Election Diary

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Good day

Good day

Dominic Grieve, the shadow Attorney General, who seized on the heart of the Iraq issue when he said he would not have backed the war if he had known what the Attorney General had been saying then.

Bad day

Michael Howard, after Professor Sir Bob Worcester, chairman of MORI, warned that the Conservatives were seen as extreme, out of touch and divided. "If you were a poker player and you were dealt that hand, you'd fold," he said.

Are we nearly there yet?

Playwright and commentator Keith Waterhouse finds the campaign hard going. "Unless John Prescott thumps somebody, this is going to be the longest week in politics since last week," he said.

Match of the day

Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, sported similar spotted burgundy ties yesterday. Vote Blair, get another bloke in a dodgy tie.

Quote of the day (part one)

"...regime change cannot be the objective of military action." The Attorney General Lord Goldsmith in his secret legal advice to Tony Blair.

Quote of the day (part two)

"I took the view then, I take it now, that it was better for this country's security, and the security of the world, to remove Saddam and put him in prison rather than have him in power." Tony Blair yesterday.

Q&A

1: Who said: "If you think you have done nothing wrong and the people around you have done nothing wrong that gives you strength."

2: Which council has to reprint 16,000 postal ballot packs because of a blunder?

3: Who claimed to have "communication from higher realms" telling her Blair would not win next week?

Answers

1: Cherie Blair, pressed on the Iraq controversy during a visit to a school in Kent. 2: Wyre borough council in Lancashire, which blamed Òhuman errorÓ for the administrative mistake. 3: The spiritualist Irenea Marriot, who is standing for UKIP in North Nottingham.

Great British Elections: 1964

* "Thirteen wasted years," as the Labour leader of the time, Harold Wilson, below, described them, were brought to an end in October 1964. Just. Mr Wilson, like Mr Blair in 1997, was young, energetic and brim-full of modernising rhetoric. Wilson spoke of the "white heat" of the technological revolution in a gritty Yorkshire accent and could boast grammar-schoolboy-made-good credentials. He was up against a Conservative prime minister, Sir Alec Douglas-Home who had taken over a dispirited administration only a year before polling day. The former 14th Earl of Home - he renounced his peerage to enter the Commons - was ridiculed as an "elegant anachronism", but he managed to pull the Tories back in the polls following economic setbacks. Mr Wilson was left with an overall majority of just four, which only became clear the following afternoon (many more constituencies left the count to the following day at the time). The Labour manifesto centred on economic planning, an expansion in university places and public housing. Then, as now, the optimism was not to last.

Alex Valk & Sean O'Grady

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