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Summary

  1. The Scottish National Party launches its manifesto
  2. A future Conservative government would conduct an annual review of Scottish devolution to ensure the rest of the UK does not "lose out"
  3. Labour has begun a week of campaigning on the NHS
  4. The deadline to register to vote in the general election is midnight
  5. Sinn Fein is to seek an extra £1.5bn for Northern Ireland in any post-election negotiations
  6. There are 17 days left until the general election

Live Reporting

By Kristiina Cooper, Angela Harrison and Victoria Park

All times stated are UK

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A round-up of the day...

Before we sign off for the night, here's a round-up of the day's election news:

The SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has launched the party's manifesto promising to represent the interests of voters across the UK and to fight for public spending increases

The prospect of a Labour government propped up by the SNP is a "match made in hell", David Cameron has warned

But a former Conservative Scottish Secretary, Lord Forsyth, said the Tories were playing a "dangerous game" in their handling of the SNP

Labour accused the Conservatives of a " double deceit " over the NHS and promised to launch an emergency recruitment drive for nurses

UKIP has said the BBC should be " cut back to the bone "

Nick Clegg said the Liberal Democrats were the "party of education". Campaiging in the south west of England, he said it would be a "good thing" to run the Department for Education on his party's terms

Sinn Fein launched its manifesto, saying it would seek an extra £1.5bn for Northern Ireland in negotiations with an incoming government.

And, the deadline for registering to vote in the general election is midnight - there's just a few minutes left.....

Robert Jenrick, Conservative candidate for Newark

@RobertJenrick

undefinedtweets an amusing photograph...

The undecided voter of Albert Street, Newark..."

'Inherited nursing crisis'

Responding to news of Labour's pledge to launch an emergency recruitment drive to get 1,000 more nurses, the Conservative Party said the government had inherited "a nursing crisis with the scandal of short-staffed wards at Mid Staffs and other failing hospitals".

A Conservative spokesman said:

We have turned that round with record high nurse numbers on our wards and a new focus on compassionate care. Unlike Ed Miliband, we have committed the additional £8 billion a year the NHS says it needs, which is the only way to ensure hospitals have the money they need to increase staff."

Tomorrow's Sun

Sun front page
The Sun

Chilcot inquiry

Newsnight's Diplomatic and Defence Editor Mark Urban reports that it's now doubtful that the report from the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war of 2003 will be published this year.

He says: "Somebody with a close interest in the inquiry tells me, 'nobody thinks it will come out this year'."

The inquiry, led by Sir John Chilcot, began its work in 2009 and held its last public hearing in 2011.

It was reported earlier this year that the findings would not be made public until after the election.

Tomorrow's i

i
i

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Email: politics@bbc.co.uk

Eric, Bradford:

1,000 more nurses this year

Labour would launch an emergency recruitment drive to get 1,000 more nurses into training this year if they win the election.

In a speech on Tuesday to student nurses in Manchester, party leader Ed Miliband will highlight new figures to emerge through Freedom of Information (FOI) requests which suggest one third of NHS Trusts were investigated last year over concerns about safe staffing.

hospital scene
BBC

Tomorrow's Daily Mail

Daily Mail front page
Daily Mail

Tomorrow's Guardian

Guardian front page
Guardian

Tomorrow's Daily Telegraph

Daily Telegraph front page
Daily Telegraph

Tomorrow's Daily Express

Daily Express
Daily Express

Al Murray's darts team

Al Murray
BBC

Comedian Al Murray has a new group of supporters - a darts team made up of builders from East London. The group of six, who call themselves Double Diamond Geezers, have taken two weeks off work to tour the constituency of South Thanet, where Murray is standing against UKIP leader Nigel Farage.

They're going to play charity matches and hold pub quizzes, wearing burgundy jackets worn by Murray during his act.

Team captain Lenny Leminson said: "What's not to like about Al's big policy of cutting the price of a pint to 1p?"

You can find a full list of those standing in South Thanet here.

Environment arguments in political debate

Andrew Neil

Daily and Sunday Politics

Andrew Neil and the BBC's environment analyst Roger Harrabin were joined by leading politicians to debate climate change, energy prices and the countryside, in the first of a series of Daily Politics election debates. The panel of Labour's Caroline Flint, Green Andrew Cooper, UKIP's Roger Helmer. Lib Dem Ed Davey and Conservative Matt Hancock began by each making a statement setting out their party's energy and climate change policies. The debate can be watched now by desktop viewers on the Live Coverage tab above. Watch their opening statements

Daily Politics Panel
BBC

Farage: 'Cut BBC to the bone'

Robin Brant

Political Correspondent

The BBC should be "cut back to the bone" and the licence fee reduced by two-thirds according to Nigel Farage.

The UKIP leader told a public meeting in Rochester that he believed the BBC should be retained as a public service broadcaster and not be privatised.

