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Summary

  1. The Liberal Democrats say education funding will be a "red line" in any coalition negotiations
  2. Labour says it would exempt first-time buyers from stamp duty on homes worth up to £300,000
  3. Nicola Sturgeon says Labour has been "bullied" in to ruling out a coalition with her SNP party
  4. A letter signed by 5,000 small businesses backs the Conservatives
  5. There are 10 days left until the general election

Live Reporting

By Kristiina Cooper and Angela Harrison

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Goodnight

    Before the Election Live page closes for the night, here's a brief look back at the main stories of the day:

    • The Lib Dems have said an extra £5bn spending on education in England would be a "red line" in any coalition negotiations
    • Labour said it would exempt first-time buyers from stamp duty if their homes cost less than £300,000
    • David Cameron has said he'll work the hardest he's ever worked to get a Conservative victory
    • 5,000 small firms have signed a letter printed in the Daily Telegraph in support of Tory business plans
    • The Greens said they would take away the "right-to-buy"
    • Nicola Sturgeon has accused the Tories of bullying Ed Miliband into ruling out a coalition with her SNP party
  2. Tuesday's Independent

    The Independent
  3. Tuesday's Sun

    sun
  4. Tuesday's Mirror

    mirror
  5. Tomorrow's Daily Express

    Daily Express front page
  6. Tuesday's i

    i
  7. Tomorrow's Daily Mail

    Daily Mail front page
  8. A grand Con/Lab coalition?

    Kenneth Baker

    BBC Radio 4's World Tonight is having a "pipedream discussion" about the prospect of a grand coalition between the Conservatives and Labour if the general election doesn't leave either party with an overall majority. A former Conservative party chairman, Kenneth (now Lord) Baker says there's a lot of agreement between the two parties - building more houses, reducing the deficit, keeping Trident. He says it would be difficult to achieve at the moment "because Britain hasn't had much practice at coalitions".

  9. Tomorrow's Guardian

    Guardian front page
  10. 'Dangerous rhetoric'

    Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has accused rival parties of "dangerous and divisive rhetoric" in a "desperate" attempt to win votes.

    Leanne Wood
  11. Damn these polls!

    David Cowling, Editor BBC Political Research has been digesting five polls - four GB-wide and one Scottish. He says:

    "The four GB polls divide, on this occasion, between telephone and internet samples. YouGov gave a one point Labour lead and Populus a three point Labour lead. The two telephone polls suggested Conservative leads – Ashcroft six points and ICM three points. Each of them was sampled over the same period. If we include recent ComRes telephone polls there do appear to be more pronounced Conservative leads under this method. But then nothing is clear-cut in this election. Survation’s last three online polls gave Conservative leads and the last MORI telephone poll gave a two point Labour lead. Damn.

    "The TNS Scottish poll was conducted face to face over a two week period. It gave the SNP 54% - the party’s highest rating since the 2014 referendum, with Labour on 22% - its lowest. Intriguingly, the poll found that 29% of those certain to vote 'remain undecided'.

  12. Parents' night

    Huffington Post's assistant political editor on priorities

  13. Son of Kinnock

    Former Labour leader's son stands for election

    The full list of candidates for Aberavon can be found here.

  14. Tomorrow's Financial Times

    Financial Times front page
  15. Ask Leanne Wood

    The BBC is looking for people to join the "Ask Leanne Wood" audience. See here for details.

    Leanne Wood
  16. An 'incredibly messy outcome'

    More from election statistician, Nate Silver, who has forecast the outcome of the general election for the BBC's Panorama. Silver's figures point to a situation in which even two parties together would not be able to form a majority without the help of a third.

    He tells Panorama: "If these numbers held steady, you’d have the Tories as the largest party but Labour plus the SNP are more. Even then they are not a majority. The betting markets seem to think there would be more paths for Miliband in that case but it’s an incredibly messy outcome. There is still enormous uncertainty about who forms a government after 7 May.”

  17. Sturgeon's favourite city

    One last nugget from Nicola Sturgeon's interview with Evan Davis. She calls London "one of my favourite cities in the world" and she also has a soft spot for the north-east of England because "my gran was from just outside Sunderland".

  18. Post update

    Nate Silver

    The US elections forecasting guru Nate Silver has been casting his eye over the UK for the BBC's Panorama. And he's come up with some predictions on the number of seats to be won by each party on May 7th.

    • Conservatives - 283
    • Labour - 270
    • SNP - 48
    • Lib Dems - 24
    • The DUP - 8
    • UKIP - 1.
    • Others - 16

    Nate Silver admits, though, he has "no idea" who would form the next government.

    You can watch BBC Panorama now on BBC1.

  19. 'Fragmented country'

    The Economist's map

  20. The football question

    David Beckham

    An essential element of political interviews, a question about football. Evan Davis asked the Scottish Nationalist leader Nicola Sturgeon who she would support in an England v Germany match. She replied that she wasn't going to "pretend" she knew anything about football but said she would support England. She also revealed that she was "a big fan of David Beckham".

  21. Election forecast

    Newsnight

    For the course of the general election campaign, Newsnight each evening will be publishing an exclusive Newsnight Index on the likely outcome, based on a sophisticated forecast model.

    It is produced by Professor Chris Hanretty from the University of East Anglia and his colleagues at electionforecast.co.uk.

    Graphic
  22. Alleged election fraud

    Police in Lancashire have told the BBC that a man has been arrested "on suspicion of electoral fraud and integrity issues". A Lancashire Police spokeswoman says a 38-year-old from Blackburn was arrested at around 14:30. 

  23. SNP spending

    Chris Cook

    Newsnight Policy Editor

    Newsnight's Policy Editor Chris Cook gets to the bottom of claim and counter-claim around SNP spending plans..

  24. Miliband "bullied" by Conservatives

    nicola sturgeon

    The SNP leader, Nicola Sturgeon is in action again - this time she's doing a Leader Interview with Evan Davis. She says Ed Miliband has been "bullied" by the Conservatives into ruling out a post-election with the SNP

  25. Fine head of hair

    Tristram Hunt

    Labour's shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt was quizzed on Mumsnet today and admitted the issue of when summer-born children start school was a growing concern for both parents and admissions authorities,

    He said: "I do think that this is something any incoming Secretary of State for Education will have to take a look at."

    During the session he was also praised for his "fine head of hair", and credited his hairdresser Jack, adding: "In terms of tips, I would always recommend washing your hair before you go to bed."

