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Summary

  1. The Liberal Democrat Party launched its manifesto, pledging an extra £2.5bn for England's education budget
  2. UKIP launched its manifesto, which included a commitment to protect the defence budget
  3. Labour also published what it called its women's manifesto
  4. There are 22 days left until polling day

Live Reporting

By Bernadette McCague, Dominic Howell and Marie Jackson

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Recap

Here's a summary of the main political stories of the day:

Nick Clegg said no party would win an outright election victory and warned voters they face a choice between the Lib Dems, the SNP and UKIP over who holds the balance of power. Launching his manifesto , the Lib Dem leader said he would seek to form a "coalition with conscience" that would not "lurch off to the extremes".

UKIP - which also launched its election manifesto today - said it would make working people better off through a "low-tax revolution".

Working grandparents could share unpaid parental leave under plans being launched by the Labour Party as part of its women's manifesto .

In an interview with the BBC's Evan Davis David Cameron says accusations that the Conservatives are "the party of the rich" make him "more angry than almost anything else".

And finally, the SDLP has launched its manifesto , in which it calls for a prosperity process for Northern Ireland to expand its private sector.

That's it for tonight. We'll be back with all the news analysis and reaction to the political stories of the day from 06:00 BST tomorrow. Goodnight.

Cameron 'anger'

Newsnight

Times columnist Tim Montgomerie says the public got to see "anger and hunger" from David Cameron in his interview with the BBC's Evan Davis earlier.

Laws has 'no confidence' in Labour

Newsnight

Lib Dem David Laws says he has "no confidence" in Labour to balance the budget, equally he says the Tories are set to make "swingeing cuts" which the Lib Dems would not accept.

Schools minister Mr Laws also dismissed claims made in the tabloid press that his party was set to lose all its seats in the south west as "complete and utter rubbish".

Balls set to attack Tories

In a speech tomorrow, Labour's Ed Balls will urge the Tories to "come clean" over where they would find an extra £25bn a year to fund a series of generous general election manifesto commitments.

Labour says the bill for "panicky promises" - such as raising annual NHS funding by £8bn and £6.5bn to raise the income tax allowance to £12,500 - represents a cost of £1,439 for every working household.

Mike Smithson, polling analyst

@MSmithsonPB

Tweets : For fourth consecutive night LAB have lead in YouGov Sun poll CON 34%, LAB 35%, LD 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 5%

The Times

#tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers

The Times
The Times

Guardian front page

#tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers

Guardian
Guardian

Newsnight

Newsnight is on BBC2 now - and they're showing the best bits from Evan Davis's interview with David Cameron that was broadcast earlier today.

Sun's front page

#bbcpapers #tomorrowspaperstoday

Sun
Sun

Mail front page

#tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers

Mail
Mail

'Ludicrous' to query Lib Dem candidate

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has insisted it is "ludicrous" to question whether a Liberal Democrat candidate filmed at a strip club on his stag night was fit to be an MP.

Leaked CCTV footage showed would-be MP Maajid Nawaz having a private lap dance at an east London strip club last summer.

Mr Nawaz, who is standing in the marginal Hampstead and Kilburn seat, has apologised to the Lib Dems for the "distraction" caused by the footage of his visit to the Charlie's Angels club.

Asked about the incident, Mr Clegg said: "I'm the leader of a political party, not the thought police. He has not broken a law; he has done something which people might not approve of.

"What's next, that someone goes on a hen night and sees the Chippendales and I start disqualifying them?"

Telegraph's front page

#bbcpapers #tomorrowspaperstoday

Telegraph
Telegraph

Mirror front page

#bbcpapers #tomorrowspaperstoday

Mirror
Mirror

FT's front page tomorrow

#bbcpapers #tomorrowspaperstoday

FT
FT

Ian Austin, Labour candidate for Dudley North

@IanAustinMP

Tweets: Conservative leaflets delivered in Dudley promise to improve transport & tourism in ... North Devon! Seriously!

Peter Heaton Jones
@IanAustinMP

Jamie Ross, political reporter @BuzzFeedUK

@JamieRoss7

Tweets: HOLD ON. Nigel Farage's signature is basically the "Alan" part of Alan Partridge's signature backwards.

Signatures
@JamieRoss7

UKIP on immigration

@bbc5live

tweets: UKIP's @DianeJamesMEP on Immigration: "We are not saying to a country in the world...your people cannot come here." #GE2015

'Don't stop me now'

If you missed the entertaining political sparring between Queen's Brian May, night club owner Peter Stringfellow and barrister and FA director Heather Rabbatts earlier, here's a treat for you.

