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Just as I was about to sign off this started to hit my Twitter feed. I am sure Labour would have expected at some stage there would be a 100 business leaders letter to the Times or Telegrapgh. Self serving rich CEOs always get the story. Wonder if 100 trade union leaders warn about Tory cuts would get a front page?

Tuesday

As the day closes there wasn’t much new to report today. As expected on a day when economic news was coming in the Tories led on this issue.. Which they know from polling they feel they have a distinct advantage.

One of the greatest regrets we must have from 2008 is that a global recession and banking crisis happened on our watch in government. To make it worse the Tories were able to sell the line that a global recession was all the fault of the Labour government. After a decade of decent economic performance with Labour it is all too easy now for the Tories to caricature a failed Labour economic record.

On the other hand the Tories so called long term economic plan and record don’t stand up to much scrutiny and I will publish an excellent link to a C4 fact check, which blows the myths.

But today seemed to revolve around an argument about the Labour immigration pledge mug. Oh don’t you love it when elections get serious.

I got my first Labour literature of the campaign. There is a big difference in paper quality – but there should be. The Tory candidate has been given £50k from a donor. They have cash to burn and Labour has feet on the ground and an impressive contact rate over the last year or so. As this election will be about turnout in key marginals like Loughborough I know which I would prefer at this stage.

The Libe Dems did get some coverage today – but as far as I can see for a strange morning with jokey Essex!

The regional polls I saw this evening show that concentrating on national polls and uniform swings is dangerous.

Clearly there is a need to watch the SNP and Scotland as there seems little shift. In London Labour appears really strong and the same is true in Wales. As I have said before we do have a country that remains deeply divided. On top of these obvious extremes the general North/South divide in England will probably be exacerbated in this election.

Lunch time summary

It’s lunch already and I have hardly seen anything election related today. I have been a little busy working!
I did wake and scoured my twitter feed and by 8am I couldn’t quite see what the theme for the day was going to be.
It was good to see the Tory attack on Labour’s £3000 tax bombshell being reduced in their own words to ‘guesswork’. Equally there was a counter from the Tories from some of the business leaders used on the EU referendumn/ business poster with quotes suggesting they were unhappy and even some suggesting we should stick with the Tories. The infamous ‘Jennifers ear’campaign hiccup surely means whoever came up with this poster would have run a risk analysis? The reaction from business leaders quoted suggests not!
So early guesses – Tories running on jobs and Lib Dems on some more spending in the NHS. As one friend on facebook has asked – where is all this money now coming from when we are still told we have to cut the budget? I think all parties are going to have to be a little more honest about the future spending plans or the level of deficit they are willing to run. This seems to me the gaping hole in this campaign so far and with so many weeks to go more detail is going to have to be put in place!

End of the first Day

After a quiet start today the PM (unnecessarily) went to see the Queen to dissolve parliament to kick start this campaign officially.

Today I have been aware of the election only through Social Media and about 2 minutes of the BBC news. This will probably be my pattern through this election as I am like many people – pretty busy during the day and often out into the early evening. Today as well as ‘working’ all morning Inhave been doing family duties – including being a taxi for my daughter and meeting our son from a silver DofE weekend. So I catch snippets via social media on days like today. As a political junkie I follow plenty of politicians and political journalists so there is usually plenty to capture. To be fair during this election to help me with these blogs I have also started following The Tories and Lib Dems. I am struggling to follow UKIP, that is beyond my remit to blog here!

Only things of note today. The Tories tried the old Labour tax bombshell tactic again. As I tweeted this claim of a £3000 tax bombshell was rubbished by the IFS pretty quickly and Grant Shapps had to admit it was all ‘guesswork’. In one sense it works to the fears of people who already vote Tory and some floating voters. Appealing to people’s pockets is generally a god idea for the right sadly.

Labour did go on the economy and the risk the Tories european referendum has on business. Some quotes in the poster Labour used caused an artificial storm from some of the executives quoted who wanted to be non-political. As the quotes were public statements already it’s hard to see there was much of a story.

Later in the day we got an excited family as a friend texted my Daughter to watch the Tory PPB. She did and saw the 1.5 seconds her friend and family were in it… Always wondered how people agreed to do these things.

Finding this to show the family also meant I searched for the Labour PPB. I think having seen these I will do separate blogs as we go along when they warrant them. So far I have to say I was really unimpressed by the Tory one. Genuinely not just because it was the Tories. I was pleased to see Martin Freeman speak out for Labour in their PPB. He has gone up in my estimation.