  26. No 'green light'

    Newsbeat

    Nicola Sturgeon has insisted that even if the SNP were to win every single seat in Scotland on May 7, it would not be a "green light" for a second referendum on independence. Scotland's First Minister faced a grilling from young people on BBC Radio 1's Newsbeat and when asked why she was "refusing to rule out" another referendum, she replied:

    Quote Message: I'm not refusing to rule it out or rule it in, I'm making the point that ultimately whether there's another referendum is not my decision, it's a decision for the majority of people in Scotland."
  27. Re-cap

    If you've been too busy to check in on the election news of the day, here's a brief round-up:

    The Lib Dems say spending on education in England would be a "red line" in any coalition negotiations

    Labour say it would exempt first-time buyers from stamp duty if their homes cost less than £300,000

    David Cameron has said he'll work the hardest he's ever worked to get a Conservative victory

    5,000 small firms have signed a letter in support of Tory business plans

    The Greens say they would take away the "right-to-buy"

  28. Green housing

    The Green Party says it will end the "Right to Buy" scheme, where people can buy their council homes - and build 500,000 social homes. It also wants to keep rent rises in line with inflation. Tom Chance, the party's housing spokesman, set out the other priorities:

    Quote Message: The first thing is to allow more councils to actually borrow to build homes and across the country, local councils want to have this power but none of the other parties are willing to give it to them. We also want to take away a very generous tax break that's given to private landlords for their mortgages...and put it into social housing, so it's actually building new genuinely affordable homes for people."
    housing boards
  29. Britain's need for hope

    Owen Jones, columnist for the Guardian tweets...

  30. Group hug regrets?

    Leanne Wood, Natalie Bennett, Nicola Sturgeon

    The SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon told Radio 4's Eddie Mair that she'd met Ed Miliband three times - one of those occasions was the party leaders' debate. Eddie Mair pointed that Mr Miliband didn't get a hug! At which Ms Sturgeon joked:

    Quote Message: Maybe we should have invited him for a hug after all."
  31. LIb Dems' red line

    More now from the BBC's business editor Kamal Ahmed on the Lib Dem's pledge to draw a "red line" on education spending in England in any coalition negotiations.

  32. Impassioned pleas from Cameron

    Something got David Cameron stirred up in his speeches yesterday and today. They were delivered with unusual fervour, some reporters said.

  33. Sturgeon: 'The final say is mine'

    Salmond and Sturgeon

    Radio 4 PM's Eddie Mair asked Nicola Sturgeon if she had ever had a row with the former SNP leader Alex Salmond. "Yes," she replied. "I was his deputy for 10 years. It would be bizarre if we hadn't had differences of opinion." She wouldn't reveal what they had argued about though. When Mair asked who wins the rows, she replied:

    Quote Message: The final say now is mine. That's how leadership works."
  34. Gauke quizzed on names in newspaper letter

    Andrew Neil

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    Conservative Financial Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke is challenged by Andrew Neil over some of the names who have signed a letter in Monday's Daily Telegraph. Representatives of 5,000 small businesses are calling for the Tories to be "given the chance to finish what they started".

    Watch the interview

    David Gauke
  35. Sturgeon grilled on the NHS

    Eddie Mair

    PM on BBC Radio 4

    As you would expect from Radio 4's PM programme, the SNP leader, Nicola Sturgeon faced several interesting lines of questioning. Eddie Mair challenged Ms Sturgeon - once a health minister in Scotland (2007-10) - over whether the SNP's health policies were truly "progressive". He said 4,000 NHS posts were "axed" in 2010. Ms Sturgeon came back with her own figure, saying that there were now 10,500 more staff than there were when the SNP came to power in 2007. But she added there was still "work to do" on the NHS.

  36. Daily Politics debate

    The politicall website tweets...

  37. Cameron: I'm hungry to win

    David Cameron

    David Cameron has just been on Channel 5 News, where he dismissed claims his campaign has been a little lacklustre. He said he is "hungrier now than I was five years ago" to win.

  38. Lib Dems

    Education funding - what the Liberal Democrats call the "cradle to college" pledge - is the first "red line", the leader of the Lib Dems has revealed.

    In an interview with the BBC's business editor Kamal Ahmed , Mr Clegg said a commitment to increase education funding in England from £49bn to £55.3bn over the next parliament was the non-negotiable price of the Lib Dems entering coalition government with either the Conservatives or Labour. Education is a devolved matter in the UK.

  39. Spotlight on Sturgeon

    There's a busy few hours ahead for the SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon with a string of interviews. Shortly, she'll be speaking to Eddie Mair on Radio 4 PM, swiftly followed by an interview for Radio 1's Newsbeat. And this evening she has her Leader Interview with Evan Davis.

  40. Where's the yellow Play-Doh?

    Nick Clegg

    Fun and games for Nick Clegg as he visited a nursery in Wimborne, Dorset. He delved into some vivid lime-coloured modelling clay, asking the children: "Where's the yellow Play-Doh?" The Deputy Prime Minister also challenged one child to guess his age! If you ask a child a question like that...who know what answer will come back. In this case the answer was "96" . Mr Clegg is 48.

  41. Boris 'playing the long game'

    Boris Johnson and David Cameron

    In an article for the Evening Standard, Isabel Oakeshott takes a look at Boris Johnson's reported ambitions to take over the helm of the Conservative Party.

    "After years of obfuscation, the Mayor — who is running for a seat in Uxbridge and Ruislip — has given up pretending he doesn’t want the top job. When he protests that he wants Cameron to win this election, however, he is speaking from the heart. The truth is that he is playing a longer game and wants Cameron in Downing Street for another two years before he strikes," she writes,

  42. American view of the British general election

    Andrew Neil

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    Satirist PJ O’Rourke gives an American view of the British general election where he has been travelling around the UK for a US TV programme. He spoke to Andrew Neil on the Daily Politics about how an outsider sees UK politics, and the image of the NHS. Watch the interview

    PJ O’Rourke
  43. Candidate encounters 'anger issues' dog

    Stephen Gilbert

    Campaigning can sometimes be a dangerous business, which Lib Dem candidate Stephen Gilbert has found out to his peril. Mr Gilbert, who is fighting to be re-elected as St Austell and Newquay's MP, tweeted that he had fallen foul of a dog with "anger issues", when delivering election leaflets in the constituency. He was treated for minor injuries at the local hospital and has been bandaged up with a few painkillers, according to a party spokesman. He'll be back on the campaign trail this afternoon.

    A list of the other candidates standing in St Austell and Newquay can be found here.

  44. New polls

    Some new polls have been published today which give us something to chew over. The Guardian/ICM poll gives the Conservatives a three-point lead over Labour. David Cameron's party is up one point since a similar poll a week ago, on 35%, while Labour is unchanged on 33%. UKIP is up two, on 13% and the Liberal Democrats are down one, on 9%.

    Meanwhile, Lord Ashcroft's national poll gives the Conservatives a six-point lead - on 36% (up two) compared with Labour's 30% (unchanged). The Liberal Democrats were down one point on 9%, with UKIP on 11% - a fall of two points.

