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Extraordinary items – Blair goes on solo trek to the polls.

In one respect, at least, Tories and Labour are running neck and neck ?in this election – and it’s all to do with their manifestos. No, it’s not ?the competition to outdo each other on tax cuts, nor the promise of ?economic stability. It’s in the photographs.

Both the reds and the blues have published manifestos that are 48 pages ?long. Both of them have exactly 41 photographs. And both of them have ?seven photographs of their respective party leaders (although in one of ?the Tory shots, Hague is walking hand-in-hand with Ffion: does that count ?for double?).

One thing differentiates the three parties, though. Labour’s manifesto has ?no photographs of any other Labour politician (though it does have David ?Trimble, Seamus Mallon and Nelson Mandela). The Tories dare to grace their ?pages with Portillo, Lilley and Widdecombe, while the Lib Dems have 14 of ?their front-bench spokesmen pictured. What does that tell you about their ?leadership style?

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