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Hung parliament haunts Conservatives


David_cameron       A once unthinkable prospect is striking fear into the hearts of the Conservative Party faithful as they gather for their last conference before the British election — that the party could fall short of winning a parliamentary majority.

After months of big opinion poll leads, the opposition Conservatives looked set fair to win the election, expected in May, ending Labour’s 13-year grip on power.

But, even though Britain is just emerging from its deepest recession since World War Two and Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown is unpopular, the latest polls show the Conservative lead narrowing to as little as five points.

That means there is a growing likelihood that the election will result in a “hung parliament”, where no party enjoys overall control, for the first time since 1974.

Getting a nose in front


Hosting a shindig conference at one of Britain’s most prestigious racecourses in the genteel spa town of Cheltenham hardly sends out a message that David Cameron’s opposition Conservatives are trying to reach out to the masses.

But the decision to come to the rolling hills of the Cotswolds sheds light on one of the obstacles standing between Cameron and the keys to No. 10 Downing Street.

Has Brown lost the Spring in his step?


Is the Labour Party going to regret not hosting a Spring Party Conference this year?

Yes, it is going to save them a lot of cash, and Prime Minister Gordon Brown has enough to worry about ahead of the G20 financial crisis summit in Britain in April.

Tories keep their powder dry for a 2010 election

Like Labour’s in Birmingham a fortnight ago, the overall tone of the Conservative Party Spring conference in Gateshead this weekend has been pretty low-key.

Tory strategists say they are not expecting an electionDavid Cameron until 2010 — they argue that Gordon Brown might want an 2009 contest but will be constrained by a deficit in the polls and an economy that in all likelihood will still be reeling from the global credit crunch.

George Osborne and rabbits in hats

Shadow Chancellor George Osborne talks to Tim Castle at the Conservative Spring Conference in Gateshead about the prospect for tax cuts under a future Tory government.

Click on the video below.

Interview: George Osborne on Northern Rock

Shadow Chancellor George Osborne answers criticism that the Tories offered no credible alternative for the rescue of Northern Rock in this interview with Tim Castle at the Conservative Spring Conference at Gateshead.

Click on the video below.