Web Only: the best of the blogs

The five must-read blogs from today, on poll ratings, Jonathan Ross and Cameron-graffiti

1. How does Dave compare with Maggie and Tony?

Mike Smithson at PoliticalBetting compares pre-election poll ratings for opposition leaders, and reflects on what this could mean for the coming election.

2. The government is smaller than the right admit

Think tanks such as Policy Exchange misuse one metric -- the spending/GDP ratio -- to present a false picture of how much of what we do is actually state-determined, according to Giles Wilkes at Liberal Conspiracy.

3. Jonathan Ross did the right thing in resigning -- for the BBC and for himself

Emily Bell says that while the BBC will say it is sorry to lose Jonathan Ross, it won't be.

4. EXCLUSIVE: Charles Clarke faces possibility of deselection vote

Iain Dale reveals that Charles Clarke's local Labour Party is unhappy with his campaigning against Gordon Brown, and could push for a deselection vote.

5. Yet another Cam poster . . .

That 15-foot-wide Cameron poster continues to run and run. Paul Waugh posts a photo of a defaced billboard.


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Tony Blair won't endorse the Labour leader - Jeremy Corbyn's fans are celebrating

The thrice-elected Prime Minister is no fan of the new Labour leader. 

Labour heavyweights usually support each other - at least in public. But the former Prime Minister Tony Blair couldn't bring himself to do so when asked on Sky News.

He dodged the question of whether the current Labour leader was the best person to lead the country, instead urging voters not to give Theresa May a "blank cheque". 

If this seems shocking, it's worth remembering that Corbyn refused to say whether he would pick "Trotskyism or Blairism" during the Labour leadership campaign. Corbyn was after all behind the Stop the War Coalition, which opposed Blair's decision to join the invasion of Iraq. 

For some Corbyn supporters, it seems that there couldn't be a greater boon than the thrice-elected PM witholding his endorsement in a critical general election. 

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines. 

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