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  1. ITV Report

ITV News correspondents on what the general election campaign holds for Britain's main political parties

Boris Johnson (top left), Jeremy Corbyn (top right), Jo Swinson (bottom left) and Nigel Farage (bottom right) will be hoping to convince the public to vote for their party. Credit: PA

ITV News Correspondents will be travelling with the four main parties on every step of the 2019 General Election campaign.

So what's each party's key message, what won't they want to talk about and how will they try to use their leader - and other secret weapons - to best effect?

  • Paul Brand on the Conservatives

Where does the party stand on Brexit?

Boris Johnson previously promised to take Britain out of the EU on October 31, with or without a deal.

Having broken that promise, the Conservatives are now campaigning to leave the EU by January 31 at the latest, with what the Prime Minister calls the "great deal" he renegotiated with the EU in October.

What are the party’s other key campaign messages/which pledges will they be promoting at every opportunity?

Away from Brexit, the Conservatives are trying to neutralise Labour's message on austerity. The party is promising:

  • 20,000 extra police officers.
  • Funding for six new hospitals, with the aim of building another 34
  • The 'levelling up' of school funding across the country, with an extra £14bn for education.
Boris Johnson previously promised to take Britain out of the EU on October 31, with or without a deal. Credit: PA

But which areas of policy will they least want to talk about?

Aside from Boris Johnson's broken Brexit promise, the Conservatives will feel uncomfortable answering Jeremy Corbyn's accusation that they stand for the 'privileged few'.

The party is expected to minimise talk of tax cuts for the better off and instead focus on policies that appeal to 'Workington Man' - older, white Brexit supporters on more modest incomes. Boris Johnson's private life is also a red flag.

How will they try to use Boris Johnson to best effect/what advice will the campaign gurus be giving him?

The Prime Minister is undoubtedly an effective campaigner, having won two mayoral elections in London against the odds.

Known for his way with words and the ability to work a crowd, the Conservative Party will want him out meeting 'real people' - something Theresa May rarely did in 2017.

But his campaign gurus are also aware of the risks associated with this style of campaigning - several visits in recent months have been disrupted by hecklers and protesters.

What’s the soundbite we’ll keep hearing him use most?

"Let's get Brexit done!"

Who are the other key party voices they’ll want to promote?

The Conservatives will be keen to deploy some of their best performers whilst also presenting a modern image.

Expect to hear a lot from true Brexit believers Michael Gove, Priti Patel and Dominic Raab, plus Sajid Javid and Matt Hancock.

Michael Gove (left) and Matt Hancock (right) are two Tory MPs likely to feature prominently in the general election campaign. Credit: PA

Who are the party's secret weapons/rising stars who could emerge in the campaign?

The Conservatives need to win over younger voters, worried about issues like climate change.

Boris Johnson's girlfriend Carrie Symonds is an environmental campaigner who has helped shift his stance on green issues - she may be deployed to help modernise his image.

  • Romilly Weeks on Labour

Where does the party stand on Brexit?

Hmm, it's complicated.

After being accused of trying to be all things to all people on Brexit for the past three years, Labour will go into this election with a strategy that promises a second referendum but doesn’t say which side the party would support.

What are the party’s other key campaign messages/which pledges will they be promoting at every opportunity?

The NHS is the ground they feel safest on.

They clearly think the idea that the NHS could be up for grabs in any future US trade deal plays well for them and, of course, attacking the Tories over nine years of austerity.

Jeremy Corbyn is at his most comfortable when out campaigning. Credit: PA

But which areas of policy will they least want to talk about?

Labour is traditionally on shakier territory when it comes to crime.

More widely there is a values issue that is problematic for Jeremy Corbyn.

His past support for Hamas and the IRA and prevarication over Russian involvement in the Skripal poisonings gifts the Tories easy attack lines.

He’s also got to try to steer the conversation away from the party’s problem with anti-Semitism, which he has failed to deal with.

John McDonnell and Emily Thornberry are likely to feature heavily in Labour's general election strategy. Credit: PA

How will they try to use Jeremy Corbyn to best effect/what advice will the campaign gurus be giving him?

He’s a seasoned campaigner at his best when talking to a crowd which shares his values.

Those mass rallies really gave his campaign energy and momentum last time. I’m sure that’s a tactic they will want to repeat.

But he’s also a leader whose personal approval ratings are through the floor.

Look out for all the Labour MPs who try to mount local campaigns without mentioning his name.

What’s the soundbite we’ll keep hearing him use most?

"For the many not the few". Yes, they are rolling out that well-used old slogan again.

It almost worked last time. Will it almost work again?

Who are the other key party voices they’ll want to promote?

John McDonnell is never far from a microphone.

Emily Thornberry is an impressive performer and Labour have a number of effective younger female members of the shadow cabinet like Rebecca Long-Bailey and Angela Rayner who they will want to air.

  • Rachel Younger on the Liberal Democrats

Where does the party stand on Brexit?

The Liberal Democrat line on Brexit has been as consistent as it is simple: if you want to stop Brexit, vote Lib Dem.

They promise to cancel Brexit altogether if they get a majority and to keep campaigning for a second referendum if they don’t.

What are the party’s other key campaign messages/which pledges will they be promoting at every opportunity?

When it comes to policy it’s hard to get past the relentless focus on stopping Brexit, stopping Brexit and yes, more stopping Brexit.

But expect strong support for the NHS and a commitment to confront the climate emergency.

Jo Swinson is pitching herself as a prime ministerial candidate. Credit: PA

Which areas of policy will they least want to talk about?

Nick Clegg may have swapped the Commons for California, but there are still former supporters out there who can’t forgive the Lib Dems for going back on their promise to scrap tuition fees for students.

