James Forsyth

The parties tussle for media attention

The parties tussle for media attention
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Westminster today is dominated by the sound of helicopters hovering over head, waiting for Brown to set off from Downing Street to the Palace.

This morning is the last time that Brown will have the full political advantage of his office, the ability to set the news agenda. The Tories are attempting to step on this by scheduling their campaign launch for bang in the middle of the time when Brown is expected to be at the Palace requesting a dissolution of parliament. I suspect that we are in for a game of media chicken with Brown trying to rush back to Downing Street and announce that the election is called so that the broadcasters cut away from the Cameron event.

One surprise today is that Labour put up Lord Kinnock for the 8.10 slot on the Today Programme. I would have expected them to send out one of their heavy hitters, especially as emphasising the government’s supposed strength in depth is going to be one of their campaign themes.