Chris Gilson looks at this week in election blogs.
Over the weekend Iain Dale offered some sage advice to candidates around their strategies and their use of social media, and later, turned around Labour’s crowd-sourced poster comparing David Cameron to TV’s Gene Hunt, Conservative blogger Nabidana agreed, as does Peter Hoskin at Coffee House and Will Heaven at the Telegraph.
Saturday saw the release of a secret tape of Chris Grayling, the Shadow Home secretary commenting that B&B owners should be free to turn away gays and lesbians – Iain Dale is vociferous in his disagreement. Shamik Das of Left Foot Forward says it marks the return of the ‘nasty party’ and Sunny H at Liberal Conspiracy also has coverage.
On Monday, Dizzy Thinks decried the political football that cancer policy seems to have become, while George Eaton at The Staggers says that Cameron must remove Chris Grayling after the B&B row.
Guido Fawkes took an American view of taxes in a recession; that a tax increase would stifle the recovery, while George Eaton at The Staggers stresses Labour’s capability at economic management compared to that of the Tories.
On Tuesday, Julian Glover looked at poll ratings by issue, and found Labour is doing better than would be otherwise suspected, whilst Mike Smithson looked at how the ‘greying electorate’ is beneficial to the Tories. On the other hand, Jeff at SNP Tactical Voting, suggested that there is a dearth of good candidates for Prime Minister in the coming election.
Tim Montgomerie at ConservativeHome confirms that there will be no VAT rises under a Cameron government, though Sunder Katwala at Next Left is sceptical. Guest blogger Seema Malhotra at Left Foot Forward, examines the Tory voter ‘buy-off’ through National Insurance rise freezes and married couple tax break pledges
Julian Glover at Guardian Politics remarked on the possibility of the Tories winning the most votes, but not the most seats, while SNP Tactical Voting looks at the 382 ‘safe’ seats.
Shamik Das at Left Foot Forward looked into accusations that UKIP is flouting donation rules. Simon Heffer at the Telegraph, says there will be an economy of truth over the next 30 days. Renard Sexton at Guardian Politics on undecided voters – momentum and the ‘first movers’ amongst these is very important.
A great deal of political blogging today with the election being called (Guido calls it a circus), but very little substantive commentary. David Hughes at the Telegraph asks “How long before Milliband and Mandelson be at each others’ throats?”. Rowenna Davis at Guardian Politics wonders how truly useful the recent spate of political posters is. Robert Booth and Alan Travis check out how middle-class Gordon Brown really is on Guardian Politics. Coffee House has a good round up of election spin, barley 18 hours into the campaign. Nick Robinson sums up the day – no surprises
On Wednesday, with the election now truly in full swing, Simon Hoggart at Guardian Politics looked at candidates’ campaigning in previous elections, and how their relationship with the public and the media has changed, while Iain Dale critiques Nick Clegg on his apparently lacklustre performance on the Today programme this morning, as does Iain Martin at the Wall Street Journal.
Mike Smithson at PoliticalBetting holds that the odds are good for a Green candidate gaining a seat this May. Dizzy Thinks finds another class-war attack site – but who is behind it? Paul Waugh from the Standard remarked on Brown’s narrow avoidance of a The Thick of It, style photo disaster at Innocent headquarters.
Jonathan Isaby at ConservativeHome prefigures the Tories announcement that, under a Conservative administration, the public would be able to ‘recall’ MPs mid-term, while Sunder Katwala at Next Left says the Tories’ intended extensive use of executive jets in the campaign is a ‘bad call’. Peter Hoskin at Coffee House looked at the Tories ‘decontamination’ of their traditional association with Big Business.
Nick Robinson does a quick round-up of the possibilities for parliamentary reform that Gordon Brown is expected to announce in the afternoon, while Guardian Politics makes asks if we can trust either party on electoral reform. Later, Sophie Elmhirst at The Staggers says that Brown leads the latest “Guff charge” with his multi-metaphor speech on constitutional reform today.
