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Live Reporting

Tim Fenton, Andy McFarlane, Bernadette McCague and Tom Moseley

All times stated are UK

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  1. Thursday's round-up

    That brings us to the end of another busy day dominated by a leaders' debate:

    • The UKIP, SNP, Green Party, Plaid Cymru and Labour leaders debated live in front of a representative audience
    • Clashes between Nicola Sturgeon and Ed Miliband were the most significant moments, according to BBC Political Editor, Nick Robinson .
    • The SNP leader urged her Labour counterpart to be more radical, while Mr Miliband challenged David Cameron to debate him one-to-one
    • Daily Express owner Richard Desmond announced a £1m donation to UKIP , saying it was a party for "good, ordinary British people".
    • Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg warned of the prospect of a "hard-line right-wing" government under a coalition between the Conservatives, UKIP and the DUP
    • The Conservatives launched their Scottish manifesto warning of a "coalition of chaos" involving Labour and the SNP
    • And an ex-head of the NHS said politicians of all parties were ignoring a "substantial financial problem" in the health service
  2. 'Lively debate'

    SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has used Twitter to post a backstage video thanking supporters. In it, she said: "I really enjoyed it, I thought it was a lively debate and I'm really, really grateful for all the messages of support." Scotland's First Minister also used the video to reiterate her party's opposition to the Conservatives and said a vote for the SNP will make Scotland's voice heard "more loudly than ever before".

  3. Andrew Neil

    @afneil

    tweets: There's not been enough politics on BBC1 tonight so I'm sure your're looking forward to more on This Week in a few mins .... Noooooooo!!!!!!

  4. Friday's Guardian

    Guardian front page, 17/4/15
  5. HIV questions for Carswell

    On Question Time, Piers Morgan asks UKIP's Douglas Caswell whether he was ashamed of Nigel Farage's comments on the cost of treating foreigners with HIV - given that Mr Carswell's father was an eminent researcher into the condition. Mr Carswell says it is "entirely legitimate and right" the that NHS is not "the international health service" and highlights the progress made in treating HIV. Pressed on Mr Farage's choice of example, he says: "You need to talk to Nigel".

  6. Coming up on This Week

    And there's yet more debate reaction coming up live at 11.45pm when Andrew Neil brings on Alan Johnson, Michael Portillo, Miranda Green and Diane James for This Week on BBC1.

    This Week panel in BBC newsroom

    There'll be time for other subjects as financial expert Louise Cooper gives her take on right-to-buy plans, and Chris Tarrant will be talking about personal and political windfalls. Readers on the desktop site can watch the programme on the Live Coverage tab above.

  7. Spending pledges

    Can parties' spending pledges be trusted with a hung Parliament expected, the Question Time panel is asked. The SNP's Angus Robertson offers a "straight answer" - he would not renew the Trident nuclear missile system. Piers Morgan says this is "crackers" and claims Ed Miliband had said earlier that he would not "press the button". Morgan asks: "What kind of deterrent is that?"

    Question Time
  8. Friday's Mirror

    Daily Mirror front page, 17/4/15
  9. Friday's Telegraph

    Daily Telegraph front page, 17/4/15
  10. Question Time

    The debate is still raging on Question Time, which is on BBC 1 and can also be seen on the live coverage tab above. Here's a reminder of the panel:

    Question Time panellists
  11. Friday's Times

    The Times front page, 17/4/15
  12. More on that poll 'victory'

    Some more from that Survation poll: Respondents might have judged Ed Miliband to have won, but 35% thought Nicola Sturgeon performed best, compared with 29% for the Labour leader.

    Nigel Farage was judged the "worst" performer but came joint-top with Mr Miliband when people were asked who had the most convincing arguments, and his answers were rated highly on many topics. Leanne Wood and Natalie Bennett struggled to make an impression in many of the categories.

  13. More from the audience

    A Conservative voter from the audience says it was disappointing that David Cameron wasn't taking part. "Ed Miliband needed someone to debate with properly," she tells the BBC News Channel.

  14. What the audience thought

    The BBC's Ben Brown has been gauging reaction from some of those who were in the live audience. One UKIP voter tells him that Nigel Farage's jibe about the "left-wing" audience was "a stupid, stupid comment". He describes Mr Farage's performance as "fairly weak" and says he's "come out a little bit undecided" about how to vote next month.