    However, a YouGov survey for The Sun has Ed Miliband's party in the lead, on 34% compared with the Tories' 33%, UKIP's 14% and the Lib Dems' 8%.

  45. Conservatives ahead suggests Lord Ashcroft poll

    Steven Swinford, deputy political editor for The Telegraph tweets...

  46. A look at the figures for Scotland

    John Curtice, commentator for What Scotland Thinks tweets...

  47. 'Scotland is the most politicised country'

    BBC Radio 5 Live

    Dan Walker, Charlie and Craig Reid and Sarah Brett

    Charlie and Craig Reid from The Proclaimers have been speaking to 5 live's Dan Walker and Sarah Brett about the changing face of politics in Scotland:

    Quote Message: There was no doubt that the independence referendum politicised Scotland, it is the most politicised country in Western Europe now, especially for young people, especially women, it has been amazing. It's very exciting times. Speaking to people down here that say 'it's a bit boring the election' - in Scotland, it's not. It's really, really exciting in Scotland. A lot of it is down to the fact Nicola Sturgeon burst onto the scene in England with the leaders' debates. Her performances have energised people, she believes what she's saying, that's why she comes across well." from Charlie and Craig Reid The Proclaimers
    Charlie and Craig ReidThe Proclaimers
  48. What's been happening?

    Time now for a quick recap of today's main political stories.

    - Labour pledges to help first-time buyers in England by exempting them from stamp duty when buying homes worth under £300,000

    - David Cameron promises to work harder than ever before to secure a Conservative victory on 7 May

    - Nick Clegg disputes predictions in the polls that the Lib Dems wll be largely wiped out at the election, insisting that winning was in his party's DNA

    - The Green Party pledges that council house tenants would not be allowed to buy their own home

    - Northern Ireland health minister Jim Wells - at the centre of controversy over remarks about gay couples - has resigned

  49. A conservative effort

    The ITV News presenter tweets...

  50. Leader Interviews - the finale

    The editor of Newsnight tweets...

  51. Lib Dem on Labour motives

    The Westminster reporter for The Northern Echo tweets...

  52. PM's 'gale force aural assault'

    The Daily Telegraph

    David Cameron

    The Telegraph's Michael Deacon is in characteristically humorous form in his latest sketch, on David Cameron's speech this morning which has attracted much comment over the passion which the PM injected into it.

    "The venue for this gale-force aural assault was, of all places, the Institute for Chartered Accountants. The poor creatures won’t have known what hit them. You could hear the staplers rattling on the fourth floor," he writes.

  53. Rory Stewart resignation threat

    Rory Stewart

    Conservative Rory Stewart - former chairman of the Commons Defence Committee - has said he will resign if the Conservatives get a majority but fail to deliver a referendum on Europe in 2017. He was speaking in a debate hosted by BBC Radio Cumbria attended by candidates battling to win the constituency of Penrith and the Border. He was challenged by UKIP's John Stanyer who said "nobody believes" David Cameron's promises to hold a referendum. Mr Stewart replied:

    Quote Message: I make this very, very clear - put the prime minister aside - as the member of Parliament for Penrith and the Border, if the Conservative Party gets a majority, and if the Conservative Party does not deliver - as we have promised to - a referendum on Europe in 2017, I will resign from the Conservative Party. That is an absolute promise."
  54. Political football

    Alex Campbell

    Newsnight producer

    Tony Blair playing football

    It isn’t the first time phoney football support has led to a politician’s attempts at playing the everyman being called into focus.

    Tony Blair for years rebutted claims that he’d told a regional newspaper about fond memories of watching Jackie Milburn play from the terraces of Newcastle United (Blair was aged four and living in Australia when Milburn retired).

    He also fluffed a question over his hopes for a Premiership title-deciding match between his beloved Newcastle and Manchester United in 1996 - no doubt with more than one eye on the swathes of Manchester United supporters in just about every seat New Labour was targeting.

    David Cameron himself has had the strength of his affections for Aston Villa probed in the past. Political anoraks will already have recalled that in 2001 he told the Commons he was not a football fan at all.

    And Margaret Thatcher, when leader of the opposition, reportedly nominated Ipswich Town’s Trevor Whymark as the star man of the 1978 FA Cup final - unfortunately he didn’t actually play.

  55. It takes courage

    The political editor of the Spectator tweets...

  56. Professor Hawking endorses Labour

    Stephen Hawking

    Political parties are always keen to get high-profile or celebrity endorsements. So it's unsurprising that Labour has welcomed the news that Professor Stephen Hawking has given the party his backing at the general election. The physicist said he would be voting Labour on 7 May.

  57. Closing speeches

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    The Daily Politics debate ended with final pitches from all the participants. Here goes:

    Labour's Yvette Cooper: The Conservatives and Lib Dems have been complacent about crime and policing, while UKIP wants to divide our communities. Labour's got a different plan: to protect neighbourhood policing and keep Britain's communities strong. We want to make sure the immigration system is fair.

    Stpehen Woolfe: UKIP is the only party with common sense policies to improve the lives of all Britons. Ignore the press and TV commentators and make up your own mind about our manifesto. We believe in Britain because we believe in you.

    Lib Dem Norman Baker. We have a good record in government, contributing to a reduction in crime and protecting women subjected to violence. We will keep a future government anchored in the centre ground and follow the evidence. We'll make sure the immigration system works and crime continues to fall.

    Conservative Theresa May: There is a stark choice between a Conservative Home Office giving the country the competent governance it deserves and a Labour Party that doesn't know what the right level of immigration is and has no credible plans for police reform. Crime is down by a quarter, and a future Conservative government will reform free movement, bring down immigration, keep crime falling and defeat extremism.

    Simon Thomas: Plaid Cymru believes government is better when it's taken closer to the people. That's why we want the devolution of crime, policing and justice to the Welsh Assembly. Our MPs in Westminster will stand up for tolerance, civil liberties and work with progressive forces in the House of Commons to fight against austerity and ensure policing gets the resources it needs.

  58. Pic: George Osborne gets mixing in Cheltenham

    George Osborne

    Mixing paint - surely a time when some protective equipment might have been appropriate to protect one's suit? 

    George Osborne

    Who'd have thought it? The paint turned out to be blue.

  59. Radicalised generation?

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Did the British invasion of Iraq radicalise a generation? Yvette Cooper says it's much more complicated than that. She laments the "lack of a proper community strategy" to challenge extremist ideas. Responding, Theresa May says she's excluded more hate preachers than anyone before her.

  60. Human Rights Act

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    "What would you ditch from the Human Rights Act? Yvette Cooper asks her government counterpart, Theresa May. "We're not talking about ditching rights," Mrs May responds.