SNP Tactical Voting asks if today’s last PMQs prior to the election “Are the final days for Gordon Brown?”. There is general consensus amongst bloggers that Cameron may have been the victor, but Gordon definitely lost, especially after another 30 business leaders backed the Conservatives on national insurance.
Gaby Hinsliff at Guardian Politics has an interesting summary of the UK’s electoral map: “Elections turn this into a country of two halves: the favoured few in marginals, leafleted to death, and the 25 million of us living in safe seats who could miss the election if we blink.” Martin Kettle at Guardian Politics says that Brown will ‘relish’ the current row over National Insurance, with a dividing line that may suit his debating tastes, whereas Martin Waugh at the Evening Standard, feels that Brown may have already ‘lost it’ on this front. Iain Dale looks at Gordon Brown’s expected electoral campaign strategy, comparing it to that of Michael Foot in 1983.
Kate Hudson at Guardian Politics says that scrapping Trident is most certainly a vote winner and says that “it seems strange that the three main parties still stick to them [nuclear weapons] like glue”.
On Thursday, James Forsyth at Coffee House reflected on possible Cable/Clegg tensions in the event of a coalition government, while Sunny H at Liberal Conspiracy considers the recent poll that states that many feel that Cameron is too inexperienced to be Prime Minister.
Jonathan Isaby at ConservativeHome introduces the Tories new ‘National Citizen Service’ policy. Michael Caine is supportive. Dave Cole at Liberal Conspiracy worries that women’s rights may suffer under a Conservative administration. Ken Clarke contradicts Cameron/Osborne on marriage tax beaks according to Shamik Das of Left Foot Forward. Iain Dale turns into David Cameron for a day, while the Guardian has a round-up of the parties’ political posters.
According to new OECD data, the UK economy is set to pick up faster than its rivals, growing at 2 per cent for the first quarter of 2010, says George Eaton at The Staggers, Will Straw at Left Foot Forward, agrees. Nick Wood, guest blogging at ConservativeHome, continues the attack on Labour over its National Insurance policies. Chris Dillow at Liberal Conspiracy, suggests that it is not actually a tax on jobs as opponents of the Labour policy maintain.
Dizzy Thinks attacks what might be considered by some to be poor political judgement by Labour campaigners who are “gunning for Woolwich”, and later is deeply cynical about Gordon Brown’s proposals to put more government services online. Guido is similarly cynical about the Tories likelihood of raising VAT – they have consistently denied that they will, as well as Iain Dale’s (apparent) victory of having most constituencies count their votes on Thursday night rather than Friday morning.
Matthew Taylor from Guardian Politics on the risks of BNP success in Stoke Central with the Labour party there in ‘disarray’, while Mark Pack looks at why Samantha Cameron is more important than George Osborne at the moment. Tim Montgomerie at ConservativeHome presages the Guardian’s article on Friday where Cameron will announce that the highest paid public sector worker will earn no more than 20 times what the poorest earns.
On the last day of Week 1 of the General Election campaign, Sunder Katwala at Next Left approves of Cameron’s pay equality scheme for the public service, but challenges the Conservatives on their assertions that Labour has been bad for inequality.
Mark Waugh at the Evening Standard and Iain Dale look at a Labour candidate’s apparent electoral suicide-by-Twitter, and the Staggers talks about why he had to go.
Dizzy Thinks looks at whether or not the Tories’ savings plans are ‘back of the envelope’, as Labour has asserted, and finds them to be robust, while Varun Chandra at Left Foot Forward is very sceptical about the Tories’ National Insurance plans, and Alistair Campbell keeps the pressure on. Coffee House says that Alistair Darling’s critiques of the Tories’ numbers are in ‘cloud cuckoo land’.
Ian Smith at The Staggers has a summary of this first week of the campaign in photos, while Iain Dale worries that the campaign is too presidential. Finally, Nick Robinson predicts a return to some of the political policies we found familiar in the 1980s.