Textile mill visits

In Scotland today the Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson visited three textile mills in Hawick in the Borders in an effort to show the party's support for small firms.

Ms Davidson said she was "impressed by the work that's going on" to bring the next generation of workers through "in-house modern apprenticeships". She added: "Businesses know that to thrive, they have to invest in their workforce. The Scottish Conservatives support expansion of the apprenticeship programme to get more young people into industries like textiles, and are keen to support Scottish manufacturers exporting abroad."

Ruth Davidson
BBC

Drawing Nigel Farage

Cartoonist Steve Bell told Newsnight's Laura Kuenssberg how he goes about drawing Nigel Farage at the UKIP manifesto launch earlier today. Watch it here .

Greens membership up

On the news that membership of the Green Party in England and Wales has just passed 60,000 people. A party spokesman said: "We go in to this election powered by an unheralded level of grassroots activity from Green Party members and supporters.

“More and more people are motivated to join the Greens when they learn about our values and principles. People are fed up with our tired, business-as-usual politics, and unbalanced economy and looking for a real alternative. Only the Greens are committed to delivering the real change for the common good that people are crying out for.”

Update on Labour's 50p tax policy

A new 50p top rate of income tax for high earners should only be a temporary measure, Labour's Chuka Umunna has said. Labour is committed to reintroducing the higher charge on those earning over £150,000 that was ditched by the coalition government.

But the shadow business secretary said the decision on how long to sustain the measure for should be purely economic, not moral.

"I wouldn't want to do it permanently because ... I would like to see the tax burden as low as possible," he told the New Statesman magazine.

Chuka Umunna
AP

"I don't believe that you tax for the sake of taxing: you tax to fund public services and, currently, to reduce our deficit and our debt."

Chuka Umunna

Nigel Morris, deputy political editor of the Independent

@NigelpMorris

Tweets : Green Party says it now has over 60k members in Eng+Wales #greensurge

Clegg 'will not take departmental role'

@jamesclayton5

Tweets : WATCH: Nick Clegg tells @BBCAllegra that he will not take a departmental role in next parliament https://vine.co/v/ezu9lHQqz23 #newsnight

Election forecast

@BBCNewsnight

Tweets: Check out the latest Newsnight Index, our election forecast compiled by Chris Hanretty

Election forecast graphic
@BBCNewsnight

Scottish Tory manifesto launch tomorrow

Tomorrow the Scottish Conservative manifesto launch will take place in Glasgow. The Conservatives are the only party to win 50% of the vote in Scotland (50.1%) in a post-War general election (1955). Even in 1983 they held 21 Scottish seats. By 1992 they were down to 11 and in 1997 they won no seats there. In 2001 they won one seat. In 2010, they held their one seat Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweedale with a 2.7% swing from Labour, resulting in a 4,194 vote (9.1%) majority.

Cameron 'remarkably upbeat'

Evan Davis reflects on his BBC Newsnight interview with David Cameron:

First thing to note: Cameron was in a remarkably upbeat mood. We all noticed it as soon as he arrived. What we couldn’t tell was whether he’s a man confident that he’s on course to be returned to Number 10, or whether he is demob happy in the sure knowledge that he’s about to be spending more time with his family."

Robert Peston

@Peston

tweets: How embarrassing for Tories is IMF forecast that UK official projection of return to surplus is wrong ?

Setting the scene

Another snap here of the crew setting up for tomorrow's debate at Central Hall in Westminster.

Setting up for TV debate in Central Hall, Westminster
BBC

No Clegg

Nick Clegg - and David Cameron - will both be missing from Thursday's debate. A BBC spokesman has been explaining the Lib Dem leader's absence:

Over many months the broadcasters, jointly, have worked hard to ensure that their audiences were offered the best possible combination of programmes to help them engage with the election, to inform them about the issues and to scrutinise the politicians. The programmes which have been agreed - including the BBC debate on the 16th - involved all sides, broadcasters and parties, making a number of compromises, allowing the different elements to go ahead. For each of the broadcasters, ensuring due impartiality is not only a priority, but an obligation and the BBC is satisfied that the election programmes it is offering on each of its services fulfils that obligation and that all the relevant parties will have the opportunity to put their case - and to be appropriately scrutinised.”