  61. Terrorism prevention

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Daily Politics debate

    Home Secretary Theresa May is pressed over British-born jihadi fighters. She says only one person is under a terrorism prevention order - so-called TPims - but adds that it is for the security services and not the home secretary to decide what happens to individuals returning to the UK.

  62. The mansion map of England & Wales

    mansions

    Both the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats are promising to introduce a mansion tax - but where are all these mansions to be found? The Economist reckons that, assuming the threshold is set at £2m, there are 91,000 in England and Wales. No surprise that about 74,000 are in London and a further 11,000 elsewhere in the south east. The Economist says that, in contrast, there are fewer than 100 mansions in the north east of England and 12 in Wales. The constituency with the highest number of mansions is Kensington where about a third of households would have to pay the new tax.

  63. Stronger border security call

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Stephen Woolfe

    UKIP's Stephen Woolfe says it is difficult to assess who is returning to the UK from fighting jihad in Syria if you can't count the people coming in and out of the country. A line for British passports and separate lines for the rest of the world would help, he argues. He also calls for a joined-up relationship between the UK's security services and border agencies, adding that UKIP would ensure 2,500 more border staff.

  64. 'Not a stunt'

    BBC News Channel

    Karren Brady

    Baroness Karren Brady dismissed claims that businesses had been "ambushed" in to signing a letter on the Conservatives' website supporting the party's business policies. A total of 5,000 small and medium-sized firms were said to have signed the letter.

    Quote Message: The economy is top of the agenda for people in business. I'm still being approached by a few hundred people asking to be added to the letter. This is not a stunt. We need a solid economy and stability that Conservative government brings."

    Asked about a company, Aurum Solutions, who deny ever signing the letter, Baroness Brady said the software firm "did sign it".

    Quote Message: They've signed it at 10 past nine on a Friday evening. Perhaps the person who signed it wasn't allowed to, I'm not sure. But every single person who signed the letter has been verified."
  65. 'Snoopers' charter'

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Did the Lib Dems put the country at risk by rejecting plans for a so-called snoopers' charter? "As we see the ability to access immunications data degrading then it makes it harder for our law enforcement agencies to catch serious criminals and paedophiles...and to be able to identify and deal with terrorists," responds Theresa May.

    Norman Baker stresses the need to balance the needs of the security services with civil liberties, something he says is "difficult to strike".

  66. 'Perfectly good relationship'

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Norman Baker resigned from the Home Office saying that working with Theresa May was "like walking through mud". Asked about his remarks, he says he and Mrs May had a perfectly good relationship - something later backed up by Mrs May. He says though that after four and a half years he "deserved time off for good behaviour".

  67. May v Cooper

    Labour has identified £800m of savings to protect the front line, including by scrapping police and crime commissioners, says Yvette Cooper. This will safeguard 10,000 police officers jobs, she adds.

    But Theresa May says that money has already been assigned for deficit reduction by others in the Labour Party, so who is right: the shadow Treasury team or you? she asks.

    Ms Cooper says Labour would cut the Home Office budget,but not by as much as the Conservatives.

    Despite pressing on the subject, Mrs May says "it's not possible to say what will happen to police numbers" in future because that's up to chief constables.

  68. Cuts to come?

    Daily Politics debate

    The Home Office faces an 18% cut in its budget post election, so where will the axe fall, the home secretary is asked. Theresa May says there will be the same rate of change over the first two years as in the past. There's scope for savings to be made, she adds, noting that cuts were made in the last parliament but crime has continued to fall.

  69. Daily Politics debate

    The political website tweets...

  70. 'Pure scaremongering'

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Norman Baker

    The debate has moved on to policing now. Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper is challenged over her prediction that violent crime would rise, when the best available statistics, the BBC's home editor Mark Easton points out, show it has fallen. She contests that reported violent crimes to the police have increased in the past 12 months, and claims convictions are also falling.

    "This is pure scaremongering," interjects Norman Baker, who says crime is at its lowest recorded level.

  71. 'No cap' on students

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Theresa May

    Home Secretary Theresa May says the government has clamped down on bogus education colleges, but insists there is "no cap" on the number of university students coming from overseas, "which is good for our universities".

  72. 'Out and out racists'

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Plaid Cymru's Simon Thomas is challenged over a Plaid parliamentary candidate's comments about English "migrants" in rural Wales being "out and out racists". Mr Thomas says the candidate's comments were made 15 years ago and he had been referring to the BNP. "There's been a sea change since then" in the circumstances of migrants coming to Wales, he adds.

  73. Clegg on school meals

    The BBC's south of England political editor

  74. 'Too much heat'

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    There's too much heat in the immigration debate, we need a more rational approach, says Lib Dem former Home Office minister Norman Baker. Asked about his opinion on the current level of migration, he says he thinks it's probably a bit too much.

  75. Race question

    Paul Waugh, editor for PoliticsHome.com tweets...

  76. Why no target?

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Yvette Cooper

    Labour's manifesto talks about controlled and managed migration, but makes no mention of a figure, so how can voters trust you, Yvette Cooper is asked. The government set a target and it's in tatters, and we won't make the same mistake, she says. Ms Cooper insists Labour has changed its approach to immigration.

    We want migration to come down, she says - but not by how much.

  77. Migration targets

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Daily Politics debate

    Theresa May is challenged over the government's failure to meet its target to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands. She says the government has accepted it did not meet the target, "but we've made changes to the system and set out a credible plan for the future", including tightening up immigration from both inside and outside the EU, she adds.

  78. Off to a flying start

    Paul Waugh, editor for PoliticsHome.com .

  79. Opening statements

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Each member of the panel gets the opportunity to make an opening statement. Here's what they've had to say.

    Home Secretary Theresa May: The UK is safer than ever before with crime down by a quarter. We've passed a Modern Slavery Bill, reformed stop-and-search and exposed child abuse and excluded hate preachers from the country. The Conservatives have a plan to cut immigration, defeat extremism and keep cutting crime.

    Lib Dem former Home Office minister Norman Baker: The Lib Dems want to protect your rights to freedom and liberty andthe right to protest. You can have these at the same time as being protected by the police and security services. We'll pursue a calm, evidence-based approach.

    Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper: 999 calls are up and prosecutions are down. Labour will protect neighbourhood policing, abolish police and crime commissioners and introduce a new victims' law. There will be no divisive rhetoric on immigration, just practical plans. Immigration needs to be controlled and managed.

    Plaid Cymru's Simon Thomas: We're a progressive voice for civil liberties and victims' rights. We want justice and policing powers devolved to Wales. We won't allow immigrants to be "scapegoated" for the UK government's "failures". We'll be a voice for a just, tolerant and inclusive society in the next parliament.

    UKIP MEP Stephen Woolfe: The inability to control our borders creates disastrous gaps in our security. UKIP will reform the UK's broken immigration system so that Britain not the EU controls the country's border. We will stop unskilled immigration for five years.