    The man adds that it was a "poor show" from Leanne Wood and Natalie Bennett to choose not to shake hands with the UKIP leader at the end, and he uses the same term about the UKIP leader's decision not to talk to the audience. However, another audience member says Mr Farage had a fair point about audience bias. "It was a minority who were clapping," she points out.

  15. Lord Ashcroft, former Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party

    @LordAshcroft

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Survation BBC debate poll: Miliband 35% Sturgeon 31% Farage 27% Bennett 5% Wood 2%
  16. Poll give victory to Miliband

    Labour's Ed Miliband "won" the final TV debate by four percentage points, according to a Survation poll for the Daily Mirror.

  17. Robin Brant, Political Correspondent BBC

    @robindbrant

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Noticed ed did go on to shake @Nigel_Farage hand and lightly pat him on the back #ge2015
  18. Have your say

    Email: politics@bbc.co.uk

    Peter Fautley:

  19. Get involved

    Email: politics@bbc.co.ik

    I can understand Toby Young's comment. The Conservatives have made a cynical decision not to take part so they do not have to defend their record on equal terms. Clearly David Cameron does not fancy facing Ed Milliband as he would then be seen as inferior. Cameron correctly calculated that the minor parties would expend their efforts in criticising Milliband because he was there and had to answer rather than challenging the Conservative record and the limitations of Cameron's character

  20. Social media buzz

    More stats from Twitter: Ed Miliband's challenge to David Cameron to "debate him one-on-one" inspired 8,652 tweets per minute, making it the biggest single talking point of the night.

  21. Progressive alliance?

    Here's evidence of that group hug between the women who took part that's been mentioned on Twitter.

    Leanne Wood, Natalie Bennett and Nicola Sturgeon take part in a group hug, as Ed Miliband and Nigel Farage stand apart
  22. Jamie Ross, @BuzzFeedUK politics reporter

    @JamieRoss7

    tweets:

    Quote Message: An audience member tells me Sturgeon, Bennett, and Wood had a group hug at the end of the debate. #bbcdebate
  23. Add to the debate

    Text: 61124

    BBC Politics Live viewer:

    SMS Message: If Hague and Alexander wanted their parties to be able to address issues from tonight's debate, their leaders should have been on the podium. Instead they were given a platform by the BBC with no right of reply from the other parties.
  24. Debate: analysis

    Nick Robinson, BBC political editor

    The BBC's political editor, Nick Robinson sums up the debate as "The Ed v Nicola show".

    Of Mr Miliband, he says: "This may allow the Labour leader to be seen as more moderate than his left-wing rivals."

    But he adds: "[SNP leader] Nicola Sturgeon showed once again what a formidable debater she is."

    Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon during the debate
    Quote Message: This was a debate unlike any we've ever seen. I can't believe there will ever be another like it."
  25. NHS finance ignites division

    One of the most heated exchanges during the debate was sparked by NHS finance. Check out our clip.

  26. Borrowing: current forecast

    There was much talk about the public finances during the debate. This graph shows net public sector borrowing since 1997/98.

    Graphic on psb
  27. Jamie Ross, @BuzzFeedUK politics reporter

    @JamieRoss7

    falsetweets:

    Quote Message: I've spoken to six or seven audience members, each of whom have either named Sturgeon as outright or joint winner. #bbcdebate
  28. Twitter analysis

    The Press Association has been analysing the number of tweets about each party leader during the debate. It says Nigel Farage was the most talked-about leader for almost all of the programme, with his mentions rocketing when he decided to attack both the audience in the hall and the BBC.

  29. Reality Check

    Immigration numbers

    Conservative William Hague says the Coalition has reduced immigration from outside the EU to the lowest levels since the 1990s. According to the Office for National Statistics, 248,000 non-EU citizens came to the UK in 2013. The last time immigration was below this level was in 1998.This doesn’t take account of the number of non-EU migrants who, having come to the UK, then leave. Net migration from outside the EU (the difference between the number of people arriving and the number leaving), was 143,000 in 2013. The last time net migration was below that was in 1999, when it was 179,000.

  30. Ed Miliband, Leader of the Labour Party

    @Ed_Miliband

    tweets:

    Quote Message: @David_Cameron I believe my plan can give this country a better future than yours. Disagree? Prove it - debate me & let the people decide.
  31. 'No plan to end austerity'

    The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, which is fielding more than 130 candidates across Scotland, England and Wales, claims none of the leaders who took part in the debate had spelled out how they would end austerity.