Nine years on, it remains a touchy subject.

How will they try to use Jo Swinson to best effect/what advice will the campaign gurus be giving her?

The Lib Dem campaign will be ALL about Jo Swinson and won’t lack ambition - "Britain’s next Prime Minister" reads the party’s campaign leaflet.

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn will try to sell themselves as candidates for change, but Swinson actually looks like one.

Still in her thirties and a relatively new face, she’s also a working mum.

Her advisors will hope that standing next to her the divisive Johnson and Corbyn might just look a bit “male and stale”.

A number of Conservative and Labour MPs have joined the Liberal Democrats. Credit: PA

Who are the other key party voices or secret weapons?

Remember this is a party that’s witnessed remarkable growth lately not just in the number of people voting for it, but also in the numbers of MPs.

Over the past few months they’ve swollen their ranks beyond 20.

Among the defectors have been former ministers and some pretty high profile figures from both Labour and the Tories.

So expect the party to try to capitalise on more well known names like Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Sarah Wollaston and Sam Gyimah.

Not least because they serve as a reminder to voters that Brexit has shattered traditional party loyalties.

Angus Walker on the Brexit Party

Where does the party stand on Brexit?

The party’s position on Brexit has changed, temporarily it seems.

Nigel Farage is offering Boris Johnson the chance to join a ‘Leave Alliance’ and in exchange the Brexit Party will not stand against Conservatives in many seats.

In order to qualify for this time limited offer, the Prime Minister has to drop his negotiated EU Withdrawal Deal.

The Brexit Party regards the current negotiated Withdrawal Agreement as a recycled version of Theresa May's "surrender treaty".

Nigel Farage says he’s making a “reasonable” offer and he is prepared to “compromise” by working with Boris Johnson to negotiate a new Free Trade Deal with the EU.

They would work on this until July 2020 and then walk away if negotiations failed. If Boris Johnson isn’t interested in the offer, (and he doesn’t seem to be) he has until November the 14th when nominations for candidates close.

With no pact in place, the Brexit Party will field candidates in “every seat in England, Wales and Scotland", according to what Nigel Farage said at his campaign launch.

We now know he won’t be standing himself.

If the offer isn’t accepted the Brexit Party will revert back to its previous Brexit policy: a ‘Clean Break Brexit', in other words, leaving without a negotiated Withdrawal Agreement.

What are the party’s other key campaign messages/which pledges will they be promoting at every opportunity?

Not paying the EU 'divorce bill', cutting Overseas Aid and scrapping HS2 to raise £200bn for public services. Scrapping high street business rates. Reform of the voting system. As a smaller party, they back Proportional Representation (PR). The party has done well in European Elections which uses a version of PR.

What else? A written constitution. Free Broadband. UK-only fishing rights.

Nigel Farage has called for a 'Leave Alliance' between the Brexit Party and the Conservatives. Credit: PA

But which areas of policy will they least want to talk about?

The cost of a No Deal Brexit. Many voters will have seen the Government's own Operation Yellowhammer documents, which raise fears of shortages, higher prices and economic damage.

Funding and Nigel Farage's links to Arron Banks, whose business dealings have been the subject of media scrutiny. Overall, the weak point will be perceived as the party's low chances of winning a majority.

They're a small party without an existing footprint in every constituency and so it's almost, if not completely, impossible to win the number of seats required for power which would see Nigel Farage in Downing Street.

The varied views of their members which can range from opposition to same-sex marriage to strong anti-immigration rhetoric.

How will they try to use Nigel Farage to best effect/what advice will the campaign gurus be giving him?

He's their box office star and always attracts a crowd. They'll want him at every event. His radio show has also had President Trump as a guest and he often mentions his close relationship with the White House.

He's a politician who's failed numerous times to be elected as an MP but who has arguably had a massive impact on UK politics in the last decade.

The advice will be to go after Labour leave voters and pro-Brexit voters by attacking the two main parties accusing them of dither and delay over Brexit.

He'll also take every opportunity to remind voters of the party's success at the European Elections in May when they won 29 seats with more votes than the Tories and Labour combined.

Former Tory minister Ann Widdecombe is a Brexit Party MEP. Credit: PA

What’s the soundbite we’ll keep hearing him use most?

"Drop the Deal" and "Change Politics for Good."

Who are the other key party voices they’ll want to promote?

They have some well known MEPs, for example Ann Widdecombe, a former Tory Home Office minister, has also had a career in reality TV. She appeared at their campaign launch.

They also have Annunziata Rees-Mogg, Tory Cabinet Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg's sister, who defected to the party from the Tories. She once said she joined the Conservative Party at the age of five.

Richard Tice is the party chairman, a businessman and former Tory, who is often on stage at events to introduce Nigel Farage and is seen as a serious, level-headed figure who lends more credibility to the party.

Who are the party's secret weapons/rising stars who could emerge in the campaign?

The Brexit Party will be seen by some as a one-man band with Nigel Farage as the only face of the campaign but they will try to get some of their better known MEPs out and about.

Media interest is likely to remain focused on Nigel Farage though. The problem for anyone trying to break through from within the ranks is that he tends to dominate media coverage of the party.

  • Calling Peston: The ITV News Election Podcast

In a new daily podcast, Calling Peston will bring you up to speed with everything you need to know about the 2019 General Election, with a new episode released every weekday afternoon at 5pm.

ITV News Political Reporters Daniel Hewitt and Shehab Khan will chat through the day's developments - and call Political Editor Robert Peston to get his take on it all.

We'll also take you behind the scenes of life reporting on the election campaign trail, hearing from our reporters on the road across the country.

Our first episode will be out on Wednesday November 6 - listen below for a taste of what to expect.

Download Calling Peston from wherever you get your podcasts.

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