Set for the debate?

Planning to watch tomorrow's election debate on the BBC? Here's a little preview of the set at Central Hall in Westminster and a very relaxed-looking David Dimbleby, who will chair the debate.

David Dimbleby on the set of the BBC Election Debate 2015, Central Hall Westminster
BBC

How candidates can get in tune with voters

Andrew Neil

Daily and Sunday Politics

The Daily Politics is touring the UK talking to voters at 18 different locations and asking for their views on the general election - and Tuesday's stop was in Sandbach, Cheshire. Reporter Giles Dilnot spoke to Ian Raisbeck, Dave McGlynn, Stewart Green who are members of Foden's Band, about what tunes the parties must dance to if they want to voters to sing from the same hymn sheet. Watch the interviews

Foden's Band
BBC

PM 'anger' at party of the rich claim

David Cameron
BBC

David Cameron says accusations that the Conservatives are "the party of the rich" make him "more angry than almost anything else".In an interview with BBC Newsnight presenter Evan Davis, the prime minister also told the BBC some people did not pay tax in Britain "who damn well should".

If the Conservatives fall short of an overall majority at the general election, he will feel he has "not succeeded", he said.

The prime minister said his party "came close" last time. Full story here.

'Opposite ends'

@bbc5live

BBC Radio 5 Live

Tweets: .@dannyalexander rules out a coalition with UKIP: "Liberal values and UKIP values are at the opposite ends of the spectrum". #GE2015

Brian May, Peter Stringfellow and Heather Rabbatts discuss politics

Stringfellow May and Rabbatts
BBC

Across on the BBC News Channel, Tory donor and strip club pioneer Peter Stringfellow, Queen guitarist Brian May and barrister and FA director Heather Rabbatts are giving their analysis on the election. Among the highlights include May's support for comedian Russell Brand.

"I think he has been slightly misquoted - what he is saying is the current system doesn't encourage people to vote," says May. "I agree with a lot of what Russell Brand says, and I think in the end he will encourage people to vote."

Meanwhile, Peter Stringfellow attacked Ed Balls, saying: "I have paid thousands if not millions in taxes, I'm 74 let me have the rest of my life. I pay fortunes in taxes, don't take another 5%. Ed Balls. There's something wrong with his brain if he actually thinks there is no such thing as a trickle-down economy."

And Ms Rabbatts noted the lack of social mobility in society, adding: "The gap has got wider and it's the same group of people who are staying in the controlling heights of the economy."

Plenty for veterans - UKIP

Colleagues here have been totting up the number of policies for veterans in UKIP's manifesto, and counted at least 11:

1. Build 500 affordable rent houses every year for veterans

2. Build eight halfway house hostels for homeless veterans

3. Create a dedicated minister for veterans

4. Build a dedicated military hospital

5. Guarantee the offer of a job in the police service, prison service or border force for anyone who has served in the Armed Forces for a minimum of 12 years

6. Fund 6,000 additional posts spread between the police service, the prison service and the Border Agency for armed services veterans

7. Create a "Boots to Business" scheme to provide loans, grants and access to free advice to veterans who wish to set up their own businesses after leaving the forces

8. Issue a veterans’ service card to ensure fast-track access to NHS mental health care

9. Award a National Defence Medal to all veterans

10. No veteran to use their war pension to pay for social care

11. Access to veteran financial services

Steve Hawkes, Deputy Political Editor, The Sun

@steve_hawkes

tweets:

Quite stunning ComRes poll (of a small sample) has Tories booting Lib Dems out of Cornwall and Devon - Yeovil, St Austell, Cheltenham..etc

Free dogs for all - Al Murray launches manifesto

On a lighter note, Al Murray's Free United Kingdom Party (FUKP) has appeared to launch their manifesto - on the back of a fag packet. Top of the light-hearted five-point plan, posted on FUKP's Twitter account, is "make more stuff, sell it for profit" followed by "build new houses for people who make stuff to live in".

manifesto of FUKP
@FUKPnews

Andrew Hawkins, ComRes Chairman

@Andrew_ComRes

tweets:

ComRes/ITV News: 29% of voters in Lib Dem held seats in SW England say Nick Clegg puts them off voting Lib Dem

Jason Beattie, Daily Mirror political editor

@JBeattieMirror

tweets:

Campaign has 3 weeks to go but so far @christopherhope has asked the two best questions. Leadership one to the Tories, and today's to UKIP