    Chairman Dave Nellist says: "The majority of participants in tonight’s debate declared their opposition to the brutal austerity carried out by the current government. None, however, have policies which would end austerity."

    Quote Message: Ed Miliband was crystal clear, his party would continue to cut public spending and prioritise eliminating the deficit. Hundreds of millions more would be cut from local authorities that have already been slashed to the bone. At best this is austerity-lite, in reality more like austerity-nearly as heavy."

    Farage, once again, showed his party acts in the interests of the stockbrokers when he called for even more cuts. In contrast the three women in the debate all tried to claim the anti-austerity mantle. They did so because it is popular. In reality, however, all three have carried out significant public spending cuts when they have been in power at both local authority and Scottish and Welsh levels."

  32. Reality Check

    Council houses

    Former Conservative leader William Hague has told the BBC's debate analysis programme that more council houses were built in the last five years than during the previous 13 years of Labour government.

    He is right. DCLG statistics show that 9,230 council homes were built in the UK from 2010-11 to 2013-14, compared with 6,400 from 1997-98 to 2009-10.

  33. 'Rabble'

    Danny Alexander, of the Lib Dems says a "centre-ground voter" would have been "alarmed" at watching the debate. A "responsible, strong and balanced" coalition needs the Lib Dems, he says. "Listening to that rabble tonight people will be very worried about the future of their country," he adds.

  34. Sarah Sands, Editor London Evening Standard

    @sandsstandard

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Not sure Farage promise to protect the 'little woman' works especially after getting whacked by Sturgeon.
  35. 'Rugby scrum'

    The BBC's John Pienaar describes the spin room atmosphere as "somewhere between a rugby scrum, and the first day of the boxing day sales". Labour's Douglas Alexander trots out the line that David Cameron had decided "not to turn up for a job interview with the British people".

  36. Laura Kuenssberg,

    @bbclaurak

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Liz Truss tells me another debate btw Cameron and Miliband won't happen
  37. Reality Check

    Foreign-born doctors

    Let's catch up on a couple of claims made during the debate. Green Party leader Natalie Bennett said that one in four doctors was foreign-born.

    TheHealth and Social Care Information Centrehas collected statistics on the nationalities represented in the NHS workforce. Its data (from 2013) does indeed show that 25% of doctors who declared their nationality said they were not British.

  38. Conservative reaction

    The BBC News Channel's reaction programme is under way, with William Hague among the representatives of the Conservatives. He tells Emily Maitlis: "What we saw then was that any combination would be a coalition of chaos."

    Spin room
  39. Tom Newton Dunn, Political Editor of The Sun

    @tnewtondunn

    tweets:

    Quote Message: The Sun Twitter Worm verdict on #BBCDebate: the women won it - 1. Sturgeon 2. Bennett 3. Wood 4. Miliband, 5. Farage http://www.sunnation.co.uk/election-debate-challenger/ …
  40. Toby Young, columnist

    @toadmeister

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Just filed my verdict for @Telegraph – a win for Cameron #BBCDebate
  41. James Forsyth, The Spectator

    @JGForsyth

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Miliband offers Farage a pat on the back at the end of the debate as leaders walk off the stage together to shake hands with the audience
  42. All eyes on the spin room

    Representatives of all the parties will be doing their best to put a positive spin on their leader's performance.

    Spin room
  43. Carole Malone, Columnist, Sunday Mirror

    @thecarolemalone

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Ed challenging Cameron to a one on one debate. Not sure the way he narrowed his eyes and tried to look hard will swing it #BBCDebate
  44. Full policy round-up

    For more detail on where all the parties stand on key issues, see our policy guide.

    Graphic
  45. Debate ends

    Nigel Farage criticises "career politicians" and says life would be "so much better if we governed ourselves" and gave "ordinary workers a chance". This brings the show to a close, but there's plenty more coming up - including reaction from the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.

    Nigel Farage
  46. NHS pledges

    Ed Miliband promises more doctors and nurses then turns his attention to David Cameron, challenging the PM to a one on one debate.

    Ed Miliband
  47. 'Be bold'

    "We don't have to take any more of this," says Natalie Bennett, criticising the two main parties' approach to austerity. She also criticises the Liberal Democrats - a rare mention for Nick Clegg's party this evening - and adds: "It's time to be bold - vote Green."