  80. Future leaders?

    The deputy political editor of the Daily Mirror tweets...

  81. Daily Politics debate

    The editor of PoliticsHome.com tweets...

  82. Home affairs election debate

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Daily Politics debate

    It's time now for BBC2's Daily Politics election debate on home affairs, featuring Home Secretary Theresa May, Lib Dem Norman Baker, Labour's shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper, Plaid Cymru's Simon Thomas and UKIP's Stephen Woolfe. Stay tuned for live updates.

  83. Next stop for Nick

    The BBC's Lib Dem campaign correspondent tweets...

  84. Mistaken identity?

    Ed Miliband and his wife, Justine

    Ed Miliband's wife, Justine, "rolled her eyes" in disbelief when he told her about his teenage girl fan club, dubbed the "Milifandom", the Evening Standard reports.

    The Labour leader told the paper: “I think she’s a bit bemused by it, to be honest. She thinks it might be a case of mistaken identity.”

  85. Farage on Labour housing plans

    Nigel Farage
    Quote Message: I'm afraid this whole debate is being skewed because nobody will talk about the demand side of the equation. We had a go at this on the BBC Challengers' Debate and nobody would take up the challenge. We have to build one new house every seven minutes in this country just to cope with current levels of immigration, and unless we do something about the demand side of the equation, getting housing, getting onto the property ladder isn't going to get any easier." from Nigel Farage UKIP leader
    Nigel FarageUKIP leader
  86. Consider a coalition

    Emily Ashton, senior political correspondent for @BuzzFeedUK tweets...

  87. Balls: No deals with the SNP

    Ed Balls

    Turning our attention back to Ed Balls' speech earlier, the shadow chancellor reiterated the party's position on any deals with the SNP, saying there would be "no coalition... no deals, no agreements...it's not going to happen".

    "We want to show - not by setting Scottish nationalism against English nationalism, but showing we can all work together - we can have a stronger and fairer future together. And the SNP don't want that - and that is why we have been absolutely clear consistently, we're not going to get into any of that talk of deals, pacts, agreements, confidence and supply, any of it. Nothing's changed."

  88. 'Turning up the heat'

    The World at One

    BBC Radio 4

    The Conservative election campaign is being discussed on BBC Radio 4's World at One programme, following reports of concerns among senior Tories that it's been a bit dull.

    Conservative peer Lord Bell, PR guru and former adviser to Margaret Thatcher, says the Conservatives decided to run "a low key, no-risk campaign" from the outset, and now they've "turned the heat up", pulling out the likes of Boris Johnson and John Major, Thatcherite policies, and stepping up the rhetoric.

    "And we're going to a sort of crescendo at the end," he argues.

    Lord Bell notes that one in five voters only made their mind up on polling day in the 1992 election, and adds that if this is repeated on 7 May the election result may be very different than the polls suggest. He predicts a Conservative majority.

  89. Better the devil you know?

    The political editor of the Guardian tweets...

  90. Pic: Charles Kennedy lends Jo Swinson a hand

    Jo Swinson and Charles Kennedy

    The former Lib Dem leader joins campaigning candidate Jo Swinson in East Dunbartonshire.

  91. Polling picture

    The political editor of the New Statesman tweets...

  92. Balls: SNP vote helps Cameron

    Ed Balls and Jim Murphy

    Ed Miliband isn't the only one of his shadow front bench team to making a speech today. The shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, has been on the campaign trail in Glasgow with Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy, and warned that a vote for the SNP makes it more likely that David Cameron will remain as prime minister.

    Mr Balls also said fiscal autonomy for Scotland would lead to spending cuts and tax rises.

  93. SNP surge

    The political commentator tweets...

  94. 'Call me Mary Jane'

    Nick Clegg

    Nick Clegg has been speaking to Jeremy Vine on BBC Radio 2. He says he's never been "interested in power for power's sake" and there are many things which are "more important in life than politics".

    The Lib Dem leader was asked whether he had been "dazzled" by the title of deputy prime minister during the coalition talks.

    He replied: "I think if you have a coalition it's quite important the leaders of the parties that are in that coalition are not bogged down in daily departmental paperwork. I think it's right to keep your hands free so that you can make sure that the government works as a whole, and that the deals are struck, and that balance is struck, and that arguments are resolved, and that's what I've done as deputy prime minister.

    "But frankly you could call me Mary Jane and it would be all the same to me - well, not quite of course."

  95. Whigs are back

    Waleed Ghani

    "Pro-EU, pro-immigration, pro-gender equality" - Waleed Ghani sums up the policies of the Whig Party. Calling itself the oldest progressive party, the Whig Party says it's back. "The immigration levels we have at the moment are sensible and sustainable, and they enrich our country," Mr Ghani says.

    UKIP's Suzanne Evans is incredulous - thousands of parents couldn't get a school place this year, she says. Mr Ghani replies: "That's not an immigration issue, that's a public services issue."

  96. Pic: Cooking with Nicola

    Nicola Sturgeon

    The latest in our foodie series, Campaign Cooks. Today Nicola Sturgeon makes scones.

  97. 'Won't fix the housing crisis'

    Terraced housing

    Alex Hilton, director of Generation Rent, which campaigns for the rights of private tenants, has reacted to Ed Miliband's housing plans and he doesn't seem impressed.

    Quote Message: Any cut to stamp duty just stimulates demand for housing. The extra cash a first time buyer would have just goes straight to the person selling the house at a higher price. More giveaways won't fix the housing crisis - the government should spend any extra tax revenues from landlords on expanding supply." from Alex Hilton
    Alex Hilton
  98. Boris confronted

    The BBC journalist tweets...

  99. Lib Dem candidate suspended

    A Liberal Democrat general election candidate has been suspended by the party over allegations that he falsified his council nomination papers.

    Patrick Haveron, also the parliamentary candidate for South West Surrey, has been accused of falsifying his papers for the Waverley Borough Council election.

    But because nominations have closed he will still appear on both ballot papers as a Lib Dem.

    A party spokesman said: "Patrick Haveron has been suspended by the party pending the outcome of investigations into his nomination papers for the Waverley Borough Council election.

    "He has been suspended from the Liberal Democrats and no longer represents the Liberal Democrats in either election."

  100. Small business letter complaint

    Our colleagues at BBC Radio Berkshire have spoken to the aforementioned signatory 413 - a technology firm called Aurum Solutions, based in Wokingham.

    They have confirmed that they have asked the Daily Telegraph to remove their name from the letter.

    They say a staff member clicked on a link in an email which, they say, came from Conservative peer Karren Brady - and they think that this automatically registered their support.

    They maintain they are politically neutral and would not have signed the letter by choice.

