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Live Reporting

By Tim Fenton, Kristiina Cooper and Bernadette McCague

All times stated are UK

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  1. What happened on Wednesday

    And so the last day before the last week of campaigning comes to an end and still the polls show no sign of either Labour or Conservatives pulling away. Tomorrow, the party leaders face another round of questioning on BBC TV. Today they were out and about campaigning hard:

    • David Cameron promised to introduce a law guaranteeing no rise in income tax rates, VAT or national insurance if the Tories win the election
    • Labour said it was a "last-minute" gimmick and suggested the Tories had a secret plan to cut tax credits
    • The Liberal Democrats said voters would "simply not believe" the pledge unless the Tories spelled out where they would cut public spending
    • Russell Brand released his interview with Ed Miliband . The Labour leader told the comedian he was wrong to say that voting was pointless
    • UKIP leader Nigel Farage warned of an influx of Islamic extremists if Europe's doors were opened to large numbers of people fleeing conflict zones
    • Nick Clegg laid down another condition for considering a coalition - he wants a £12,500 personal tax free allowance
    • And the SNP could win all 59 Scottish constituencies, according to a new poll. Leader Nicola Sturgeon said she wanted Scotland's voice at Westminster to be "as loud and effective and as powerful as possible"
  2. Tory reaction to Lib Dems' 'secret' plan claim

    Responding to claims from the Treasury Minister Danny Alexander that the Conservatives came up with proposals to 'slash' child benefit and child tax credit, a Conservative spokesman told the BBC: "This is desperate stuff from Liberal Democrats who are now willing to say anything to try and get attention. We don’t recognise any of these proposals and to be absolutely clear, they are definitely not our policy.”

  3. Snippets from the BBC's West country debate

  4. An outbreak of consensus

    Labour's Andy Burnham says during the BBC's Newsnight debate that Labour would get money flowing into the NHS through the mansion tax and by cutting the bill for agency staff. He says: "We have to recruit more staff." Meanwhile the Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb repeats his suggestions for a non-partisan commission to come up with a "new settlement" for the NHS. Jeremy Hunt and Andy Burnham, more or less, agreed.

    Jeremy Hunt, Andy Burnham, Norman Lamb
  5. 'Secret' Tory plans to 'slash' child benefit

    Danny Alexander

    The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, the Liberal Democrat Danny Alexander says he is lifting the lid on what he calls "secret Tory proposals" to limit child benefit and child tax credit to two children. Mr Alexander says the change would have meant a cut of £3,500 in benefits for a family with three children. He says he blocked the plans and he lists the other policies he says the Conservatives were considering.

    • remove the higher rate child benefit from first child - an average cut of over £360 for every family with children
    • means test child benefit - cutting £1,750 for a two-child middle income family
    • remove Child Benefit from 16-19 year olds - a cut of over £1,000 for parents of a single child

    Danny Alexander said:

    Quote Message: It’s clear from our time in government that the Tories' target will be slashing support for families. I'm lifting the lid on this now because the Conservatives are trying to con the British people by keeping their planned cuts secret until after the election."
  6. Newsnight debates the NHS

    Newsnight

    It's the turn of BBC's Newsnight to debate the health service, with the help of a panel of health professionals. A former neurosurgeon Henry Marsh says he can't see how the NHS can make a further £22bn in efficiency savings. Answering the questions are Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Labour's Andy Burnham and the Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb. Mr Hunt says he agrees with Mr Hunt that the £22bn target will be "hard". One way to get costs down, he says, is to treat people earlier in the community

  7. Double the Sun

    BBC Political Correspondent tweets

  8. Tomorrow's Guardian

    Guardian front page
  9. Befuddled by the Sun

    The BBC's North America editor tweets:

  10. Review of the polls

    David Cowling, Editor BBC Political Research, says it's been a "quiet day" for GB-wide polls but not in Scotland where the pollsters are under pressure.

    He says: "YouGov reported a one point Labour lead - 35% over 34% for the Conservatives with UKIP on 12%, the Lib Dems on 9% and the Greens 4%.

    "MORI published a Scottish poll that created quite a stir - with the SNP on 54% and Labour 20%. The pressure on the pollsters in Scotland must be the greatest of all. The big SNP numbers they regularly generate could well reflect political reality but the potential for error is considerable.

    "ComRes published their latest battleground polls for ITV, sampled in 50 Conservative marginals where Labour is second. Their poll suggested a 3.5% swing to Labour since 2010 and their gain of 40 of the 50 seats sampled.

    "Lord Ashcroft also published three constituency polls: in Nick Clegg’s seat of Sheffield Hallam suggesting a one point Labour lead; Thanet South which indicated Nigel Farage two points behind the Conservatives; and Swindon South where Labour were one point behind the Conservative incumbent."

  11. Tomorrow's Sun

    The Sun front page
  12. Scottish Sun backs...SNP

  13. Regional TV debates

    BBC One

    Don't miss BBC debates covering the election campaign issues in your area tonight at 10.50pm on BBC One.

    BBC Regions
  14. Tomorrow's Financial Times

    Financial Times front page
  15. Nick Clegg's money-saving tips

    How to improve Britain's finances is the big issue of the election so how appropriate for a party leader to meet the Wallet Watcher group. Nick Clegg had a question and answer session with the group (which aims to educate young people about money) on a trip to Greater Manchester. Asked for his own money-saving tips, he suggested shopping around online and switching energy provider.

  16. Tomorrow's Daily Express

    Daily Express
  17. Lining up for a red

    Snooker champion backs Clegg opponent

    Ronnie O'Sullivan, much admired by snooker-loving Labour leader, Ed Miliband, has returned the favour. O'Sullivan, currently competing in the World Championships at the Crucible in Sheffield, has backed Labour's candidate in Sheffield Hallam. According to party website Labour List, O'Sullivan said of Labour candidate, Oliver Coppard:

    Quote Message: I’ve known Oliver for a few years and I know he’ll do a great job for Sheffield. He’s a down to earth guy who will make fighting for this great city his number one priority from Ronnie O'Sulllivan Snooker champion
    Ronnie O'SulllivanSnooker champion
    Ronnie O'Sullivan
  18. Newsnight Index

    BBC Newsnight Index

    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. For more information on how the Index is produced, see here

    Newsnight Index
  19. Election confection

    BBC political correspondent tweets:

  20. Lawson criticises Tory campaign

    The Spectator

    The former Chancellor, Nigel Lawson, has told the Spectator magazine that it's been a mistake for the Tories to make a "flurry of promises". According to the Tory peer, they've detracted from a central message of economic recovery based on careful stewardship.