    Natalie Bennett
  48. Craig Woodhouse, The Sun political correspondent

    @craigawoodhouse

    tweets:

    Quote Message: The most important message from #BBCDebate - you only have 4 days left to register to vote or your voice can't be heard.
  49. 'Change course'

    Leanne Wood

    Leanne Wood says voters can "change course" at this election, saying Plaid Cymru has a "way to rebalance power and wealth".

  50. Closing statements

    Nicola Sturgeon

    That's the debate section over, as David Dimbleby reminds viewers how to register to vote. Closing statements time. Nicola Sturgeon says Labour alone will "not be bold enough" to "deliver progressive change" and that SNP MPs are needed to "deliver real change".

  51. Carole Malone, Columnist, Sunday Mirror

    @thecarolemalone

    tweets:

    Quote Message: These debates doing for Sturgeon what they did for Clegg last time round #bbcddebate
  52. Reality Check

    Private landlords

    Earlier, Natalie Bennett said that private landlords had made 1,400% profit since 1996, far more than investing in other areas. This figure comes from a report produced by Wriglesworth Consultancy, which was sponsored by buy-to-let lender Landbay.

  53. Gaby Hinsliff, columnist

    @gabyhinsliff

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Slightly hoping Cameron and Clegg will any minute burst out of a giant cake shouting 'SURPRISE!' #bbcdebate
  54. Debate: the broad view

    Westminster Central Hall
  55. Labour and SNP

    Ed Miliband is asked whether he would work with Nicola Sturgeon. He addresses her directly, saying he has "fundamental disagreements" with her over her support for independence. "It's a 'no', I'm afraid," he adds. Independence was a question last year, says Ms Sturgeon. This election is about "seizing an alternative to austerity". She says she can "help Labour be bolder", and asks whether Mr Miliband would really prefer David Cameron as prime minister than to work with the SNP. "The difference is I have fought Tories all my life," he says.

  56. Working together?

    Douglas Fraser, BBC Scotland Business and Economy Editor

    Asked about deals after the election, Nicola Sturgeon says she wants to work with Ed Miliband to do something different, better and more progressive than David Cameron’s government. Our explainer describes what she means by ‘a progressive alliance’.

  57. Tense moments

    Nicola Sturgeon and Nigel Farage gesticulate
  58. Reality Check

    School places

    Nigel Farage says we need to find a quarter of a million primary school places by 2020. Education is a devolved issue. According to government figures, there were 3.76 million primary school pupils in England in 2014, and it’s predicted there will be 4.05 million pupils in 2020. That’s an increase of 284,000.

  59. Plaid and Greens

    Leanne Wood says she too will not "prop up a Tory government". Nor would the Greens, says Natalie Bennett, who says climate change has not been mentioned so far.

  60. George Eaton, Political Editor, New Statesman

    @georgeeaton

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Grandiose for Natalie Bennett to talk about propping up anyone when the Greens will likely have one MP. #BBCDebate
  61. Reality Check

    Migration effects

    Nicola Sturgeon says EU migrants contribute more than they take. Recent studies suggest EU immigrants have made a positive net contribution to the UK’s public finances.

    In 2013, a report called The Fiscal Effects of Immigration to the UK said immigrants from 10 countries that joined the EU in 2004 added £4.96bn more in the years to 2011 than they took out in public services.

    The report was heavily contested by Migration Watch UK, which said there was "no positive impact at all" because the authors did not take into account differences in earnings and that there was no evidence to suggest self-employed migrants contributed more than those employed.

    The Office for Budget Responsibility looked at the long-term fiscal impact of immigration and concluded that higher net migration would reduce government debt over a 50-year period because incoming migrants are more likely to be of working age.

    However, the government’s Migration Advisory Committee has noted that while migrants from the EU have made a net contribution to the UK public finances, the concentration of low-skilled migrants had placed significant pressure on the NHS, education, and housing in some areas.

  62. Coalition combinations

    It all gets a bit shouty as the subject shifts to the NHS, and David Dimbleby reminds the leaders it is not the subject being asked about. The final question is all about possible coalition deals. Don't say you're aiming for a majority Labour government, the host tells Ed Miliband - who says he is indeed aiming for a majority. Nigel Farage says he would work to secure an EU referendum. Nicola Sturgeon says she will work with Labour, Plaid and the Greens to "get rid of the Tories".