I see the Lib Dems have gone for the centre ground again. Not sure people believe them anymore. It looks a bit silly now after 5 years propping up a right wing Tory government when all too often they used to pretend to be on the left of Labour in some parts of the country.

I had a good chat with the BBC today about rugby and the politics of sport in the general election. It looks like we might get something happening if the right Execs buy the idea. I have been a little consumed by the news coming from the RFU and ER2015 about the sacking of Debbie Jevans. More will come out during the week I am sure.

I did see the London polling for COMRES and ITV. It does seem as though London is a separate country sometimes and in election terms it is certainly turning to Labour again in large numbers. It Helped in 2010 to stem the losses and it shows even more how impressive the Boris wins have been.

I did get into a mini twitter debate about the possible Labour leadership battle post an election defeat for Labour. I don’t think I want to do that again this side of an election. I may dive into a debate for the Tories & Lib Dems to even things up a little as it is obvious any leader who loses in May is likely to be removed/ stand down. It looks as though only one leader will survive this election so lots at stake.

That Labour PPB

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JbHNVtsAD2M&client=mv-google

Parliament Dissolves – morning update 39 days to go

sajeimpact:

So today Parliament has finally dissolved and you will be pleased to know the General Election campaigns will finally begin. I know you feel like me that the campaigns have been going on far too long already but we are no going to be subjected to this interminable election 24/7 for another 6 weeks.

We now have no MPs. The House of Commons can no longer be used but we do have Ministers for the duration of the campaign as they are appointed by the Crown. Civil Servants now get the chance to prepare for the new incoming government. In the recent past this was all really quite straightforward. They read the Tory and Labour manifestos and set out in each department how their pledges could or could not be met. This time there are several scenarios that need careful planning – depending on which combination of parties make up the government in the weeks after May 7th.

So back to today. Early impressions as a simple voter. There seems to be a great deal of ‘banter’ across the press releases from the Parties claiming and counter claiming who has the biggest black hole in their tax and spending plans and a funny one from the Lib Dems claiming they will cut less than the Tories but borrow less than Labour. I did cheat to find out about the Lib Dems after watching #coalition last night. I realised their voice had all but disappeared so I am having to follow their Press office on twitter. Just to even things up a little.

It seems Labour are going on the Economy and Europe today. We will see if that sticks for a whole day. I was confused to know what the Tories were going with – other than more attacks on Ed Miliband and these black holes in spending. I think this could be dangerous for them as commentators ask them tough questions about their £12bn welfare black hole and their £7bn Tax pledge black hole.

On a personal note I will be looking out for two election issues where I have a specialist interest – Sport and International Development. I know they are not mainstream political issues that will decide the election for millions but I am interested as they set out what sort of government we have in political areas that are generally less ‘political’.

I will give a big Klaxon call when sport is first mentioned.

Parliament Dissolves – morning update 39 days to go

So today Parliament has finally dissolved and you will be pleased to know the General Election campaigns will finally begin. I know you feel like me that the campaigns have been going on far too long already but we are no going to be subjected to this interminable election 24/7 for another 6 weeks.

We now have no MPs. The House of Commons can no longer be used but we do have Ministers for the duration of the campaign as they are appointed by the Crown. Civil Servants now get the chance to prepare for the new incoming government. In the recent past this was all really quite straightforward. They read the Tory and Labour manifestos and set out in each department how their pledges could or could not be met. This time there are several scenarios that need careful planning – depending on which combination of parties make up the government in the weeks after May 7th.

So back to today. Early impressions as a simple voter. There seems to be a great deal of ‘banter’ across the press releases from the Parties claiming and counter claiming who has the biggest black hole in their tax and spending plans and a funny one from the Lib Dems claiming they will cut less than the Tories but borrow less than Labour. I did cheat to find out about the Lib Dems after watching #coalition last night. I realised their voice had all but disappeared so I am having to follow their Press office on twitter. Just to even things up a little.

It seems Labour are going on the Economy and Europe today. We will see if that sticks for a whole day. I was confused to know what the Tories were going with – other than more attacks on Ed Miliband and these black holes in spending. I think this could be dangerous for them as commentators ask them tough questions about their £12bn welfare black hole and their £7bn Tax pledge black hole.

On a personal note I will be looking out for two election issues where I have a specialist interest – Sport and International Development. I know they are not mainstream political issues that will decide the election for millions but I am interested as they set out what sort of government we have in political areas that are generally less ‘political’.

I will give a big Klaxon call when sport is first mentioned.