    Lord Lawson does have kind words for his successor but five, George Osborne. He says Mr Osborne has done an "excellent job".

  21. The 1974 election revisited

    A @BBCNewsMagazine writer tweets...

  22. Legitimate government

    In an interview with ITV Border's Representing Border programme broadcast tonight, SNP leader, Nicola Sturgeon was asked repeatedly about the legitimacy of a possible SNP-influenced Labour government.

    Presenter Peter MacMahon asked Scotland's First Minister if she thought previous Conservative-led governments with few or no Scottish MPs were legitimate north of the border.

    Ms Sturgeon said: "They governed Scotland. Now, I've argued for Scotland to be independent so that we didn't have Tory governments we don't vote for.

    "You know I've argued that we shouldn't have that situation but we do have that situation and they claimed legitimacy and they were able to govern.

    Nicola Sturgeon
    Quote Message: You can't now turn it round and say that (an SNP-supported government would be illegitimate), especially when these politicians spent the referendum saying Scotland should lead the UK not leave it. "Scotland has got a right to choose to make its voice heard in whatever way we want to make our voice heard." from Nicola Sturgeon
    Nicola Sturgeon
  23. Northern powerhouse

  24. Tight margins

    Polling analyst, political gambler tweets

  25. Ban smoking in parks - UKIP

    A cancer expert who is standing for UKIP says the smoking ban should be extended to public parks.

    Prof Angus Dalgleish said his stance sounded "paradoxical" given his party's support for "smoking rooms" in pubs.

    UKIP said a park smoking ban was not party policy and that Prof Dalgleish, who is based at St George's hospital in London, was giving a personal opinion.

    Get the full story here .

  26. NHS reforms 'would not have won an award'

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Health debate

    The Coalition's controversial health reforms "wouldn't have won an award for the most popular health policy in history", the Health Secretary has said.

    Jeremy Hunt, a Conservative, acknowledged that changes to the NHS "weren't very popular" but he insisted the laws had been guided by the "right principle".

    The Health and Social Care Act passed into law in 2012, spearheaded by the former Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.

    Speaking on BBC Two's Daily Politics election debate on health, Mr Hunt said: "Well the principle, I think, is the right principle. We can all learn lessons in terms of the way we got the message across."

  27. More reaction to Brand/ Miliband interview

    Bloomberg correspondent tweets

  28. Shapps 'shocked' by Miliband

    Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps has criticised Ed Miliband's latest video. Asked about the video earlier today, the Labour leader said: "It was about what makes me tick. There's lots of times we talk about the deficit and those issues...This is more a personal film because I think what people want to know is, what do I care about?"

    Mr Shapps said: ‘It’s official: securing the economy and creating jobs for working people just aren’t the things that make Ed Miliband tick. He’s right that people want to know what he cares about, but it’s shocking to discover that this doesn’t include our economic security."

    Watch and decide for yourself here .

  29. A middle-class kid at a comprehensive

  30. More pandas than Lib Dems in Scotland?

    Panda

    On the day that a poll predicts a huge SNP surge in Scotland, the BBC's Carolyn Quinn has been speaking to the Liberal Democrat Treasury Minister, Danny Alexander - who is fighting to retain his seat, Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey. The joke used to be that there were more pandas in Scotland than Conservatives. On BBC Radio 4's PM Carolyn Quinn asked Danny Alexander whether he thought there'd be more pandas than Liberal Democrats after the election. He replied:

    Quote Message: Unless there's a sudden influx of pandas I think every one of our 11 Lib Dem seats can return a Lib Dem again."
  31. Get involved

    Text: 61124

    Phil in Kessingland:

    SMS Message: Less pledges and more policies would be helpful, to me.
  32. Labour ahead in key marginals

    ITV/ComRes poll

    Labour is ahead in 44 out of its top 50 Tory target seats. That follows a 3.5% swing away from the Tories since 2010, according to a new poll from ITV/ComRes .

  33. Does Labour need few seats to win?

    Polling firm tweets

  34. Post update

    Political reporter @SheffieldStar tweets

  35. New Statesman delivers its verdict

    The New Statesman says Ed Miliband has "never succeeded in inspiring the electorate" and shown "severe limitations". For all that, the left-wing magazine says a Labour victory was the best outcome for the country although it thinks Ed Miliband would "almost certainly be reliant on the support of a large nationalist bloc to govern". On a more positive note for Mr Miliband, the New Statesman feels he has "performed well" during the campaign. As for the Conservatives, the magazine says they are planning "extreme and almost certainly undeliverable spending cuts" and that David Cameron does not convey "any sense of moral mission".

    New Statesman website
  36. Add to the debate

    Email: politics@bbc.co.uk

    Iain Grant:

  37. Could do better?

    Westminster Correspondent for STV tweets

  38. More constituency poll stats

    Former Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party tweets

  39. Campaign gallery

    Click here for the best of today's pics

    Samantha Cameron campaigning in Hounslow
  40. Clegg narrowing the gap

    Ashcroft poll

    The latest poll from Conservative peer Michael Ashcroft suggests Nick Clegg is closer to victory in his Sheffield Hallam constituency. According to the poll, Labour’s lead is down to a single point, compared to two in March and three in November. While 30% of 2010 Liberal Democrats in the seat say they intend to vote Labour next week, 31% of 2010 Conservatives say they will now vote Lib Dem. Lord Ashcroft comments: "Tory voters in the seat were also notably less likely than they are elsewhere to say that they rule out voting for Nick Clegg’s party. Their decisions could have more impact than most in determining the shape of the next government."

  41. Get involved

    Text: 61124

    Max, Bournville:

    SMS Message: @ Will Wearmouth. I think you are missing the point. It's not the legal effect of a No Tax Rise Act but the symbolic effect. Of course any Act can be changed by another Act but it is rarely that easy in practice and this sets a public barrier to doing so.
  42. Pink bus dent update

    Labour Candidate for Camberwell & Peckham

  43. Feisty debate

    Commentator, Spectator Coffeehouse

  44. SNP is 'off the planet'

    Lord Boyce
    Quote Message: I don't believe that there is any chance of them joining Nato as long as they say that nuclear is wrong."

    Lord Boyce, a former Chief of the Defence Staff has been speaking about the SNP's policy of not renewing the Trident nuclear weapons system. He told the News Channel that if the SNP decides a "nuclear deterrent is not something they require that's a political decision by them".

