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  • Will Newark and the Queen’s Speech make Cameron a hero?

    Will Newark and the Queen’s Speech make Cameron a hero?

    David Cameron looks odds-on to toast victory in the crunch Newark by-election on Thursday but he’s warning his troops to take nothing for granted.

    The Prime Minister believes a runaway Conservative lead in the latest polling can’t be taken at face value.

    There are many “shy” voters who won’t say what their real intentions are.

    And that means UKIP, currently lying in second place in the polling, could storm through in a last minute surge.

    Hanging on to the seat – vacated by shamed Patrick Mercer – is crucial for Mr Cameron as he prepares for the summer and the last party conference season before next May’s General Election.

    The tsunami of support for UKIP in the local and European elections a fortnight ago is at the forefront of strategists’ minds.

    Losing at Newark to UKIP’s Roger Helmer would be a catastrophe.

    But the latest polls show Mr Cameron’s candidate Robert Jenrick is on course for victory by a significant 15% margin.

    A government reshuffle will be up next before the House retires for its annual summer holiday.

    The most senior Cabinet ministers – George Osborne, William Hague, Theresa May, Michael Gove, Philip Hammond and Iain Duncan Smith are tipped to stay in post.

    But elsewhere there’s bound to be movement with Andrew Lansley, Ken Clarke and Sir George Young all said to be clearing their desks.

    The Premier will use this week’s Queen’s Speech to remind voters he’s on the side of “hard-working people”.

    Critics will say the “zombie government” has run out of steam with few Bills in the last year of Parliament before next May’s General Election.

    The PM will be at pains to say this year is about delivering the many radical measures he’s already introduced.

    A government shouldn’t be judged on the quantity of Bills but rather on the quality of the changes it’s introducing.

    Britain’s first ever “heroism” Bill will be brought in to ensure people escape prosecution if things go wrong whilst they’re trying to do good deeds.

    Developers and energy firms will be given greater freedoms to rebuild Britain for the 21st century so it can compete in the global economic race.

    The Highways Agency will be turned into a semi private firm allowing it to compete on the commercial market.

    This will make it easier to build new roads and buildings to make Britain a more attractive place in which to invest.

    Fracking should get a boost from an infrastructure Bill which will allow energy firms to drill for shale gas on private land.

    There’ll be further clamps on terrorism and cyber security will be beefed up to reinforce Mr Cameron’s pledge to put “security” at the heart of British life.

    And serious criminals and gangmasters will face additional measures designed to ensure they can no longer stay one step ahead of the law.

    Home Secretary Theresa May will unveil a modern slavery Bill aimed at ending the horrors of people trafficking.

    But plans for an immigration Bill to introduce further restrictions have been shelved to ensure Nick Clegg’s Lib Dems are kept happy.

    Ministers privately point out that new immigration measures can be introduced without a Bill – and so I’d expect further news to be unveiled at the Tory party conference in October.

    Parents will enjoy new tax-free childcare benefits worth up to £2,000 per child.

    And the LibDems have muscled a pensions revolution into the Queen’s Speech with two Bills to shakeup the system for old folk.

    One will introduce measures spelled out in the Budget to end annuities, and another will set up Dutch-style collective pensions which do away with individual admin costs.

    Voters will get the power to sack cheating MPs if they’ve been caught red-handed breaching their own standards code under new recall reforms.

    New laws will be brought in to help pub landlords get a better deal from pub companies.

    Explore the Road to the Manifestos – our guide to the people, processes and policies that matter.

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