Election - Forget the stats, focus on the big choice

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Forget the dizzying list of stats - the millions, billions and percentages - for just a moment.

Forget those clever folk at the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Forget the claims and counter-claims that "we've spelt out our plans" and the "it's the other lot whose 'numbers simply don't add up'".

Focus instead on what has been missing from this election campaign so far. That is the scale of the choice the electorate are facing. A choice that has been masked by deliberate evasiveness and obfuscation on all sides, by vague ambitions dressed up to sound hard and specific and, above all, by the political cross-dressing of the two big parties.

First Labour tried to convince voters that the deficit, which Ed Miliband had forgotten to mention in his Party Conference speech, was in truth the first thing on his mind at all times.

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Election 2015: The power of the woman who isn't even running

Nicola Sturgeon

Something truly extraordinary happened this morning.

A woman who is not even a candidate in this election; whose party is running in just one of the four nations and which, even if it does as spectacularly well as some polls suggest, would have just one in 13 MPs in Westminster pledged to build not just a "stronger Scotland" but a "better and more progressive politics for everyone" in the UK.

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Election 2015: Debate - The Ed v Nicola Show (part two)

Ed Miliband

On the morning after the debate before, it is clear the election is increasingly being defined by two competing narratives.

On the one hand Ed Miliband is slowly and steadily introducing himself to voters as a potential prime minister.

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Debate - The Ed v Nicola Show

BBC debate

Some thought David Cameron would pay a heavy price for not turning up for tonight's debate. Certainly there are voters who will be angry that the prime minister refused to take part in more than one debate.

Clearly he missed a chance to make the Tory case and left the stage free to his opponents. Finally, Ed Miliband was able to challenge his opponent to have the courage to debate with him head-to-head.

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Coalition: Who do you dislike least?

Nick Clegg

Take your pick.

Clegg, Farage or Salmond.

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Tory manifesto - the cross-dressing goes on

David Cameron
David Cameron says he wants to guarantee 'a good life' for British workers and families

This week of political cross dressing goes on.

David Cameron tried to re-brand the Conservatives as the party of working people - the day after Ed Miliband claimed that Labour was the party of economic responsibility.

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Labour’s manifesto: Is he ready? Are they responsible?

Ed Miliband

Address the nation's doubts. Confront your weaknesses. Tackle them head on.

That seems to have been Ed Miliband's plan today as he made two key claims :

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Roll up, roll up - it’s time to read those manifestos

Ed Miliband with a Labour aide

Turn off your tablet. Ignore that glossy magazine. That new thriller is going to have to wait. Today's the day you're going to start to read the party manifestos.

What do you mean you've never read one? You should. Here's why.

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Election 2015: Non-doms - whose side are you on?

Whose side are you on? It is one of the most powerful questions in politics and Ed Miliband believes it is the key to seeing him installed in Downing Street.

That's why Labour is targeting the so-called non-doms today. They're very rich, often foreign and enjoy a lifestyle that makes them resented by anyone who's struggled to make ends meet in recent years.

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Europe: Why you can believe Blair - on this

Tony Blair

Not so long ago I invited Tony Blair to say that Ed Miliband was a strong leader.

He side-stepped the question - choosing instead to say that it was up to voters to decide.

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