    But he challenged the SNP's view that an independent Scotland would be able to join Nato. Lord Boyce said: "Where I think that they're probably somewhat off track - or off the planet actually - is by saying they also have an aspiration to join NATO."

    "Nato is a nuclear alliance .All the members of Nato are signed up to some nations having a nuclear capability.

  45. Poll: Tory lead at 3

    A new poll has emerged this afternoon from May2015.com, the New Statesman's sister website, giving the Tories a three-point lead. It's from BMG Research, not an established polling company but one which is trying to get approval. A pinch of salt, then, but the methodology is all available for scrutiny. It puts the Conservatives on 35%, ahead of Labour on 32%. UKIP and the Liberal Democrats are both seen to be polling slightly better than in some recent surveys, on 14% and 11% respectively.

  46. A quick recap

    Certain aspects of today’s political news would undoubtedly have had people’s mouths gaping had they been revealed a year ago, say. As Alex Stevenson and Victoria King wrap up for the day and hand over to the late team, here’s a few of the day’s eyebrow-raisers:

    • Russell Brand is Britain’s most important political interviewer of the day (see 14.08 post)
    • The SNP are set to take all of Scotland’s 59 seats, a pollster claims (13.25)
    • David Cameron is being told off by his children for swearing while being “pumped up” (12.54)
    • Nick Clegg is prepared to engage in talks with the leader of the UKID Party (12.08)

    There’s a lot more politics to come tonight – and tomorrow – as we enter the final week of the campaign.

  47. Tweeting #Milibrand

    Within minutes of Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband being released on YouTube earlier this afternoon, Twitter was abuzz with reaction - and the hashtag #Milibrand was trending. Here's our overview of some of the best responses : some positive, some hostile, others simply baffled by the "ostentatious" nature of the tap in view behind the two men. The kitchens election continues...

  48. More on Brand interview

    Managing editor (digital), The Spectator tweets

  49. Kitchen campaign

    Commentator tweets

  50. 'Mockney' Miliband

    The Guardian

    Russell Brand and Ed Miliband

    Communication accommodation theory sounds rather complicated, doesn’t it? But actually it can be summed up by watching Ed Miliband’s interview with Russell Brand. The Labour leader’s "mockney" accent, a prime example of the phenomenon in which humans mimic others to win their support, has prompted just a little ridicule online.

    Actually, Jessica Elgot writes for the Guardian, this is a more common phenomenon than you might think. Oprah Winfrey, Steve McLaren and Joey Barton have all been accused of it. And they don’t even have the same incentives as Mr Miliband does.

    Quote Message: It’s a sign that he really wants to get on the same level as Brand, and presumably with his 9.5 million Twitter followers, and emphasise their common ground – even subconsciously."
  51. Worth the risk?

    Anchor Channel 4 News tweets

  52. Breathtaking hypocrisy?

    Columnist tweets

  53. Ed changing a few minds?

    One comment following the Youtube video of Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband will be exactly what the Labour leader was hoping for:

    Quote Message: I genuinely didn't care enough to vote and I absolutely wasn't going to vote, but I think Ed Miliband has won me over. The Labour manifesto seems pretty good, and the mere fact that he agreed to do this interview shows he understands Russell's point and the opinions of many of his supporters. Cameron couldn't even give him the time of day and just writes him (and I assume his opinions) off as rubbish."

    Now Mr Miliband just needs to hope the commenter is registered to vote.

  54. Send us your comments

    Email: politics@bbc.co.uk

    David McKay, Portknockie:

  55. Stolen ballot papers

    More on the theft of a van in London containing ballot papers destined for the constituency of Hastings and Rye, East Sussex. According to a Hastings council spokesman, the Metropolitan Police told the local authority there was "nothing to suggest the van was stolen because there were ballot papers inside". He added: "It seems that it was a coincidence that the stolen van contained ballot papers." The council says it has put a process into place to ensure the ballot papers are not used for "fraudulent purposes".

  56. Legal 'nonsense'

    BBC political analyst Will Wearmouth writes:

    HMRC pounds

    Senior Conservative William Hague says that changed times have allowed the Conservative Party to promise the introduction of a Parliamentary Act that will rule out increases in income tax, VAT and national insurance contributions.

    This might be a useful statement of intent but as a former leader of the House of Commons, the man responsible for looking after legislation, Hague should (and maybe does) know that any such Act would be, legalistically, total nonsense. Why so?

    Let’s say that the Tories win the election and put a No Tax Rises Act on to the statute book. What then, in this legislation prevents the chancellor of the exchequer, whacking up tax? Absolutely nothing whatsoever.

    Parliament cannot bind or restrict itself against future measures that it may or may not enact. If two pieces of legislation contradict each other, then the newer piece stands.

    So a government could, if it wishes, pass a No Tax Rises Act on day one of a Parliament and, on day two, produce a Finance Bill that does exactly the opposite.

  57. 'We'd all pay'

    Michael Fallon

    Concerned that voters haven't quite got the message that the Tories think that a Labour-SNP government would be a bad thing, the Conservative press office has put out some lines from Defence Secretary Michael Fallon. It follows today's Ipsos-Mori poll suggesting the SNP could win all of Scotland's 59 seats, and Nicola Sturgeon's comments in an STV interview last night that the SNP will have "bargaining power on every vote". Mr Fallon says:

    Quote Message: The numbers are clear: Ed Miliband cannot possibly govern without the SNP propping him up. And Nicola Sturgeon would hold him to ransom, demanding higher taxes, more debt, unlimited welfare payments and weaker defences. We’d all pay. The only way to stop this is to vote Conservative on 7 May."
  58. Maths time

    The Daily Telegraph

    Child doing sums

    There are all sorts of post-election scenarios being talked about endlessly as polling day approaches - but Professor Tim Bale, writing for the Telegraph, has done his best to boil them down to two. You can probably guess what they are – but what’s interesting is his view that it’s Ed Miliband who stands a better chance of getting into No 10. That’s because of some basic maths.

