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Live Reporting

By Ben Truslove

All times stated are UK

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  1. Goodbye from me

    Ben Truslove

    BBC News

    Thanks for your company tonight during the debate. There's plenty more coverage of this year's election, both general and local, between now and the vote.

    We're back with another live page next Thursday - starting when the polls close at 22:00 and continuing through the night. Please send coffee and snacks.

  2. Behind the scenes

    Ben Truslove

    BBC News

    Here's the nerve centre of the debate where the director and producers of tonight's show were based during filming at Nottingham's Playhouse.

    The gallery
  3. Shouting or interrupted?

    Ian Care tweets: It might help if the green woman was not always shouting. #emdebate

    But Keith Hebden replied: @care4derby or constantly interrupted? #EMDebate

  4. That's it!

    So that's all from the politicians at Nottingham's Playhouse.

    the crowd

    It's over to you for your thoughts on how they did. Use the hashtag #EMdebate or email

  5. The final word...

    The debate is wrapping up now with the politicians each getting their final say on the election, hopeful of your vote next week.

    But what have you made of tonight's discussions? Tweet with the hashtag #EMdebate or email

  6. Name blank job applications

    Lib Dem candidate Lucy Care said there is still discrimination by employers which she wants tackled.

    "One of the things we would like is to have name blank applications so you don't know who it's from and you can expect people from ethnic minorities to be included," she said.

  7. Renewable vs traditional industry

    Again, the debate between UKIP's Roger Helmer and Kat Boettge of the Green Party gets extremely heated as they clash over the renewable energy sector and traditional industry such as steel.

    Roger Helmer and Kat Boettge
  8. Join the debate

    Ben Truslove

    BBC News

    Conservative Robert Jenrick said "you've got to look at our track record" which created sniggers in the audience and a few sneers on twitter.

    You can also join the debate with the hashtag #EMdebate

  9. Zero hours and living wage

    Robert Jenrick was quick to jump on Labour, claiming the party had 68 MPs who employed their staff on zero hours contracts.

    Kat Boettge

    Kat Boettge said the Greens would increase the minimum wage to the living wage.

  10. It's the economy, stupid

    The economy is the final topic for tonight and the panel is asked about zero hours contracts and how they can be regulated.

    Chris Leslie

    Labour's Chris Leslie said that for some of the 48,000 workers on zero hours contracts in the East Midlands it was useful, but legislation was needed to prevent exploitation.

  11. Mockery of the Greens?

    Johnny Cabaret tweets: Appalled at the mockery by the other candidates of Green policy on NHS. Finding £20bn a joke when we found £850bn for the banks? #EMDebate

  12. Fund the NHS

    Lester Burnham tweets: Good functioning NHS needs funding, #EMDebate

  13. 'Where's the money?'

    Greg Webb tweets: Jenrick keen to talk about Con's £8b NHS funding. Still silence on where it's coming from. Lib Dems only party with costed offer

  14. Does the NHS still care?

    Audience member Mairi Frances McKay shares an emotional story about her gran who received poor care in the NHS.

    Lucy Care

    Liberal Democrat Lucy Care, pictured, said nobody should be treated like that. She said more taxes on the rich would be used to pay for the NHS and help improve the service.

  15. Pledging billions to the NHS

    Kat Boettge for the Greens got a round of applause from the audience when she blames Labour for introducing private firms into the NHS. But she is derided for suggesting a "Robin Hood" tax would pay for the NHS.

    Roger Helmer criticises her party saying they have not created an accurate budget on how they would pay for the NHS.

  16. How to safeguard the future of the NHS?

    The panel has been asked about the future of the NHS by nurse Jo Lane who wants care for patients and carers put first.

    Robert Jenrick

    Conservative Robert Jenrick (pictured) said he does not want another "major transformation in the structure of the NHS" but there needs to be an "adult conversation" about funding the service.

    Labour's Chris Leslie said the Tories had increased privatisation of the service. And he added: "I'm afraid if there is anybody here who lives in a property worth £2m and above we are going to ask you to chip in a little bit more to the NHS."

  17. Politicians cross swords

    Roger Helmer, from UKIP, and the Green's Kat Boettge are at fierce loggerheads over immigration. Mr Helmer said the country should be able to choose who comes here for the benefit of the economy.

    Roger Helmer and Kat Boettge

    But Ms Boettge hit back and said we need to stay in the EU to address inequality across Europe so people do not need to move to the UK.

  18. Who will do unskilled jobs?

    Joining in on the immigration debate, Ian Care tweets: @bbcemt If we had trained enough people then we could fill the skilled jobs from the UK #EMDebate Who will do the unskilled low paid jobs?

  19. Migrants 'hit job prospects'

    The debate has heard from Mark O'Connor, who said he lost his job as a labourer and is struggling to find work. He worries the country is being flooded with cheap labour, affecting the job prospects of millions of unemployed people.

    Mark O'Connor

    Do you agree? Is migration good or bad for the UK? Tweet with the hashtag #EMdebate or email

  20. The answers?

    The panel has given their take on immigration to the East Midlands.

    • Roger Helmer, from UKIP, said mass immigration is putting "undue strain" on social cohesion and social services
    • Kat Boettge, for the Greens, said it was "appalling" UKIP had scapegoated immigrants
    • Robert Jenrick, Conservatives, said it was "about controlling our borders"
    • Lib Dem Lucy Care said migrants have had a positive impact on the NHS, industry and manufacturing
    • Labour's Chris Leslie said we need to strike the right balance and ensure migrants contribute to society
  21. Immigration issues

    And we're off! The honour of the first question goes to Beata Polanowska who moved from Poland to the East Midlands in the 1990s, and asks the panel if they agree migrants have played a vital role in the region.

    Beata Polanowska
  22. Find your constituency

    There are eight days to go until the general election on 7 May. Find who's standing in your area with BBC Election 2015.

    Constituency finder
  23. Talking points

    Topics tonight will include immigration, the economy and the NHS. Candidates will be taking questions from the audience and we'll feature some of your reaction from social media.

  24. The candidates

    Here are the politicians facing questions from the audience tonight.

    The candidates

    Pictured left to right, they are: Roger Helmer (UKIP MEP for the East Midlands), Kat Boettge (Green Party's regional organiser and candidate in Nottingham North), Robert Jenrick (Conservative seeking re-election in Newark), Lucy Care (Lib Dem candidate for Derby North) and Chris Leslie (shadow chief secretary to the Treasury and Labour's candidate in Nottingham North).

  25. Packed halls, lively debate

    Hustings have been a hit during this year's election campaign, according to John Hess, the political editor for BBC East Midlands.

    With lots of politicians taking part in tightly-controlled photo shoots, he argues that public debates have been a vital opportunity for voters to actually engage with candidates.

  26. Welcome

    Ben Truslove

    BBC News

    Good evening and welcome to live coverage of East Midlands Today's debate on the big issues in this year's General Election.

    An audience of voters will grill politicians from across the region at 22:50 on BBC One and you can join the debate here.

    Tweet using the hashtag #EMdebate or email us at and your comments will appear here.