  63. Allegra Stratton, political editor, BBC Newsnight

    @BBCAllegra

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Natalie Bennett absolutely going at Ed Miliband on NHS, Miliband then has a go at Farage. Like a game of football. #BBCDebate
  64. Nigel Farage and the debate audience

    In case you missed the moment Nigel Farage challenged the audience, you can watch it back .

  65. Reuters UK Politics

    @ReutersLobby

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Some inaudible heckling from the audience as Miliband talks about the NHS #BBCDebate
  66. Rob Earl

    @RobEarl

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Miliband paying the same game Cameron did in the last debate - stand back, let the rest squabble then have a poke every so often #bbcdebate
  67. Lord Ashcroft, former Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party

    @LordAshcroft

    tweets:

    Quote Message: The gamble by @Ed_Miliband of appearing in this debate without @David_Cameron is on balance paying off....
  68. Emigrants and immigrants

    We're a nation of emigrants as well as immigrants, Nicola Sturgeon says. "We shouldn't be ideological about this, we should be pragmatic," she adds. Responding to the suggestion that the NHS would "collapse" without immigrants, Nigel Farage says: "The fact that there are some very good foreign doctors and nurses in this country is not the point." He raises the issue of so-called "health tourism" and reiterates his comments on foreign HIV patients.

  69. Reality Check

    Defence spending

    A little while ago, Nigel Farage said it wasn't much to ask to devote 2% of our total spend to defence. He is confusing government spending with the total output of the economy (GDP).

    UK spending on defence is currently just over 2% of GDP as discussed in this Reality Check.

    Leanne Wood, on the other hand, was saying that the government was spending 6% of its budget on defence. It's actually closer to 5%.

    Defence spending in 2013-14 was £36.4bn, which was 5.1% of total managed expenditure.

  70. Bennett turns on UKIP

    Natalie Bennett

    Green Party leader Natalie Bennett accuses Nigel Farage of wanting to "demonise immigrants".

  71. Immigration

    Long-term trend

    Graphic showing long-term net UK migration
  72. Harry Cole, The Spectatator

    @MrHarryCole

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Once again falls to Leanne to have a proper crack at Nigel. Ed screwed this up last time
  73. Pic: opposing views

    Ed Miliband challenges Nigel Farage
  74. Exploited

    People's concerns are not based on prejudice, they are real, says Ed Miliband. He says migrant labour is being exploited to drive down wages. Nigel Farage says the UK should "take back control of our borders" by quitting the EU. Leanne Wood refers to the UKIP leader's comment in the last debate about the cost of treating foreign HIV patients. The minimum wage should be raised and trade unions should be strengthened, she adds.

  75. Ashley Cowburn, Political Reporter at the Observer

    @ashcowburn

    tweets:

    Quote Message: By far the strongest performance Natalie Bennett has ever given. #BBCDebate
  76. Immigration

    What will the parties do about immigration, which is putting public services at risk, asks the next questioner. Natalie Bennett says she strongly disagrees with the premise of the question. She is an immigrant, she says, adding that migrants' contributions should be "celebrated". Nicola Sturgeon says the debate about immigration at Westminster is "driven too much by UKIP".

  77. Andrew Neil, BBC presenter

    @afneil

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Bennett says Greens now support current levels of defence spending. Very different from what she told me a month ago.
  78. Catch the worm

    You can also see the worm by clicking the “Live coverage” tab at the top of this page, and selecting the “Live reaction” video.

  79. Post update

    Leanne Wood agrees with the Green and SNP leaders that Trident should not be renewed. She says more should be done for veterans when they leave the forces. The 2% target is an "arbitrary sum", she says. But Nigel Farage, whose party has pledged to meet it, says this figure is like "the premium on our home insurance".

  80. John Rentoul, Columnist, Independent on Sunday

    @JohnRentoul

    tweets:

    Quote Message: EdM started well but coming off badly against Sturgeon, which is what matters tonight. #BBCDebate
  81. Isabel Hardman, Assistant editor, The Spectator

    @IsabelHardman

    tweets:

    Quote Message: If I had a bad day and got rained on or lost my keys or something, I’d love to pop round to Leanne Wood’s for a comforting cuppa.
  82. Watch the worm

    If you're watching via the BBC News Channel, then - along the bottom of the screen - you can see the BBC's "worm", which gauges the views of a group of undecided voters. More info here.

