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Page last updated at 17:31 GMT, Friday, 10 February 2006

Friday, 10 February, 2006


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From Kirsty Wark:

How could Labour have lost Dunfermline and West Fife, on Gordon Brown's doorstep?

The Chancellor launched Labour's by-election campaign, and planned it. Was it also he who blew it?

The Liberal Democrats overturned an 11,500 majority - and in the midst of their own leadership upheaval and scandals.

When Tony Blair addressed Labour's Spring conference this afternoon in Blackpool, astonishingly he never mentioned the defeat. Perhaps he didn't want to intrude on Gordon Brown's private grief.

Or perhaps because it wasn't, as government ministers are trying to contend, an election lost simply because of local issues such as tolls on the Forth Road bridge, but also about Iraq, anti terrorism legislation and ID cards.

Our crack political team is on the case. Michael Crick has been in the constituency and David Grossman is in Blackpool.

And we are reconvening our panel of political big thinkers to argue it out, suggest the best date for Tony Blair's departure, and size up his successor: Danny Finkelstein, Olly Grender and Peter Hyman will be in the studio.


Also tonight, a new development on Newsnight. We are making the first of what will be regular visits to one small area of the country to take the pulse of the people there about big cultural and political issues, major events and upsets.

In the course of the next year we'll get to know the residents of the street in Eastwood Village in Rotherham - their passions and their worries.

And what better issue to begin with than the international furore over the cartoons?


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