    Quote Message: Even if the DUP eventually proves immune to Labour’s charms, then, according to my rough and ready calculations, 270 (Labour), plus 30 (Lib Dem), plus 50 (SNP) equals far more than 323, meaning Bob may very soon be Ed Miliband’s uncle."
  59. Missing papers

    Political corr, C4 New tweets

  60. Clegg on Labour tax credit promises

    The BBC's Kamal Ahmed asked Nick Clegg about Labour’s plans to increase tax credits in every budget of the next parliament, in line with inflation. Mr Clegg said:

    Quote Message: It's still reasonable to say that benefits will be uprated by 1% for the coming two years until we've balanced the books. At that point we can start restoring the link between economic growth and the money we put in to public services and into welfare."
  61. Get involved

    Email: politics@bbc.co.uk

    Daily Politics viewers comment on Ed Miliband's interview by Russell Brand:

  62. Conservatives are 'in a panic'

    Nick Clegg

    Nick Clegg has dismissed Conservative promises to pass a law to prevent tax increases as a "a stunt". He told the BBC's Kamal Ahmed that the Conservatives were "in a panic because they've realised they're not going to win a majority".

    Mr Clegg was visiting a school in Chippenham, with his wife, Miriam. He said: "The Conservatives want to impose billions of pounds of cuts on schools like this and nurseries and colleges up and down the country".

    Quote Message: So I think instead of embarking on yet another daily stunt, I think it’s time David Cameron and George Osborne come clean about the sheer extent of their cuts to public services."
  63. NHS debate wraps up

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Time for the closing statements in the Daily Politics’ NHS Election Debate now:

    • Reversing the privatisation of the NHS means voting Green, the party’s health spokesperson Jillian Creasy says. She’d also end the target culture and improve health “for the largest number of people, not the profit of the few”.
    • Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham says voters should remember that the NHS “stands at a crossroads”. Labour is the only party with a funded plan to turn it around, he says - contrast that with the Tories’ IOU.
    • Lib Dem health minister Norman Lamb says he wants to work with all the other parties to achieve a “new settlement not just for the NHS but for care as well”. He says the Lib Dems are on a “mission” to end the “outrageous discrimination” faced by mental health sufferers.
    • Health secretary Jeremy Hunt says a million more over-70s will need to be treated by the end of the next parliament - he wants them to be treated with compassion. Mr Hunt contrasts his approach with the “ideologically” driven approach of Labour.
    • Angus Dalgliesh of UKIP says his party has a “very well-costed plan” to fund the NHS by scrapping HS2, the Barnett formula in Scotland and the overseas aid budget. Only UKIP, he says, “is full of common sense enough to realise that money doesn’t grow on trees”.
  64. Seeking £8bn

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Now the NHS debate moves on to funding for the health service - bear in mind that the £8bn everyone’s talking about is what NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens has made clear is needed, in addition to current funding levels, by 2020. Jeremy Hunt says he has “confidence” in the Tories’ “plan”. Andy Burnham says the Conservatives’ commitment is nothing more than an “IOU” - but of course he won’t commit to providing £8bn. “I won’t commit to making promises that we can’t honour,” he says. Labour is only prepared to guarantee an extra £2.5bn. Mr Burnham says this money is based on Treasury predictions, but the Lib Dems' Norman Lamb says the mansion tax cash won't show up until 2017/18.

  65. Send us your comments

    Text: 61124

    S. J. Barnard:

    SMS Message: What utter and desperate carrot dangling from David Cameron. I'm totally not being taken in by this. As a worker on minimum wage and receiving a small pay rise, only to see it being taken off me in my tax credits is as low as the Tories can get.
  66. Balls bangs drum

    BBC verdict:

  67. Private sector tensions

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Jeremy Hunt

    Andy Burnham is on the attack now, saying the NHS reforms are making doctors think they need to put all of their contracts out to tender to the private sector. In 2010 the total amount of NHS spending was 5%. It's now 6%, but Mr Burnham says he thinks this will rise to 7 or 8% any time soon. These numbers are rather lower than the 40% of contracts which Labour had pointed out are now being made over to the private sector. "I believe in the public NHS and what it represents - people before profits," he declares. "And I will fight for that principle."

    How much of the NHS budget would Jeremy Hunt be comfortable seeing go to private providers? The health secretary doesn’t offer a number - he thinks services should be commissioned based on “what’s based for patients”. He adds: “I don’t believe politicians should be setting an upper limit or a lower limit - I think they should listen to what doctors say.” In his view there’s a danger of getting “obsessed” over this issue when politicians can miss “bad care” like Mid-Staffs as a result.

  68. A question of banning

    Political correspondent at The Guardian tweets

  69. Nanny state?

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Fat man eating

    UKIP's Angus Dalgliesh says it's OK to allow smoking in pubs, but not in parks. Jeremy Hunt says "there are times when the law has a role" in public health. "There are times when, yes, the state has a role, but it's much more difficult when it comes to things like alcohol pricing." Norman Lamb, who said he "absolutely" backs that policy, disagrees. He thinks it can make a big difference, too.

    Would Andy Burnham ban pizza adverts, say, in the evening? "Possibly" was his one word answer. But he says he'd rather go for maximum legal limits on salt, fat and sugar in children's food. On adult food, he backs mandatory labelling.

  70. Take part

    Text: 61124

    Daily politics viewer:

    SMS Message: What's wrong with health care in this country is that politicians try and claim 'success or failure' on issues like cancer diagnosis and treatment. It's nothing to do with them - it's a result of the endeavours of doctors and nurses. Health should be depoliticised.
  71. Missing candidates

    ballot paper

    Postal ballots have been sent out in Kingston-upon-Hull with the names of two of the candidates missing - Labour's Karl Turner and the Green, Sarah Walpole. The mistake was made on 484 ballot papers. The acting returning officer, Ian Anderson has apologised, saying it was an "inadvertent mistake" that occurred on the second print run of postal votes for people who registered to vote after 1 April. He said he was investigating, with the printers, what went wrong. New postal votes are being sent out. The full list of candidates can be found here.

  72. Quickfire time

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    The NHS debate takes an unexpected turn as participants face a series of quickfire questions. It's utterly bizarre - politicians are more or less offering simple "yes" and "no" answers. Extraordinary.

  73. Health tourism

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    On UKIP's health tourism question, the issue pushed by Nigel Farage in the challengers' TV debate earlier in this campaign, Jeremy Hunt points out that 20% of doctors in the NHS are immigrants. Care homes "would not survive" without the help of immigrants, too. Angus Dalgliesh of UKIP says immigration would continue to be allowed. "What we're against is uncontrolled immigration which puts a greater demand on the NHS."

  74. Young people like me...

    The Guardian reporter tweets...