  101. 'Labour don't care about the countryside'

    Suzanne Evans

    "The Labour Party are absolutely determined to build on greenfield sites. They don't care about protecting our countryside and that's why they can build so quickly because it's much easier for a developer to put a house on a fresh virgin green field as opposed to clean up the land," says UKIP's Suzanne Evans. "We think we've got an environmental responsibility in addition to a responsibility to solve the wider housing crisis."

    "We're in favour of a brownfield first policy," Labour's Emma Reynolds insists

  102. Compare and contrast

    Faisal Islam, political editor for @SkyNews tweets...

  103. Signatory 413

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Andrew Neil is picking apart the letter which the Tories say is signed by 5,000 small businesses giving the party their backing. It makes for rather uncomfortable watching, but David Gauke refuses to accept the letter is a stunt organised by Conservative central office. Asked about signatory 413, a business which claims they never signed the letter, Mr Gauke replies: "I'm not in a position to discuss signatory 413." He insists: "The important point is the substance here."

  104. 'Damage housing supply'

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    David Gauke

    Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke says that if a tenant and landlord want to enter into a three-year fixed rent period that's up to them, but Labour's policy of imposing that could actually be damaging. It would create uncertainty for landlords and start affecting supply, he argues. "This might be a policy that has the best of intentions," he says, but "if you damage the quality and quantity of rental supply then the people who will suffer are those who want to get onto the housing market".

  105. In charge?

    Matt Chorley, Political Editor of MailOnline tweets

  106. Rent controls?

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Emma Reynolds

    Four weeks ago you said: "We don't want to introduce rent controls", Andrew Neil points out to shadow housing minister Emma Reynolds.

    "I was talking about 1970s rent controls when the state used to set the levels," she replies. "We want to make sure we have a more stable and secure rental sector...The initial market rent would be set by the market in negotiation between the landlord and the tenant - we are not suggesting for a minute that the state intervenes to set that rent at the start of the tenancy."

  107. Pic: Penny for them Ed?

    Ed Miliband
  108. Reynolds on housing - and Ed's new appeal

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    "I think Ed's having an excellent campaign. He's showing he's got the passion, the vision, the big ideas," shadow housing minister Emma Reynolds tells the Daily Politics. How surprised were you he's become a teen sensation? "Well... it's not that surprising..." she says, a little nervously.

    On the subject of housing, she insists Labour's plans aren't "a bureaucratic nightmare". She says "on the contrary", Labour's new register of landlords will actually make it easier for local authorities to clamp down on rogue individuals.

  109. Miliband the bus conductor

    Ed Miliband (file photo)

    What did you want to do when you were seven, asks a younger member of the audience. A bus conductor, Ed Miliband replies.

  110. Why now?

    If housing is so important, why has it only just been tacked on to Labour's pledge card and treated as an afterthought, asks BBC political correspondent Iain Watson.

    When your opponents have nothing to say about your ideas they resort to questioning "why now?", Ed Miliband responds. He says Labour has been "making the weather" with "positive ideas" for changing the country - and housing is an essential part of that, he adds.

  111. On tuition fees

    Paul Waugh, editor of PoliticsHome.com, tweets...

  112. Miliband on tuition fees

    This is a fundamental issue of fairness, Ed Miliband says of his plans to cut tuition fees from £9,000 a year to £6,000.

  113. Miliband: We need to build more homes

    Labour shouldn't be opponents of Right to Buy but we mustn't end up with a situation where there's a shortage of homes, he says. That's the problem with the Conservatives' plan. The answer is to build more homes which Labour will do, Mr Miliband adds.

  114. 'This is your moment'

    Ed Miliband

    This election is not about any one politician or party, it's about you the people, says Ed Miliband. "This is your time, this is your moment," he says in a direct message to voters.

    "I say, let's make Britain work for working families once again."

    Time for questions from activists and the gathered media.

  115. Tory council candidate suspended

    A Conservative council candidate has been suspended after writing that she could not respect Ed Miliband because he is Jewish.

    Gulzabeen Afsar, who is standing as a council candidate in the ward of Littleover in Derby, said on Facebook that she could never support the "al yahud" - the Arabic term for Jew.

    A Conservative Party spokesman said: "This comment was offensive and wrong. There is no place in our party for these comments or attitudes and Ms Afsal has had her party membership suspended pending a full disciplinary hearing."

    Ms Afsal will still appear on the ballot paper on 7 May marked as a Conservative candidate.

  116. Labour unveils a sixth pledge

    Ben Glaze, political correspondent for @DailyMirror, tweets...

  117. Priority for first-time buyers

    Unveiling a sixth pledge on Labour's pledge card, Ed Miliband promises to put first-time buyers first, by abolishing stamp duty on homes under £300,000.

    The Labour leader said the move would be paid for by a clampdown on tax avoidance by landlords, estimated to be more than "£500m a year" and by increasing stamp duty by at least 3% for overseas home buyers.

    "In the Britain we believe in, houses should be lived in by families, not bought up by speculators."

  118. Home ownership

    One of the biggest burdens facing working people is the challenge of finding a home, says Ed Miliband. "There's nothing more British than the dream of home ownership" but that dream is increasingly out of people's reach, he says, as he accuses the government of failing to build enough homes.

    Labour, he adds, is proposing "stable" three-year tenancies, a cap on rent increases in the private rental market, and 200,000 new homes a year by 2020.

  119. 'Britain can do better'

    Britain can and must do better than this and with a Labour government it will, says Ed Miliband. He praises the party's "positive" and "optimistic" campaign, before listing several of the party's plans, including on the economy, immigration and the NHS.

    "Those with the broadest shoulders should bear the greatest burden, a principle we know and this Tory government will never know," he adds.

  120. 'Rewarding working people'

    Ed Miliband

    There's just 10 days to go until the election, says the Labour leader, as he sets out to remind people "what's at stake".

    "We're campaigning for a Britain where all working people are rewarded once again," he says to applause.

  121. Ed's fired up

    Matthew Holehouse, political correspondent for the Daily Telegraph tweets...

  122. Ed Miliband speech

    Ed Miliband is on his feet and begins by inviting a round of applause for some of Labour's parliamentary candidates present. "Apologies to anyone I missed out," he says, prompting the crowd to point out he has - two people, in fact. "Good job everyone," Mr Miliband says.

  123. Send us your comments

    Email: politics@bbc.co.uk

    Martin Bristow:

  124. Home Office contenders in TV debate

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    In the second Daily Politics programme on Monday, Andrew Neil and Mark Easton will host a live home affairs debate with Conservative Theresa May, Labour’s Yvette Cooper, Lib Dem Norman Baker, Green Simon Thomas and UKIP’s Steven Woolfe. It's the latest in a series of nine afternoon debates, with defence and security coming on Tuesday, and health issues on Wednesday. They all start at 14:00 BST, and are repeated on BBC Parliament at 21:00 BST.

