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Daily View: The election campaign starts

Clare Spencer | 09:45 UK time, Monday, 4 January 2010

Gordon BrownThe general election must be held by June and the two largest parties have stepped up their campaign efforts this weekend.

The Telegraph leader column says Gordon Brown's interview on The Andrew Marr Show marks the beginning of the a five-month general election campaign:

"From Labour we have had the ugly rumblings of class war, though the Prime Minister was at pains yesterday to insist that his jibe that Tory policies were dreamt up on the playing fields of Eton was simply a 'joke'. For a man not renowned for his wisecracks, perhaps we should treat that disavowal with suspicion."

In the Spectator James Forsyth thinks Gordon Brown is getting stuck into party politics:

"Brown has no interest in trying to portray himself as some above politics figure, Cameron was trying to do this in both his New Year message and his speech on Saturday. Brown is instead going to be a unashamed partisan. Note how when Marr tried to stop him talking about the Tories, Brown replied, 'Well they made the wrong judgement on everything.'"

Jackie Ashley in the Guardian says Gordon Brown showed new support for the Liberal Democrats in his interview. She predicts that support from both Labour and the Conservatives will define this election campaign:

"Gordon Brown let more than a little ankle show when asked yesterday about his attitude to the Liberal Democrats. Once, he would have contemptuously squashed them. When he and Tony Blair were sitting on New Labour's first landslide victory, nobody was more hostile to a deal with Paddy Ashdown than Brown. He may have had private friendships with the odd Scottish Liberal over the years, but he has always been thoroughly disdainful.
Now, it seems, he finds all sorts of common interests, from the reform of the voting system to the environment, from "fairness" to public services."

Joey Jones from the Sky News political team is underwhelmed by Gordon Brown's interview, which he said knitted together familiar soundbites:

"Taking the Cameron speech and Brown interview together, I think enthusiasm for this phoney campaign may wane quickly. In their heart of hearts, all of them know the likely five months ahead represent a marathon, not a sprint."

Mike Smithson from the Political Betting blog is supportive of Gordon Brown's performance:

"A lot of work has gone on to get him to this stage. He was much more fluid than usual and had some well-thought out sound-bites and arguments. He looked and sounded fairly confident."

Tim Shipman in the Daily Mail expresses dissatisfaction at Gordon Brown's responses to public spending questions:

"Mr Brown repeatedly refused to countenance spending cuts to plug the soaring deficit - due to hit £1.5trillion."

Links in full

TelegraphTelegraph | A long general election campaign
MailTim Shipman | Daily Mail | Tories turn fire on 'dishonest' Brown as May vote looms
IndependentBruce Anderson | Independent | In a body-language election there's one winner
IndependentNigel Morris | Independent | PM paves way for deal with Lib Dems in hung parliament
SpectatorJames Forsyth | Spectator | New Year, same old Brown
GuardianJackie Ashley | Guardian | Labour and the Tories want the same thing: Nick Clegg
GuardianJoey Jones | Sky News | Undercooked Brown
see alsoMike Smithson | Political Betting | How did we rate Brown's Marr performance?
MailTim Shipman | Daily Mail | Tories turn fire on 'dishonest' Brown as May vote looms

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