  75. After Mid-Staffs

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Daily Politics debate

    Andy Burnham is asked about some of the NHS' high-profile problems, like the 1,400 unnecessary deaths at Mid-Staffs. "Failures happen," Mr Burnham says. Those which happened before New Labour came to power weren't politicised. "The point is - do you learn from those failings?" He gives Jeremy Hunt credit for making some significant changes. Asked about his response to the emerging Mid-Staffs disaster, he says what he did - in avoiding a full judge-led inquiry - was the right thing to do because it gave the hospital a chance "to recover". Jeremy Hunt, responding, says he wants the NHS to be the "safest and most caring health system in the world". Norman Lamb says politicians should be "intolerant of poor care wherever it is".

  76. Public-private dilemmas

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Angus Dalgliesh

    Jillian Creasy, of the Greens, says the demands on the NHS will always be going up. "For me the real pressures that are coming is because [of] the reorganisation," she says. Privatisation isn't exactly helping, either: "The very privatisation inevitably means a market system which is fragmenting and stops workers doing what they need to do." Isn't it just scaremongering, though? "What we're saying is that the clinical services should not be privatised," Ms Creasy says.

    What about UKIP's view? Services contracted out to the private sector aren't privatisation if they are "well audited", Angus Dalgliesh - pictured above - says. It would be much better for services in the majority of cases that relate to patient care to remain in the public sector, he says.

  77. 'Absolute nonsense'

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Daily Politics debate

    This is the second election in a row when the Conservatives are promising to spend more money on the NHS than the Labour party, Jeremy Hunt points out. Norman Lamb says the £8bn needed for the NHS means Labour are a long way off being able to fund the health services. He calls Andy Burnham's plans "a recipe for disaster". Mr Burnham responds by saying his party is the only one to have a "funded plan". That is "absolute nonsense", Mr Hunt says, "and you know it".

  78. 'Not very popular'

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Defending the coalition's NHS reforms, Jeremy Hunt says the "principle" of Andrew Lansley's reforms is supported - but he says "I might have tried to communicate them in a different way because they weren't very popular". As Norman Lamb puts it: "Every party needs to learn the lesson that we should have no more top-down reorganisations." Andy Burnham says both of them are "backing off". He says their parties both "pulled the rug from underneath the NHS just when it needed stability" - and the big problem is the reforms have now put "market forces" into the HNS. "Nobody in this country voted for that," he says.

  79. Game changer?

    The newspaper tweets...

  80. Pressures accepted

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Daily Politics debate

    There are a million more operations taking place now, Jeremy Hunt says - and he forces Andy Burnham to accept that is the case. But the Labour shadow health secretary hits back, saying that the problems in A&E "might have something to do" with spending cuts, too. Mr Hunt says he backs "an NHS doing very well under a great deal of pressure. What is wrong is trying to politicise those pressures". His coalition colleague, Norman Lamb, calls for a "bit of honesty here" and agrees that those pressures should be acknowledged. Angus Dalgleish, of UKIP, says more investment in heavy equipment is needed "in order to improve some of our delivery."

  81. More Brand interview reaction

    Commentators tweet...

  82. Cancer clashes

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    And now the debate proper gets under way, with Jeremy Hunt saying the NHS has weathered the storms of recent years very well. "That's not to say there aren't huge pressures on the frontline," he concedes. What about all the missed targets, the fall in district nurses, the unfilled GP training places? That's just picking certain statistics, Mr Hunt says.

    On cancer, he says the Conservatives have "turned it around". There are now around 1,000 more lives saved every single month. But "when you're treating more people for cancer" targets will be missed.

    Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham says missing the natinoal cancer standards represents an "appalling record".

    Mr Hunt says his shadow is quoting the stats "selectively". He says there were 750,000 more people treated for cancer in this parliament. "Of course it puts more pressure on," he shrugs. Mr Burnham says staff are "literally at their very limits".

    Jillian Creasy, Green, says the problem is "very much about staff and staff morale".

  83. Bus bashed

    The founder of Mumsnet tweets...

  84. NHS debate under way

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Here's a summary of the opening statements from the health and care debate:

    - Angus Dalgliesh, UKIP, says he fully believes that UKIP can "transform our health service by making it medically led, not politician-led". He says the "disastrous" decisions of the other parties have brought the NHS to its present difficult position.

    - Jeremy Hunt, the Conservative health secretary, praises "brilliant NHS staff" for helping weather the "huge challenges" inherited by the coalition. Changes have been made so that the NHS is now "safer" and "more caring" than ever before.

    - Norman Lamb, the Lib Dem health minister, says his party is the only one with a "credible plan" to provide the NHS with the funding it needs. He says the "top priority" is to invest in adults and children's mental health services.

    - Andy Burnham, Labour's shadow health secretary, says the NHS is full of people struggling to see their GP and A&E is in crisis. "The NHS has gone downhill under Cameron," he says. Now Labour has a vision for "an NHS with the time to care", he says.

    - Jillian Creasy, the Green spokesperson, says that her party would increase funding for the NHS and do more to help the elderly. She promises to provide more funding and finishes: "If you want to reclaim the NHS," she says, "vote Green".

  85. Health and care debate

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Daily Politics debate

    In a rapid about-face, we're jumping over to the Daily Politics debate on health and care now. Stick with us.

  86. 'Says a lot about Ed Miliband'

    Right at the end in his own little piece to camera, Russell Brand doesn't endorse Ed Miliband but seems to give him a fair bit of credit.

    Russell Brand
    Quote Message: I think we learned a lot about Labour, we learned a lot about Ed Miliband. It's not a perfect interview but personally I found it a very interesting experience and I think it says a lot about Ed Miliband that he understands the way the media works now, the way the country feels at the moment, the way that people feel, that he was prepared to come round here and talk to us."
  87. ‘It ain’t gonna be like that’

    Russell Brand and Ed Miliband

    Here’s some highlights from the second half of Russell Brand’s full interview with Ed Miliband:

    - The pair bond over both having had a “scrap” with Rupert Murdoch before. But if you’re the prime minister of Britain, Brand says, can’t you just pass a law to break up monopolies? “People want it!” he says. Mr Miliband responds: “These people are less powerful than they used to be.” Brand responds by saying they’re still quite powerful. It’s quite a clash, this.

    - “You’ve got to be willing to stand up to these powerful forces,” the Labour leader says, “and I am.”