    Daily Politics graphic
  125. Coming up from noon

    Daily Politics on BBC2

    Andrew Neil

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    In the first Daily Politics of the day, Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn will look at the Conservative appeal to business, with the party's David Gauke and Labour's Emma Reynolds, and UKIP's standing in the polls with its deputy leader, Suzanne Evans. The smaller party coverage will see the return of the Whigs, and the American satirist P J O'Rourke will give his take on the general election. That's coming up on BBC2 from 12:00 to 13:00 BST, or desktop readers can watch on the Live Coverage tab above.

    P J O'Rourke
  126. Miliband speech

    Ed Miliband

    Also this morning, Labour leader Ed Miliband is making a speech to local activists in Stockton, at 11.15am. He's setting out his party's housing plans, including a tax break for first-time buyers. As ever, we'll be keeping across it and bringing you live updates.

  127. Gordon Brown speech

    Gordon Brown

    Gordon Brown will be giving a speech on the Union a little later this morning, at Walker Technology College in Newcastle. The former Labour prime minister will emphasise what he sees as the benefits of the Union being maintained from the English perspective.

    Mr Brown was a prominent "No" campaigner in the Scottish independence referendum.

  128. Claws out

    David Cameron in 2005

    During a tour of the Ageas Bowl cricket ground in Hampshire, Nick Clegg took an apparent swipe at his coalition partner David Cameron, telling reporters he wasn't a cricket fan and adding: "It's a perilous thing to pretend you're a fan of a sport when you're not."

    Mr Cameron accidentally said he was a West Ham fan during a speech at the weekend, when he actually claims to be an Aston Villa supporter.

  129. Send us your comments

    Email: politics@bbc.co.uk

    Joe Hawkins:

  130. Clegg: Winning in our DNA

    Nick Clegg

    Nick Clegg has been out and about campaigning in Eastleigh, which the party held in a by-election triggered by the resignation of Lib Dem Chris Huhne during the past parliament.

    The Lib Dem leader said winning was "in our DNA", telling supporters his party was "fighting a campaign like we've never fought a campaign before" with a 60 by-elections strategy.

    Since the start of the year, Liberal Democrats have had "a million conversations with voters in the seats and constituencies where we are campaigning" and "handed out 50 million bits of literature", he told the gathered activists.

    Earlier, a senior Lib Dem source told the Press Association the number of seats the party realistically expected to have after the election was "in the 30s".

    The source, closely involved in the party's election strategy, said the campaign's focus was increasingly on between 10 and 15 marginal seats.

  131. Latest polling

    The chief political correspondent for the Financial Times tweets...

  132. Game-changing speech?

    The Daily Record's Westminster editor tweets...

  133. Analysis from the scene

    From Jonny Dymond, Conservative campaign correspondent

    David Cameron hammered his way through his speech, rapidly working up a sweat under the lights in a room crowded with party supporters and small business owners. The economy is everything, he said, and reeled off achievements and ambitions. But his message was really "I want to win" and he wanted to show he had the fight left in him to grasp victory.

  134. Hard work

    The contributing editor for the Spectator tweets...

  135. Bennett loses her voice

    Natalie Bennett

    The Green Party's leader in England and Wales Natalie Bennett has had to cancel an appearance at Cressingham Gardens in London because of a lost voice.

    She tweeted earlier: "Too many conversations with voters mean I have lost my voice - apologies to #cressinghamgardens residents that I won't be able to visit today."

  136. Gunning for victory

    David Cameron

    There is so much on the line in 10 days' time, David Cameron says, as he pledges to work the hardest he has ever done in his life to secure a Conservative victory. He leaves the stage to applause - and stops to shake hands and chat with some of the people in the room.

  137. Labour-SNP 'conundrum'

    Commenting on Unite's Len McCluskey's comments that he expects Labour to join up with "progressive" parties in the event of a hung parliament, David Cameron repeats his warning about an Labour-SNP alliance.

    He says he doesn't make the point to "frighten" people but to show that voting Conservative is the solution to this "conundrum".

  138. Decision time

    "It's decision time, that's what pumps me up about this," says David Cameron.

    If you want to take a risk or a punt, vote for the other guy, he says. But if you want stability and security - which, he says, enables families to plan, businesses to invest, and to move forward as a country - then vote for the Conservatives.

    Don't vote Lib Dem thinking you'll probably end up with me because you won't, you'll probably end up with Ed Miliband. Similarly don't vote UKIP, as you'll end up with a Labour government then too, Mr Cameron warns.

    The prime minister says the past five years have been tough, but 'we're on the brink of something special' so let's stick with the plan.

  139. 'Old-fashioned thing'

    Nick Clegg

    Nick Clegg is speaking at the same time as David Cameron - the Lib Dem leader is down in Eastleigh, in Hampshire.

    Quote Message: It’s not for me or for any of us to express a preference on which of the older parties the Lib Dems may or may not talk to after the general election. That is up to the preference of millions of people doing that wonderful, old fashioned thing of putting a cross in a box. It’s called democracy. So let's wait and see what people say." from Nick Clegg
    Nick Clegg
  140. 'Getting lively'

    David Cameron is asked about his show of passion today. "If I'm getting lively about it it's because I feel bloody lively about it," he tells the room.

  141. Election is a 'straight choice'

    Time for some media questions now. Have you left it too late? The only poll that counts is the one on 7 May, David Cameron responds. He says there is a "straight choice" between sticking with the plan that is "working" - or to "go back to square one" with Labour.

  142. Cameron: I'm on your side

    "I am on your side," says a very animated David Cameron (not for the first time this morning).

    He warns that "there's nothing without a strong economy", as he urges people not to "put it at risk" on 7 May. Let's go and win this fight, he concludes, to lengthy applause.

  143. What is fuelling Cameron?

    Chris Ship, deputy political editor for ITV News tweets...

  144. Clegg campaign

    The BBC's political reporter tweets...

  145. 'Britain's backbone'

    "This is a battle for the backbone of Britain," says David Cameron, who pledges: "I'm going to win that fight."

    He says he will never take the economy for granted - before attacking Labour's economic credibility. The Labour Party thinks it knows how to spend your money better than you do and how to run your business better - and they will put up your taxes and increase regulation, he says.

  146. 'Punchy' speech

    The BBC's Conservative campaign correspondent tweets...

  147. Cameron's fighting talk

    The BBC journalist tweets...

  148. 'Magic ingredient'

    This is the most important election of a generation, says David Cameron. He cites the letter in the Daily Telegraph signed by 5,000 small businesses backing the Conservatives, as he underlines the need to keep the economy on track; something, he says, only the Conservatives can do.

    You are the magic ingredient to the recovering economy, the prime minister says of SMEs. "If you think I'm going to roll over and let Ed Miliband and Alex Salmond wreck that you've got another thing coming," he adds.

