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Is it there yet? Can you sense it? Have the Conservatives managed to conjure from somewhere that all-important ingredient for electoral success? I’m referring, of course, to the failsafe elixir of vote-gathering, that vital campaigning tool – the feel-good factor.

The British economy, we’re repeatedly told, is booming. We live in the fastest-growing nation in Western Europe, with the UK expanding by 2.8pc last year, the quickest pace since 2006. National income per head is now almost 5pc higher than in 2010, when the last general election was held. Launching his party’s manifesto last week, David Cameron did his best to generate a rhetorical feel-good factor. The Tories’ goal over the next five years, he exclaimed, is to “turn the good news on our economy into a good life for you and your family”.
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Gordon Brown is to stand down from the House of Commons. The Former Chancellor and Prime Minister won’t seek re-election as an MP in May 2015, we learnt last week. Some will remember Brown for his tub-thumping speeches, for his claim to have “saved the world” in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis or for selling much of the UK’s gold reserve at the bottom of the market.

Others might recall his hard-bitten fingernails or cringe-making caught-on-tape condemnation of “that bigoted women” – after a pensioner and lifelong Labour supporter quizzed him on immigration during the 2010 general election campaign.

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