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Web Only: the best of the blogs

The five must-read blogs from today, including why Hollande won last night's debate.

New Statesman

1. Brutal debate should seal victory for Francois Hollande

Despite some brutal exchanges, Sarkozy failed to produce a killer blow, says the Telegraph's Benedict Brogan.

2. Conservatives across the north are down but not necessarily out

Cameron's party has a terrible image up here, but there is surprisingly wide agreement with its policies, writes Ed Jacobs at the Guardian.

3. The contests that really matter today

The most important contests today are the mayoral referendums in 11 of Britain’s biggest cities, says James Forsyth at Coffee House.

4. Now Opinium makes it 5 pollsters out of 5 for Boris

All of the pollsters are indicating a clear win for Boris, notes Mike Smithson at Political Betting.

5. Fight! Tom Watson and Louise Mensch at daggers over Murdoch report

Political Scrapbook monitors the fallout from the select committee’s report into phone-hacking.