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The five must-read posts from today, on the election outcome, regulation and Conservative loyalty.

1. Is a narrow Tory victory the worst possible result?

Over at Liberal Conspiracy, Stephen Tall argues that a small Tory victory would be the worst possible election result. A narrow majority would leave David Cameron beholden to a handful of Ulster Unionists and right-wing backbenchers.

2. Mutual suspicion

Labour ministers must not use mutuals as an excuse to pass the buck on tough spending decisions, says Luke Akehurst.

3. What'll this do to the final week of the campaign?

Mike Smithson of PoliticalBetting wonders whether today's headlines might add to the "hung parliament paradox" -- the more likely it seems, the less likely it is to happen.

4. Deregulation won't solve the jobs crisis

At Left Foot Forward, Nicola Smith challenges the neoliberal myth that regulation impedes economic growth.

5. Loyalty to what? The rise of Comrade Cam-il-Sung, the modernising centraliser

Peter Hitchens responds to criticism from Tim Montgomerie of ConservativeHome, who recently blasted Hitchens and other conservative commentators for being insufficiently loyal to David Cameron.

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