberal Democrat 6% Ukip 15% Green 7%


@stvharry: The only person now missing from the suggested Leaders' debate is Russell Brand; the circus will then come complete with a clown


From the Telegraph

James Kirkup - Unless something unexpected happens, the only way for Labour is down

Philip Johnston - Stop this madness over fracking, or the lights really will go out

From elsewhere

Matthew D'Ancona - Two tribes go to war over Labour's future (Times)

Janan Ganesh - Austerity will break a Labour government (FT)


0930 LONDON: Financial Conduct Authority chiefs appear before MPs.

0930 LONDON: Lord Chief Justice appears before MPs. Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd will give evidence to the Justice Select Committee on his annual report. 

0930 LONDON: Ofgem chief executive appears before MPs. Dermot Nolan appears in front of the Energy and Climate Change Committee. 

1000 MANCHESTER: Ed Miliband speech on Labour plans for health.

1400 WESTMINSTER: Prime Minister and Prince of Wales will meet Holocaust survivors at a reception in Westminster. 

1400 LONDON: The mother of Andrea Gada, five, who was killed after being hit by a car in Eastbourne, will deliver a petition to Downing Street asking for visas for relatives who want to attend her funeral. 

1515 LONDON: Hacked Off gives evidence to Lords Communications Committee. Joan Smith, Hacked Off's executive director, Hugh Tomlinson, the group's chairman and associate director Evan Harris will give evidence as part of the committee's inquiry into press regulation. 

1530 LONDON: Sir Jeremy Heywood at Public Administration Committee. 

1900 LONDON: Education Secretary Nicky Morgan speech to Politeia think tank. 


Commons - 1130: 

Treasury Questions. 

A Ten Minute Rule Motion: Voter Registration. 

Corporation Tax (Northern Ireland) Bill - Second reading. 

A backbench business debate: i) Accommodation for young people in care. 

A short debate on the performance of Durham Free School. 

Westminster Hall: 

0930: Employment in Wales. 

1100: Effect of London Bridge station redevelopment on rail services. 

1430: Commonwealth immigration and visas. 

1600: Confiscation of property from British nationals in Goa and corruption amongst government officials. 

1630: Sports Direct and USC Dundonald. 

Lords - 1430: 


Pension Schemes Bill - Report stage. 

A short debate on the recent events in Eritrea and Ethiopia and their impact on migration to Western Europe