Election 2015: Voters' trust remains elusive

Question Time audience
Were the audience at Question Time convinced?

Rarely has such political energy been expended to such little effect. Or so it seems.

Five and a half weeks of sound bites and fury have signified little.

Pollsters and the political cognoscenti are bemused as they peruse 76 campaign polls and shake their heads over graphs that are stubbornly flat-lining.

All anyone can say is that it is too close to call. Neither major party has nailed an advantage.

The widely-judged star of the campaign - Nicola Sturgeon - was unforeseen.

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Election 2015: The Cameron dilemma

David Cameron arriving to deliver a speech at Fujitsu in Solihull
David Cameron announced a "jobs miracle" in his speech at Fujitsu

Last Friday, surrounded by Fujitsu workers in Solihull, David Cameron's voice was impassioned as if finally he had a piece of news that could not be challenged and would shake up the campaign.

"We are," he said, "the jobs factory of Europe."

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Election 2015: Fear dominating election campaign

David Cameron
David Cameron focusing on the economy

In the early 1960s, before the birth of smartphones, before the retreat from privacy, the US historian Daniel Boorstin wrote a groundbreaking book called The Image.

Boorstin was troubled by the emergence of what he called "pseudo" events, increasingly presented as news.

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Election 2015: Parties play up the tribal rhetoric

David Cameron
David Cameron at the election rally in the Wiltshire town of Chippenham

There are still tribes in British politics.

They may have weakened as voters increasingly act like consumers, happy to switch brands.

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Greek crisis deepens amid EU tensions

  • 19 February 2015
  • From the section Europe
A man walks next to graffiti depicting a clown with a euro sign popping from his eye, in Athens 19 February 2015
If there is no deal soon Greece could run out of money

After hours of fast-moving developments, a deal to settle the Greek bailout crisis hangs in the balance.

This morning Greece confirmed that it was sending a letter to the head of the Eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem. It was a formal request to extend the loan agreement by six months.

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Greek bailout talks: The Dangerous Game

  • 17 February 2015
  • From the section Europe
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras welcomes Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem (not pictured) during their meeting in Athens on 30 January 2015
Greek PM Alexis Tsipras will need greater eurozone support if he is to secure a better bailout deal

Neither Athens nor its European partners want Greece to leave the eurozone, but the risk of a miscalculation is growing.

On both sides there is suspicion and a degree of resentment.

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Greece bailout plans: Talks in a tangle

  • 12 February 2015
  • From the section Europe
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble attends an emergency Eurogroup finance ministers meeting at the European Council in Brussels on February 11, 2015.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has insisted Greece must stick to the existing terms of its bailout

Brussels is the capital of late night compromises. But this time it was different.

The post-midnight faces of three European officials and the head of the IMF looked weary.

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Greece: The dangerous game

  • 1 February 2015
  • From the section Europe
Tsipras
Greece's new prime minister has until the end of the month to reach a deal on the country's debt

European officials and governments are much more anxious about the Greek drama than they are admitting publicly. They fear a miscalculation in the weeks ahead could precipitate a full-blown crisis.

The past week has witnessed the opening tense and abrasive rounds. Nerves have been left frayed. The new radical-left Greek government said it would no longer negotiate with the troika: officials from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Union (EU) and the European Central Bank (ECB).

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Greek elections: Europe waits on voters' verdict

  • 23 January 2015
  • From the section Europe

When Greeks vote on Sunday they will not just be choosing a new government, they will be delivering a verdict on Europe and its leaders.

If the polls are accurate, Greece is on the verge of electing the first anti-austerity party in the eurozone. If that happens, Greece's future will once again be uncertain.

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Europe: Central Bank rides in

  • 21 January 2015
  • From the section Europe
Mario Draghi (file pic Dec 2014)
Mario Draghi vowed to do whatever it took to prevent countries defaulting in 2012

Once again the European Central Bank (ECB) is set to demonstrate it is the most powerful institution in Europe.

Once again the bank is set to ride to the rescue of the eurozone.

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