I wonder what deal Murdoch got out of it?
I don't know about you, but the campaign (such that it is through the heavy fog of indifference it's blanketed in) palpably turned right then and there. With widespread reports of ministers 'bricking it' [sic] about the core Labour vote dropping away due to disillusionment & over-focusing on the Daily Mail set, and the Tories making the campaign 95% about race, for a moment it looked like Howard was in with a chance. Now the Sun will get the proverbial unwashed hordes out to vote Labour, it seems all over bar the "I've been given the vote of confidence over Iraq I needed to press on with my agenda" speech.
Some interesting analysis on, as the Americans say, that "hotbed of hijab-wearing Leninism", BBC News, with a political correspondent revealing that Murdoch was "unhappy" with Howard's immigration stance. (Odd considering the Tories are just feeding off the paper's Foreigner Frenzy, but Murdoch is in it to make money - he'll sell papers by whipping up hatred but doesn't want to go through with any of it due to the skills shortage and the need for cheap labour.)
Also on this morning, was that whilst no-one's sure if the media influences public opinion or just follows it, politicians believe it does, with anecdotes about Blunkett etc. concerns over formulating policy, not on the country's needs or the wishes of the electorate, but on how "Murdoch will react to it". Best soundbite of the whole facade so far: "Some campaigners have been persuading reluctant would-be Labour voters with 'Vote Blair, get Brown'- but perhaps a more apt phrase would be 'Vote Blair, get Murdoch'!".