Election 2015: Day at-a-glance
A daily guide to the key stories, newspaper headlines and quotes from the campaign for the 7 May general election.
Day in a nutshell
- Seven party leaders spent the day gearing up for a live televised debate
- It was the only time David Cameron and Ed Miliband will take part in a head-to-head TV clash before the election
- They clashed over the NHS, immigration, spending cuts and prospects for young people
- UKIP leader Nigel Farage tells the BBC he wants to see fewer than 50,000 people coming in to the UK each year, but would not set a cap on net migration
- Labour claims more than 1,000 Sure Start centres face being axed under a Conservative government
- Chancellor George Osborne will challenge Labour to commit to phase two of the HS2 rail scheme, claiming shadow chancellor Ed Balls has threatened to cancel it
- The SNP's John Swinney says Labour support "Tory-style cuts"
- Welsh political parties have been arguing over who best represents Wales' interests
Watch the debate back and follow all the reaction, key points and analysis of the debate on our rolling Election Live page.
Thursday's newspaper headlines
Panic in the markets as poll jitters hit sterling, reports the Times, which says the pound is trading at a five-year low against the dollar amid worries that Britain is heading for a "dead-heat election" in which neither Labour nor the Conservatives are able to form a stable government.
The Guardian leads on Labour's riposte to the Conservatives' letter from business leaders, their own letter, signed by 100 people "from all walks of life" illustrates the "fundamental choice" facing voters, the newspaper says - whether the country works for those at the top - or for all working people.
The Daily Telegraph follows up its pro-Conservative letter signed by 103 business chiefs yesterday with a report that 17 more have since added their names - evidence, the Telegraph says, of Labour's deepening "rift" with business.
The Mirror reports a Labour warning that more than 1,000 Sure Start children's centres are at risk from future Conservative cuts
The Daily Mail accuses the Labour leader of "hypocrisy" for criticising the use of "zero-hours contracts" while, the newspaper claims, his party's own councils and MPs have used them.
The Independent suggests that Britain could be without an effective government for up to six weeks - should there be no outright winner - because of constitutional ambiguity and some uncertainties in the Fixed Term Parliament Act
BBC Trending has noted that a YouTube video celebrating one of David Cameron's PMQs putdowns has gone viral over the past few days. Mr Cameron's retort to Labour's Stephen Pound, that bingo was "the only time you will ever get close to Number 10", earns him a "Thug Life" video - a popular way of marking politicians' comments with hip hop music.
Reality Check of the Day
The BBC's Reality Check team have been examining Nigel Farage's desire for levels of migration to the UK to return to the "normal" levels we saw between 1990 and 1997. But was migration "normal" in that period?
Ed Miliband on the story that he had a Blue Peter badge: "This is total mythology. I wish I owned a Blue Peter badge. The only thing I can claim on this is that I met John Noakes once, at Kings Cross train station. I remember asking for his autograph."
"We're going to win with a majority, I have not got any elections wrong for the past six elections that I've put money on," Communities Minister Eric Pickles.
Nigel Farage on whether he will have time to get his message across during the TV debates: "It's not going to be easy. I just hope it doesn't degenerate into a shouting match."
Nick Clegg on being asked if he would prefer a deal with Labour or the Conservatives: "I don't think that my whims or wishes or my feelings or my likes or dislikes about this or that other party leader ... they are literally completely irrelevant. The only thing that is relevant is what are the cards that are dealt to us."
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