Our expert election panel will meet for the final time on Friday afternoon for a video election debriefing. See the full list in the UK election podcast archive.
If coming third in the polls and a seemingly collapsing campaign strategy wasn’t causing enough stress within the Labour party, a Labour parliamentary candidate from North west Norfolk has called Gordon Brown “the worst prime minister we have had in this country”.
According to the Lynn News newspaper, Manish Sood, who is contesting a Tory-held seat, said: “I believe Gordon Brown has been the worst prime minister we have had in this country … It is a disgrace and he owes an apology to the people and the Queen.” Read more
The FT’s Robert Shrimsley joined Clive Anderson for the BBC’s weekly election show, The Heckler. Click here for a link to the broadcast, which is a quirky, irreverent guide to this week’s events in the general election campaign. What the politicians really think of the voters they have to woo and flatter, and if we do get a hung parliament, will our leaders be simply too exhausted by all that campaigning to thrash out a deal to run the country?
Explore the FT’s new interactive graphic featuring profiles of the Lib Dem leader, his shadow cabinet and most trusted colleagues – and a sorting function to show how they are all connected. And if you missed it, the Tory Who’s Who also has full details of the Conservative shadow cabinet and the party’s behind-the-scenes strategists.
The FT’s expert election panel will occasionally be giving their thoughts on the big news stories of the campaign. Below is Matthew Taylor’s take on how Labour can – and must- rejuvenate the policy agenda.
Matthew Taylor, former director of policy to Tony Blair:
If Labour trails in a bad third next week, a divided, demoralised and impoverished Party could easily go into a long term decline, becoming a Party whose highest realistic aspiration is to a be a minority partner in a future coalition.
Finally, today it looks like policy is on the agenda. Labour has to keep it there until the debate on Thursday and then hope that Gordon Brown can win on home territory (there are, after all, still many voters who do not warm to Brown but will on probing agree he is the best on experience and on protecting the interests of ordinary families). With a little wind in its sails Labour might yet breach the 30 per cent barrier within sight of being the largest party. This would change the dynamic of the last week. Read more
The FT’s Robert Shrimsley joined Clive Anderson for the BBC’s weekly election show, The Heckler. Click here for a link to the broadcast, which is a quirky, irreverent guide to this week’s events in the general election campaign. Is positive the new negative? How have all the main parties taken to rebuking the others for “squabbling” – or debating policy, as it used to be called?
By John Lloyd
“Reporters do of course write stories about political life in the broader sense and about the substance of issues … but when there is a chance to use these issues as props or raw material for a story about political tactics, most reporters leap at it. It is more fun … in fact they ask questions that only their fellow political professionals care about. And they often do so with a discourtesy and rancour that represent the public’s views much less than they reflect the modern journalist’s belief that being independent boils down to acting hostile.”
The US journalist James Fallows wrote this in The Atlantic in 1996. In the 2010 UK general election, it’s truer than it was.
The Economist wrote today that the mainstream media – newspapers, radio and television – dominate news and comment on the election, almost to the exclusion of significant use of the internet. Let’s hope for better next time, when the wealth of the internet can be brought to bear on electoral choice because the record of the mainstream media so far is dismal. Read more