  149. PM's problem

    The editor of PoliticsHome.com tweets...

  150. Send us your comments

    Email: politics@bbc.co.uk

    Gary Moore:

  151. PM pumped

    Martyn Brown, from the Daily Express, tweets...

  152. Pump it up!

    David Cameron takes to the stage, jacket-less, to a big round of applause. He seems quite excitable. He says an entrepreneurial small business revolution is taking place in Britain, declaring: "That pumps me up!" He pays tribute to them for engineering the biggest economic turnaround in Europe,

    David Cameron
  153. Cameron speech imminent

    David Cameron will be delivering his speech on business in London any second now. We'll be bringing you live updates, so do stay with us.

  154. Nick Clegg's first stop

    The Press Association reporter tweets...

  155. 'Pulling Ed Miliband's strings'

    Conservative Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has been responding to comments from the Unite union's Len McCluskey (see 8.07 post) that he expects Ed Miliband to work with any "progressive" party if he becomes prime minister.

    Quote Message: When Ed Miliband's biggest union paymaster is saying that he will be forced to do deals with the SNP, it's no surprise that Nicola Sturgeon knows she will be pulling Ed Miliband's strings if he gets into Downing Street. from Michael Fallon
    Michael Fallon

    Working people would "pay the price" for a Labour-SNP alliance through more debt, borrowing and taxes, Mr Fallon added.

  156. Standing room only

    The Telegraph's sketch writer tweets...

  157. Complaint over small business letter

    Manager of technology firm Aurum Solutions tweets...

  158. Call for cross-party cooperation

    Victoria Derbyshire

    Just dipping into the Victoria Derbyshire debate, Lib Dem care minister Norman Lamb says he wants all the parties to "bury their differences" after the general election and work together to come up with a new settlement for the NHS and the social care system. The NHS should not be used as a political football, he urges.

  159. Send us your comments

    Email: politics@bbc.co.uk

    Gary Moore:

  160. Lib Dems' focus

    The Press Association's reporter tweets...

  161. 'Deflated his own life raft'

    Ed Miliband

    During an appearance on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday, Labour leader Ed Miliband said he would do "no deals" with the SNP if his party fell short of a majority on 7 May.

    But Ian Dunt, editor of politics.co.uk, says this is "a fiction" as in a minority government "you'd better be prepared to work with other parties or it will be time to pack your bags".

    He adds: "Miliband has deflated his own life raft and laughed about it as he does it. Barring a last-minute Labour surge, he has consigned himself to heading a weak government."

  162. NHS debate

    Victoria Derbyshire

    Debate audience

    The action out on the road might be focusing on business and housing, but Victoria Derbyshire is hosting a debate in Southampton on another key electoral issue - the future of the NHS.

    You can watch live here:

  163. Home ownership?

    Political editor for Sky News tweets...

  164. Labour targets first-time buyers

    BBC News Channel

    Emma Reynolds

    Labour's shadow housing minister Emma Reynolds is discussing the party's housing policy on the BBC News Channel. She explains that Labour would help first-time buyers by exempting them from stamp duty on homes in England worth under £300,000, and also cites plans to boost the supply of homes.

    The move is expected to cost £225m a year, so how would it be funded? By clamping down on tax avoidance by landlords and increasing stamp duty for overseas, non-EU home buyers, Ms Reynolds says. Labour would also increase the charge on people who own properties through holding companies, she adds.

  165. Election result predictions

    BBC News Channel

    Rory Scott

    Rory Scott, from bookmaker Paddy Power, has been looking into his crystal ball and offers his general election predictions.

    The Conservatives will win the most seats and votes but they won't be able to form a coalition, so Ed Miliband will prop up a Labour minority government with the informal support of the Lib Dems and the SNP, he reckons.

    He also predicts a few "high profile casualties" on the cards, including Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander and Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy, while Nick Clegg will "just squeak it".

    In terms of seats, he forecasts:

    • Conservatives 284
    • Labour 272
    • SNP 50
    • UKIP 3
    • Greens 1
  166. Private renters want to buy

    Political correspondent for the Daily Telegraph tweets...

  167. 'Head above the parapet'

    BBC News Channel

    Jo Malone

    We mentioned earlier a letter signed by the representatives of 5,000 small businesses backing the Conservatives,

    Perfume and cosmetics entrepreneur Jo Malone - one of the signatories - tells the BBC she thinks it will make a difference to the campaign. She says SMEs are producing 1,000 jobs a day as a result of the government's economic policies, "so we have to have our voice heard".

    "There's no point moaning about it in two weeks when it's all over," she adds.

    Ms Malone reveals that she will be voting Conservative on 7 May, warning that a Labour government would jeopardise the economic recovery.

    Quote Message: I have never put my head above the parapet in politics in this way before but I feel so utterly passionately that not just myself but all the 760,000 businesses that have spent the last three years running a marathon to create secure businesses and jobs, and I see that a change of government would put that all into jeopardy." from Jo Malone Fragrance entrepreneur
    Jo MaloneFragrance entrepreneur
  168. Issues first, not influence

    The assistant editor of the Times tweets...

  169. 'Breath of fresh air'

    BBC Radio 4 Today

    Houses of Parliament

    This election is unprecedented, says Nicola Sturgeon. We may see voters reject the two-party Westminster system and herald in a new "multi-party, multi-national" politics. It'll be a breath of fresh air for voters across the United Kingdom, the SNP leader predicts.

  170. Another referendum?

    BBC Radio 4 Today

    Challenged over the remarks of an SNP candidate who said a large number of SNP MPs at Westminster will be the rope that the “hung parliament hangs on”, Nicola Sturgeon says she can't be clearer that the party will exercise any influence "positively and constructively" with the interests of Scotland and the UK in mind. It's a hand of friendship, she adds.

    Do you want a second referendum as quickly as you can? "No, I don't. I want to make sure that that decision is driven by what people in Scotland want. This election is not about a referendum on independence."

  171. Someone has to laugh

    The editor of the Spectator tweets...

  172. Labour housing policy

    Lord Scriven, Lib Dem peer

  173. Vested interests

    BBC Radio 4 Today

    A bit more from Today's interview with Nicola Sturgeon. Why should anyone believe that you have an interest in making the UK work efficiently? That's a very good question, says Ms Sturgeon. It's no secret I want Scotland to be a independent country - but as long as Westminster decisions affect Scotland the SNP has a "vested interest" in pushing for "better politics". She says she is driven by the interests of the Scottish people - not party politics.

  174. The Only Way Is Ed

    Lydia Bright and Ed Miliband

    We've seen Joey Essex on the campaign trail and now it's the turn of another The Only Way Is Essex star, Lydia Bright, to meet Ed Miliband. She's part of the @useyourvoice campaign which encourages young people to vote.