    Debate
  83. Andrew Neil, BBC presenter

    @afneil

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Bennett says we should take lead by abolishing Trident. Any idea who would follow our lead?
  84. SNP and Trident

    Douglas Fraser, BBC Scotland Business and Economy Editor

    SNP opposition to nuclear weapons is long-standing and runs deep. It’s an article of faith for the party. Its critics point out that there are nearly 7,000 jobs at the nuclear submarine bases on the Clyde. South of the border, more than 5,000 are employed building submarines at Barrow-in-Furness, in Cumbria.

  85. EU Army?

    Ed Miliband backs renewing Trident. He also says the UK needs to learn lessons from the 2003 Iraq War. "You need a prime minister who's willing to say 'no', and that's what I'll do", he says. Would you sign us up to "an EU army", Nigel Farage asks him. "No," says Mr Miliband. "There's not going to be a European army", he says. "Yes there is," replies Mr Farage.

  86. David Maddox, The Scotsman

    @DavidPBMaddox

    tweets:

    Quote Message: This is a walk in the park for Nicola Sturgeon...the champion of the left tonight again Ukip...Miliband too quiet #BBCDebate
  87. Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister

    @nick_clegg

    tweets:

    Quote Message: For clarity, I was not invited to #BBCDebate. I would have happily taken part and proudly defended our strong @LibDems record in government.
  88. Cost of replacing Trident

    Compared with other capital projects

    Graphic on Trident cost
  89. Reality Check

    Cost of Trident

    Leanne Wood and Nicola Sturgeon both say they are against spending £100bn on renewing Trident. This is a figure from the CND, which includes servicing the submarines over 30 years and decommissioning them. There's more about the costing in this Reality Check.

  90. Defence spending

    How does UK spending compare internationally?

    Graphic on defence spending
  91. Jo Coburn, BBC Daily Politics presenter

    @Jo_Coburn

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Nigel Farage pushing at Tory bruise by saying UKiP committing to 2% of GDP spending in defence #BBCDebate
  92. Post update

    Spending £100bn on Trident cannot be justified, says Leanne Wood. She thinks the country should be a "haven for human rights and a beacon for conflict resolution and peace". Nicola Sturgeon says the UK should invest in "strong conventional forces" instead of nuclear, she says.

  93. Defence

    Time for the next question, about Trident (the UK's nuclear missile system) and defence spending. Nigel Farage, whose party has committed to spend 2% of GDP on defence, says Trident - though expensive - is necessary. Natalie Bennett agrees it is a dangerous world, but says she doesn't feel any safer because of nuclear weapons. "How about we take a lead, and say we will rid Britain of these hideous weapons of mass destruction", she suggests.

  94. Right (or not) to buy

    Douglas Fraser, BBC Scotland Business and Economy Editor

    Asked about housing, Nicola Sturgeon dismisses Tory plan to extend right-to-buy for housing association tenants in England. The right-to-buy is being ended in Scotland. The Scottish government, with housing associations, say the loss of houses to cut-price sales makes it more difficult to fund new housing to replace stock, and doesn’t do anything to tackle homelessness.

  95. Michael Davies

    @mjdavies1

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Right to Buy is great as long as you have more social housing being built, which isn't happening #BBCDebate
  96. Laura Kuenssberg, Chief Correspondent +Presenter Newsnight

    @bbclaurak

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Not sure that attacking the audience is a great look... Sturgeon piles in, 'you're worried every problem is caused by immigrants'
  97. Ross Hawkins, BBC political correspondent

    @rosschawkins

    tweets:

    Quote Message: Labour source: others are asking Miliband questions because he's the alternative PM on stage
  98. Reality Check

    Lower house building

    Ed Miliband says that house building is at its lowest level since the 1920s, a claim that came from a report from the centre-right think tank Policy Exchange in 2012.

    However, this statement was based on the coalition removing Regional Spatial Strategies (RSSs). Introduced by the last Labour government, RSSs gave English regions Whitehall targets for homes to be built.

    Policy Exchange’s paper said that, as at 2012, councils were planning to build 272,720 fewer new homes since the abolition of the regional planning system.

    As noted in this Guardian article, councils now have powers to set housing targets – and have had such powers since 2010.

    A government spokesperson told The Guardian that Policy Exchange’s analysis was flawed as it did not allow for the fact that RSS targets "had not worked".

    The spokesperson said: "Top-down regional targets didn't work and built nothing but resentment. It is meaningless to point to targets which were never going to be built. It was under regional strategies that house building fell to its lowest peacetime rates since the 1920s."