    - On the big question of whether or not it’s worth bothering voting, Mr Miliband offers a reality check of its own: change won’t happen overnight. “It ain’t gonna be like that,” he says repeatedly. Instead he wants “real, deliverable, concrete change”. Mr Miliband thinks he wants “a sense that the country’s run a different way”.

    - Brand is rather keen on this. “That is exactly it,” he says. “What we want to feel - ordinary people - is that there is a will in politics… because they want to represent people in the face of powerful elites.” He doesn’t want any “giddy ‘yes we can’ euphoria”, he wants someone who can “take on the powerful elites”.

    - Mr Miliband agrees with Brand agreeing with him. They agree that the Tories are “incredibly dangerous”.

  88. Reaction to Mili-Brand interview

    Commentators tweet their thoughts...

  89. 'Change will happen'

    Russell Brand and Ed Miliband

    Here’s a few highlights from the first half of the ‘Mili-brand’ interview now uploaded on YouTube. We’re watching the second half now…

    - What bothers Russell Brand, as he swigs from a bottle containing a clear liquid that looks suspiciously like water, is the “economic way” in which “powerful elites” control things “behind the scenes” - especially in the Tory party. Ed Miliband argues that he can change things - but says that change is driven by people who make things happen rather than politicians.

    - Ed Miliband says Brand implied that no change has happened. “That’s just wrong. Change has happened and it will happen.”

    - On bankers, Brand wants to know if they might go to prison. “Of course, if fraud is committed,” Mr Miliband says. The bigger question, he says, is helping bankers to help customers. The same applies to energy companies - they need to be confronted but must be able to function, too.

    - Brand responds by complaining that “there’s nothing that can be done” because powerful people operate in the interests of big companies. “It’s all about, do you learn the lessons?” the Labour leader replies. The kinds of “practical” things that can be done include tackling zero hours contracts, for example. “That’s where we’ve made progress on workers’ rights, but we’ve sort of gone backwards.”

  90. Possible landslide

    The BBC's assistant political editor tweets...

  91. Confusing language

    The editor of PoliticsHome.com

  92. Miliband and Brand

    The full Ed Miliband-Russell Brand interview has just been released. We're watching it as I type and we'll bring you some extracts, but if you want to have a look for yourself, here it is.

  93. Gove on welfare cuts

    The World at One

    BBC Radio 4

    Questioned about welfare cuts, Michael Gove says Labour are "making a mistake" over their warnings that the Tories' plans could involve reductions in tax credits. "The past is the best guide to the future," he says. "Our track record is the best way in which we can be judged. The fact we've been able to save £21bn in the welfare budget," while simultaneously lowering child poverty levels, "is an indication of our values and our competence."

    Asked specifically, are you going to cut tax credits, he replies: "We're going to freeze them for two years. We are not going to cut them."

  94. John Lewis manifesto

    The BBC's assistant political editor

  95. Operationalise this

    The World at One

    BBC Radio 4

    Michael Gove

    Next up is Michael Gove, who says putting the Conservatives' tax commitments into law offers voters an "iron-clad" commitment. The words of the prime minster are "iron-clad" too, he says. "We have had... legislation already in this parliament in order to enshrine as a matter of law how we spend money," he says - referring to the 0.7% international development commitment.

    After being played a clip of George Osborne talking about another chancellor's belief in the "statute book" (see 11.17), Mr Gove says the then-shadow chancellor was being "witty" in the Commons and that the difference between the two parties is one of their respective "track records".

    And then comes this rather eyebrow-raising quote from Mr Gove that makes everything very clear. Asked why this "tax lock" wasn't in the manifesto, he replies:

    Quote Message: "What we're doing is operationalising everything that was in the manifesto."
  96. Funding promises

    The World at One

    BBC Radio 4

    Rachel Reeves

    Shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves says the Tories' unfunded commitments on health, childcare and other policies are behind them putting out today's "gimmick" on tax policy. David Cameron repeatedly said this morning he had "seen the books" - but Ms Reeves tells The World At One that "we know the books are going to look pretty bad". Everything Labour has signed up, she says, are "wholly funded".

    Asked if Labour would cut child benefit, she says no, adding: "We don't need to."

  97. Get involved

    Text: 61124

    Daily Politics viewer:

    SMS Message: We really do need to question Milliband's judgement talking to Russell Brand. He couldn't have made a worst decision, it certainly does seem to smack of desperation
  98. Pic: Spot the difference

    Margaret Thatcher in a tank

    Was Ruth Davidson emulating Margaret Thatcher with her tank riding?

  99. Trust problems

    The World at One

    BBC Radio 4

    Only 9% of voters trust the politicians to implement their policies in full, according to a poll for The World At One by Ipsos Mori. Pollster Gideon Skinner explains: "Members of the public are just wanting politicians to be realistic and open about what is achievable and what isn't." Ipsos Mori has been tracking trust in professions since the early 1980s - and politicians have always been at or near the bottom of the league. That doesn't mean this isn't problematic, though. "We know that young people are less likely to engage in traditional party politics," he adds.

  100. Self-imposed punishment?

    BBC Radio 4

    George Osborne

    Jill Rutter, formerly of the Treasury and now programme director at the Institute for Government think tank, wonders who exactly is being bound by the Conservatives' proposed tax guarantee. "In a sense they're binding themselves," she says.

    What exactly would happen if the government did break their own law? "What exactly is the sanction except for embarrassment?" she wonders. Would the chancellor be fined or dismissed from office? "The actual sanction beyond extreme political embarrassment is very difficult to see," she says.

    Another phenomenon which happens with this sort of approach - and we've seen it with the aid pledge - is debate over what can be counted as aid money or a tax rise, or not. Is a headline rate a tax increase? Are allowances part of it?

    Ms Rutter doubts whether civil servants will be particularly enthusiastic about the proposal to legislate, anyway. "I don't think the Treasury will be institutionally keen that introduce artificial constraint on discretion," she tells The World At One.

  101. Pic: Election battleground

    Ruth Davidson

    Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson looks to have stepped up her campaign a bit...

    Unsurprisingly, she was focusing on defence - specifically the need to renew Trident and ensure the armed forces are properly equipped - during a visit to Tayside.

  102. Tax 'pledge'

    BBC Radio 4

    Patrick Stevens, director of tax policy at the Chartered Institute of Taxation, says he looks upon the Tories' tax promise as a new kind of pledge. "You could just as easily pass a law cancelling the first law," he tells The World At One. "It's an election pledge."

