Election 2015 comes to Live Lounge

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood with Newsbeat's Chris Smith

Newsbeat's hosted the first in a series of big interviews with the politicians who want to be your prime minister.

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood was questioned by 11 young voters for Ask the Leaders.

She was asked whether she would fight for the interests of Wales, or the UK as a whole, if she gained power.

Ms Wood said that while her party's manifesto had "clear gains" for Wales, there were benefits "available to all communities in the UK".

She talked about raising the minimum wage, ending zero hour contracts and ending austerity.

Watch what happened on iPlayer here

Ms Wood defended her party's spending plans in light of the public debt: "If more people are in work and paying into the tax pot, then the gap is reduced.

"We want to see an increase in departmental spending by a modest 0.5% which would stimulate economic activity."

What Plaid Cymru is offering young people

The audience in the Live Lounge
Image caption The 11 young voters in the Live Lounge

She clashed with small business owner Matt Smith from Liverpool, who challenged her to name how much interest the UK pays on its debt.

He also disputed her claims about the number of people in low-paid jobs and on zero hour contracts.

But the Plaid Cymru leader said zero hours contracts were "a real issue" for many people. "They don't know how many hours they're going to be work one week to the next," she said.

How she could decide the government

The balance of power in Westminster could be held by smaller parties like Plaid Cymru if no party gets an overall majority.

Ms Wood said she won't support any coalition agreement with the Conservatives or UKIP. Instead, she wants to work with her "progressive friends" in the SNP and Greens to provide an alternative.

She went on to say she would work with a Labour government, but avoided a question about whether Ed Miliband was prime minister material, saying she had a problem with several Labour policies.

Leanne Wood

On why she isn't standing for parliament

"I'm a member of the National Assembly of Wales... that's the institution that we need to grow and focus on.

"But, that said, so many of the decisions affecting Wales are made in Westminster and so it's important that Plaid Cymru politicians are there."

She added that she was "perfectly happy" in her role in Cardiff, and had "no ambition to live in London or work as a Westminster politician".

An independent Wales?

Ms Wood thinks she'll see an independent Wales in her lifetime - but admitted there isn't evidence there's a majority of people in Wales who want to break away from the UK.

On young people leaving Wales

"It's a huge problem because it means that the people we have in Wales that we need to help build our economy are not there."

Leanne admitted there was more to be done to help young people create their own businesses, to train and up-skill themselves.

She also wants more good quality apprenticeships.

Newsbeat will be speaking to leaders of the other big political parties between now and the general election on 7 May.

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