  99. The moment Nigel Farage challenged the audience

    Nigel Farage
  100. 'Financial assets'

    Natalie Bennett says houses should be treated as "homes, rather than financial assets". The Labour government didn't build enough homes, admits Ed Miliband, who says the housing market is not working. Nigel Farage says the scale of immigration is part of the problem, saying the "demand side of the equation" must be capped.

  101. Analysis: The first 30 minutes

    Sean Curran

    Parliamentary correspondent

    It isn’t quite Hamlet without the prince or even Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are missing, but there’s no doubt it’s a bit unusual to have an election debate without David Cameron and Nick Clegg.

    Quote Message: The leaders of the five opposition parties don’t seem to be mourning the absence of the deputy prime minister but Mr Cameron has certainly had plenty of name checks so far. The biggest round of the applause in the first twenty minutes came when Nicola Sturgeon said it was a disgrace that the PM wasn’t there to defend his record.

    This has left the Labour leader, Ed Miliband, in the line of fire, facing criticism from Natalie Bennett, Leanne Wood and Nicola Sturgeon as well an early exchange with Nigel Farage.

  102. Reality Check

    Student debt

    Natalie Bennett says students are leaving university with an average of £44,000 of debt, of which 45p in the pound will never be repaid.

    Astudyby the Institute for Fiscal Studies suggested that three quarters of English graduates will not repay their student loan in full. The IFS’s researchers concluded that a typical student would be leaving university with “much higher debts than before”, averaging £44,000.

    TheIFSalso said their estimates suggest that for each £1 loaned out to students, the long-run cost to the government would be 43.3p. However, they said that estimate could change depending on what happens to graduate earnings.

  103. Farage criticises the audience

    Ed Miliband says Labour is not opposed to right-to-buy in principle, but says the Conservative plan won't work. Nigel Farage then gets combative, saying there is a "total lack of comprehension on the panel" - and in the audience. That gets a reaction. David Dimbleby tells him the audience was selected by an independent organisation.

  104. Patrick Smith, Media editor at @BuzzFeedUK

    @psmith

    tweets:

    Quote Message: My 14-month-old son’s reaction to the debate is to scream his head off then fall asleep which is pretty much the same as my reaction.
  105. House-building: the long-term trend

    Graphic of house-building trend
  106. Affordable homes pledge

    The Green Party would build 500,000 affordable homes, says Natalie Bennett. The SNP is considering a rent cap in Scotland, says Nicola Sturgeon. She says the Conservative plan to extend right-to-buy to social housing is "one of the worst ideas I've ever heard". The flagship Conservative policy of right-to-buy is being scrapped in Scotland and has been suspended in Wales.

    Natalie Bennett
  107. Reality Check

    Debt repayments

    Nigel Farage says our debt repayments are bigger than our annual defence budget.

    He's right - the Ministry of Defence said that the defence budget for 2013/14 was £34.3bn. In that year Britain’s debt repayments cost £48.7bn, according to the House of Commons Library.

  108. Toby Young, columnist

    @toadmeister

    tweets:

    Quote Message: I’m impressed that @Nigel_Farage is live tweeting the #BBCDebate while participating in at the same time. Didn’t even see his hands move!
  109. SNP budget plans

    Douglas Fraser, BBC Scotland Business and Economy Editor

    SNP plan for UK finances is to increase spending 0.5% per year, taking on a further £180bn in debt over the next Parliament. IFS says Labour could accept the SNP projection if it were willing to take longer to reach a budget surplus.

  110. Ben Riley-Smith, Political Correspondent, Daily Telegraph

    @benrileysmith

    tweets:

    Quote Message: This debate is clearest evidence yet that SNP, Greens and Plaid will come together and hold Ed's feet to the fire in a hung parliament.
  111. Rent cap?

    Leanne Wood calls for a string of measures including a rent cap and a doubling of the council tax charged on holiday homes. Nigel Farage says reducing immigration will help and pledges a "brownfield building boom". Like Ed Miliband, he pledges 200,000 affordable homes a year.

  112. Reality Check

    Child poverty

    Nicola Sturgeon says one million more children are living in poverty. The figure’s from an IFS forecast in 2013 for the whole of this decade. Read more detail on child poverty in our Reality Check.

  113. Affordable housing

    The lack of affordable social housing is the subject of the next question. Housing is a devolved issue in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, David Dimbleby points out.

  114. Sun Nation

    @SunNation

    tweets:

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