    And they have plenty of other options too - raising other taxes or making more cuts - if they wanted to stick to their plans. Corporation tax doesn't raise much money; indirect taxes on things like alcohol, fuel duty and tobacco could be increased, too, but they probably wouldn't bring in much cash.

    That just leaves the tax credit system, then. "The overall intention is to reduce the amount of credits being paid out, quite substantially in some cases," Mr Stevens says. These, of course, are a big part of the welfare bill.

  103. Climbing a mountain

    The polling firm tweets...

  104. 100 seats in 100 days

    BBC Radio 4 Today

    Justin Webb in Bath

    Continuing the Today programme's series of visits to some of Britain's most interesting constituencies, we have a double-bill on offer: Sima Kotecha has been to Blackley and Broughton, where many don't feel their vote will have much weight, and Bath, Justin Webb's home town, where the Liberal Democrats' Don Foster is hoping to cling on. Catch up with their progress by following the links...

  105. Send us your comments

    Text: 61124

    Daily Politics viewer:

    SMS Message: To Darren Glasper's comment and all others who attack Brand for being a millionaire speaking out against the rich elites. Being rich does not stop you from addressing issues that affect the poor. It's a good thing to be socially conscious and rising above personal bias or benefit. If anything we need more wealthy and advantaged people to speak up for the needy and deprived, otherwise we get a divided class based society.
  106. Pic: Jim Murphy entertains voters in Glasgow

    Jim Murphy
  107. Major 'more popular than Cameron'

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    David Mellor

    David Mellor, the former Conservative cabinet minister, has been on the Daily Politics comparing the situation now with that of the 1992 general election - another close-run affair. “The difference between ’92 and now is that it was expected that Labour would win because the Tories had been through a lot of self-immolation,” he says. “This time the astonishing thing is that Labour are in with a shout, given the way the economy has been going and so on.”

    There’s one factor, he says, which changes things rather significantly compared to 23 years ago - something which he admits makes him rather "uncomfortable". What can it possibly be? “John Major was really well-liked personally. He appeared to be a normal guy doing his best,” Mr Mellor explains. “The tragedy of this election for Tories is that David Cameron has not projected himself outside of a very limited social class.”

  108. #ElectionCall

    The World at One

    BBC Radio 4

    Coming up in the second half of The World At One is an interview with Plaid leader Leanne Wood:

    Election Call promo
  109. Samantha hits the streets

    Samantha Cameron and Mary Macleod

    The PM's wife joined Brentford and Isleworth Conservative Party candidate Mary Macleod in Hounslow.

  110. Have your say

    Email: politics@bbc.co.uk

    Joe Hawkins, Birkenhead:

  111. Political promises

    Nick Robinson

    Political editor

    George Osborne

    Today's "tax lock" pledge from the Conservatives, along with the repeated political cross-dressing we've seen, are symptoms of a lack of trust in politicians and a weakening in the strength of the two main political brands, Nick Robinson has written today. It's all very familiar, as he blogs: Read my lips… no new taxes.

  112. Too many posters?

    BuzzFeedUK politics reporter tweets

  113. Have your say

    Email: politics@bbc.co.uk

    Phil Brown:

  114. 'Speciesism'

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Vanessa Hudson

    Vanessa Hudson, leader of the the Animal Welfare Party, is interviewed on the Daily Politics, introduces a new concept to the election debate: a “speciesist way of thinking”. She compares her “social justice movement” to the campaigns for women’s rights and civil rights. There are a billion animals living in Britain and they don’t have any representation, Ms Hudson points out. Should they be covered by the Human Rights Act, then? No, that would be “crazy”. But “they do have the right not to suffer unduly at the hands of man”.

  115. A job for Boris?

    Boris Johnson and David Cameron

    Here’s a few highlights from the Evening Standard’sinterview with the prime minister:

    - David Cameron warns that there’s “absolutely no guarantee” politicians would be able to put together “another strong government” like the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition

    - He hints that Boris Johnson could be given an infrastructure job in the cabinet

    - Mr Cameron’s children “chastised” him for swearing after his new “pumped-up” approach saw him say the election was “bloody lively”

    - He insisted he would serve a “full second term” despite having ruled out running to seek a third.

    But the big quote is probably this:

    Quote Message: I think there is a risk to Britain... if [the] government comes to a shuddering halt you can find parts of the economy coming to a juddering halt." from David Cameron
    David Cameron
  116. Add to the debate

    Email: politics@bbc.co.uk

    David McKay, Portknockie:

  117. NHS overhaul

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

  118. Earthquake update

    Earthquake damage

    Foreign secretary Philip Hammond, who’s just chaired a meeting of the government’s emergency COBRA committee, has said that a dual-British national resident in Hong Kong has died in the wake of the Nepal earthquake. “We are urgently investigating reports of a further British national apparently reported killed at the Everest base camp,” Mr Hammond says. “We don’t have confirmation of that but we are investigating.” Aircraft leaving the UK carrying aid are expected to return to Stansted bringing people home “sometime during the evening”, he added. More here.

  119. Get involved

    Text: 61124

    Daily Politics reader:

    SMS Message: If the SNP win Scotland, the Conservatives England and Labour Wales, as seems likely, surely a federal structure and far more power to the Scottish Welsh AND an English parliament is the only sensible long term answer.
  120. Add to the debate

    Email: politics@bbc.co.uk

    Robert Smith:

  121. Adding up

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Shadow employment minister Stephen Timms says the Tory proposal is "a pretty implausible and panicky gimmick". He says "the numbers don't add up" and suggests that the Tories could put VAT up and then pass the law, rendering it somewhat meaningless.

    Stephen Timms

    On Labour's plans to increase the top rate of income tax to 50p, Mr Timms won't be more specific than predicting that it will "bring in a very worthwhile sum". He admits that "I don't know the figure". The Institute for Fiscal Studies, Mr Timms is helpfully informed, thinks it will only bring in £110m. That's a "useful" and "worthwhile sum", Mr Timms says.

  122. No guarantees

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    In extreme circumstances, William Hague concedes, the government could reverse the Conservatives' tax lock. But "it will be far more difficult once legislation is passed", he insists. "It does underline the commitment we've made... it's planning ahead and giving people confidence to plan ahead."

    The question then becomes: why won't tax credits, child benefit and other unprotected taxes be protected? Working age benefits are to be frozen, Mr Hague says. On working-age child benefits, he says that's included too.

    Asked why the policy wasn't included in the manifesto, he offers a very campaign-focused answer: "It's important to have things announced after the manifesto."

