Channel 4 News's political editor gives his take on the latest news and gossip from the corridors of power in Westminster and beyond.
Talk to him a few months ago and you heard someone who thought it would fall his way; the other guy was unelectable and the economic lead too strong. Now not so much.
He draws hope from Labour’s difficulties in Scotland and what his team perceives as real weakness in Lib Dem seats where the Tories are second. He takes a text from a Tory MP telling him there are no Tories converting to Labour in his seat: “It’s firming up,” the text says but, like the rest of us, you sense he truly isn’t sure what’s happening.
If he did get back in, what sort of David Cameron would we see? The long gone husky-cuddling eco-warrior won’t make a reappearance presumably. The huge fan of coalition who said it would be a better form of government won’t be doing another turn.
In our profile of Nick Clegg, the Lib Dem leader acknowledges that he and his party were pretty “tight-lipped” about differences with the Tories in the early part of the coalition. Those who wanted to differentiate more were slapped down. Coalition negotiator and former energy secretary Chris Huhne tells us Nick Clegg confused what the role of deputy PM was and saw himself as more of a “split the difference” or “chairman” role when he actually needed to be more feisty projecting his party’s identity.
Nick Clegg says he had no choice, that people forget how much doom and gloom there was about coalition and its viability. He says no coalition partner will ever again have to do what he did and hold back on opinions to project harmony and convince doubters about coalition. He has performed a public service, breaking through a path for future coalitions. Whether he will be part of one is another question.
Ask Mr Farage about his central political mission now and he tends to talk about smashing the two-party political system. He used to wax lyrical in private about echoing the insurgent Canadian Reform Party’s reverse takeover of the big sister Canadian Conservatives.
Post the Middleton and Heywood by-election, where Ukip gave Labour a close run for the seat, and you hear him talking about beating up Labour in its heartlands. He galvanises support there by “fusing” the immigration issue with the old and less doorstep-friendly constitutional arguments about the EU.
I asked him if he wasn’t duping voters in Labour heartlands with the beer and fags routine and hiding his true political colours. He insists his views on the NHS, Thatcher etc are no more relevant than what views he held when he was eight years old.
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If he did get back in, what sort of David Cameron would we see? The long gone husky-cuddling eco-warrior won’t make a reappearance presumably.
As the Ukip leader tells it, he saw the light in a bar in 1990, on the day the UK entered the exchange rate mechanism. Since then, his mission has mushroomed into something much bigger.
The main thrust of Mr Cameron’s interview was an attack on the SNP. Andrew Marr said the PM was beginning to sound like an English Nationalist, which went down pretty badly.
Nick Clegg began his manifesto launch with attacks on Ukip and the SNP. Only the Lib Dems could be trusted as a coalition partner, he said.
The Tories wanted to play what they see as their good management card at today’s manifesto launch. But their plans still contain some smoke and mirrors.
Labour proclaims a “fiscal responsibility lock” in its manifesto – but the IFS says his rules are so vague as to give him a lot of wriggle room.
Labour’s election manifesto commits to inflation-linked tax credits and a media sector in which no one owner enjoys undue influence.
Our YouGov poll adds to Labour’s gloom in Scotland with one tiny qualification. There’s a chance the headline figures for MPs elected are a bit better (or less awful) than it might
Following the apparent success with voters of Ed Miliband’s non-dom policy, the Tories have focused on Trident and the effect the SNP in a kingmaker role could have on the UK’s defence