  123. Ahead of his time?

    Political editor of the Guardian tweets

  124. Five years on

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    William Hague

    What percentage of total tax revenues does the "tax lock" cover, William Hague is asked as he appears on the Daily Politics. "The great majority," he replies, before being told the answer is 67%. "There you are," Mr Hague says. What happens if taxes do need to be increased, though? The ex-foreign secretary replies by saying that Britain is in a much stronger position than five years ago. "We are in a completely different financial position in this country so we are able to make these commitments," he says.

    When George Osborne's quote about Alistair Darling is put to him (see 11.17), Mr Hague says the chancellor of the time "intended to legislate for the opposite of what he had actually done". This, by contrast, is about doing something "we've committed to doing anyway".

  125. Canvassing hazards

    A Labour candidate tweets

  126. What's changed?

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Nick Robinson

    BBC political editor Nick Robinson and Deborah Mattinson pick over Ed Miliband’s prospects amid deadlocked national polls. Was going to see Russell Brand a good idea? Leveraging the young vote might be worth a go, Ms Mattinson thinks. “The interesting question is whether you see it or whether you read or hear about it,” Mr Robinson says. When people see Mr Miliband, he suggests, they will often be impressed. But the “largely Tory media coverage” questioning the point of the interview could lead others to conclude he’s not being statesmanlike.

  127. Have your say

    Email: politics@bbc.co.uk

    Darren Glasper:

  128. Standard Bank warning

    Deputy Political Editor, Daily Mirror tweets

  129. 'Shy' Scottish voters

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Deborah Mattinson and Nick Robinson

    Political strategist Deborah Mattinson tells the Daily Politics that Nicola Sturgeon “can do no wrong” at the moment, as the programme considers this morning’s Ipsos Mori poll. But our political editor, Nick Robinson, says he’s being controversial as he suggests she’s not often asked tough questions. “Do you remember Peter Snow used to say ‘just a bit of fun’ [about opinion polls] – I don’t recommend you putting your money on winning every seat in Scotland.” The pair agree on the idea of ‘shy’ Scottish voters – those who aren’t prepared to say they’ll vote for a party they don’t think is considered to be "cool".

  130. Impact of electoral deadlock

    Deputy Political Editor Evening Standard tweets:

  131. Air pollution

    This morning’s air pollution ruling has been seized on by the Greens. The Supreme Court, if you hadn’t spotted the story just yet, ruled that the government must take immediate action to tackle unacceptably high nitrogen dioxide levels in the air.

    “It is scandalous,” says the Greens’ local transport spokesperson Caroline Russell, that the government has “delayed so long knowing the very serious public health impact of their failure to act”.

    Air pollution

    Defra, which says it has already started revising its plans to meet EU targets, now has seven months to come up with a plan for reducing emissions.

    Liberal Democrat Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey has also has his say, too, putting a party-political spin on the issue:

    Quote Message: You cannot trust a toxic right-wing alliance of 'BLUKIP' MPs to protect our environment and it's essential Lib Dems continue to play a part in delivering on the green agenda. Liberal Democrats have five Green laws on the front of our Manifesto and they include a legal duty to clean up our air and improve greener transport options."
  132. Questions of trust

    BBC correspondent Jonny Dymond

    The Conservatives said on Sunday that they’d spend the week focusing the economy, and so they have; today, just outside Birmingham, David Cameron said there were big choices ahead on the deficit, tax and welfare; who do you trust, he asked, on each of those?

    He was asked about the promise of a five-year tax lock – a law that would restrain any government from making any increase in income tax, VAT, or national insurance over the next five years; why now? And why did the Conservatives raise taxes when they came to power five years ago?

    “I’ve seen the books” this time around, said Mr Cameron, and that's why this commitment could be made.

  133. Clegg in talks with UKI...D

    Nick Clegg has been visiting a school in Chippenham this morning to launch the Lib Dems' free school meals plan, but he also found time to meet with members of "UKID" and look through their "manifesto".

    Modernise classrooms - okay. More amusement - sure. New punishments? Er...

  134. Worse than politicians?

    UK Politics Reporter tweets

  135. Striking fear?

    Deputy Political Editor, Daily Mirror tweets

  136. Release the interview!

    Political Editor of the Evening Standard tweets

  137. Two hours of lunchtime politics

    Andrew Neil

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    On Wednesday’s Daily Politics, Andrew Neil is joined by the political strategist Deborah Mattinson to look at the polls, and will debate Conservative and Labour tax plans with William Hague and Stephen Timms. Today's smaller party focus is on Animal Count, and there will be a look back to the 1992 election to see if there are any parallels with the current campaign.

    Meanwhile, BBC political editor Nick Robinson makes his first Daily Politics appearance of the election campaign in the first edition from 12:00 BST.

    Deborah Mattinson

    Andrew will be back for a health debate on BBC2 England with Conservative Jeremy Hunt, Labour’s Andy Burnham, Lib Dem Norman Lamb, the Green Party's Jillian Creasy and UKIP’s Angus Dalgleish at 14:00 BST. Viewers in Scotland and Wales will see separate programmes.

  138. Taking calls

    Editor of PoliticsHome.com tweets:

  139. Miliband on carers

    Ed Miliband

    Ed Miliband is then asked about the plight of carers by Rebecca. "I can't promise you we'll increase the carers allowance," he tells her. "I'm incredibly sympathetic but because we've got to get the deficit down and I'm not going to make promises I can't keep." But Mr Miliband says the NHS has to get better at identifying carers and giving them support, and the local authority budget for respite care should be protected.

  140. 'Shining example'

    Another scathing George Osborne quote about Labour's plans to enshrine tax and spend targets into law. A nod to our colleague Gavin Stamp for this one the chancellor fired at his Labour predecessor Alistair Darling...

    Quote Message: I have searched far and wide to find another country that has introduced a fiscal responsibility Act, and I have found one. It is that shining example of fiscal rectitude, Nigeria. That is where the chancellor appears to have got his inspiration from." from George Osborne Then shadow chancellor, 2010
    George OsborneThen shadow chancellor, 2010
  141. Ed on This Morning

    Ed Miliband

    Ed Miliband is on the This Morning sofa over on ITV. He had a bit of a grilling - well, it wasn't quite Andrew Neil, but still - from Philip and Amanda, during which he insisted there would be "no SNP-Labour government". He's now taking calls from viewers and tells one a