But after a week when he was heavily critical of the BBC during the last televised leaders debate, Mr Farage said big changes were needed.

The UKIP manifesto has committed the party to reviewing the licence fee, which comes up for renewal next year, but this is the first time the leader had put a figure on any future licence fee. That would mean the current fee of £145.50 would be reduced to £48.50 under Nigel Farage's proposal.

Nigel Farage
BBC

Nick Robinson

Political editor

Nick Robinson has been getting to the bottom of a dispute about NHS spending in Scotland compared with England. In an update to his blog, he writes:

Health spending has increased in Scotland but by less than in England. This is in the context of Scotland having to make fewer cuts overall than have been made in England."

Cameron on Labour and SNP

Speaking in Crewe, David Cameron warned that a link-up between Labour and the SNP could spell economic disaster. He said voters could be "sleepwalking" towards an outcome which would put government into deadlock and bring economic recovery to a halt:

"It might be a match made in heaven for them but it is a match made in hell for the British economy."

David Cameron
BBC

Austerity fetish

The SNP's Angus Robertson told Radio 4's PM that what he calls the "austerity fetish" of the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats had led to "untold social damage". Presenter Eddie Mair asked him, several times, if he felt austerity had done no good at all? He replied that it was important to understand "the consequences of the decisions being made".

Osborne attacks Miliband over SNP

The Chancellor George Osborne has criticised the Labour leader for his comments to Evan Davis on BBC TV tonight:

On the day that Nicola Sturgeon delivered the most expensive ransom note in history to Ed Miliband, the Labour leader has once again refused to rule out dealing with the SNP."

Miliband on SNP

Ed Miliband has strongly rejected claims he would allow the SNP to "call the shots" at Westminster following Tory claims that a minority Labour government would be a prisoner of the nationalists.

Interviewed by Evan Davis on BBC One, the Labour leader said he would not be dictated to by the nationalists. "They're not going to tell us, they're not going to tell us. Look, I'm very clear about that," he said.

Challenged that many voters believed that in the event of another hung parliament it would be the SNP who would be "calling the shots", he replied:

That ain't gonna happen. That ain't gonna happen."

Ed Milband with Evan Davis
BBC

Miliband on Scotland

Ed Miliband tells Evan Davis in his "Leaders' Interview" on BBC One that the Scottish referendum was a "deeply devisive moment".

Labour want to show people that this election "is not a re-run of the referendum", he said.

People in Scotland are on our side for the kind of country they want to build."

Ed Miliband

Deficit cut

Ed Miliband's interview with Evan Davis is on BBC One now. He told him:

We are going to cut the deficit every year."

Conservatives are playing a `dangerous' game

Lord Forsyth
BBC

The Conservative Lord Forsyth is standing by remarks he made to the Guardian criticising Tory strategy on the SNP. Lord Forsyth (who was Secretary of State for Scotland in the 1990s) told the Guardian the Tories were playing "a short-term and dangerous" game by building up the SNP. When the BBC asked him about his remarks he said: "I would like more firepower turned on the SNP's proposals for Scotland. Labour is being left to fight the battle themselves."

Voting matters

There's a BBC News Timeliner running which looks back at some key points on democratic elections around the world.

suffragette and policeman
getty images

'Excellent Chancellor'

Labour leader Ed Miliband has said Ed Balls "would make an excellent Chancellor" should his party win power. However, he told Evan Davis in his latest 'leaders' interview' he did not want to be "presumptuous" by appointing his Cabinet.

You can watch the interview from 19:30 BST on BBC One or by clicking on the tab above.

Where do parties stand on fuel duty rise?

Energy and climate change debate

Andrew Neil

Daily and Sunday Politics

Andrew Neil quizzed five energy and climate change spokespeople on their respective parties' stances on potentially holding down fuel duty in rural areas. He spoke to UKIP's Roger Helmer, Lib Dem Ed Davey, Green Andrew Cooper, Conservative Matt Hancock and Labour's Caroline Flint about what their party might do if it was part of the new government about the cost of petrol. Watch their answers

Caroline Flint, Matt Hancock, Andrew Cooper, Ed Davey and Roger Helmer
BBC

CBI on SNP manifesto

CBI director general John Cridland said all parties "should prioritise deficit reduction" to maintain the UK's credibility in international markets and that this would keep down the cost of borrowing for businesses across the UK.

And he added:

The SNP manifesto includes some policies to boost growth which businesses will support, including building more new homes, keeping the UK in the EU and extending the Annual Investment Allowance. But proposed interventions on pay or restricting the flexible labour market will thwart growth creation and ultimately cost jobs.”

John Cridland,CBI director general
John Cridland
CBI

Mark Frankel, Overseeing @BBCBreaking, @BBCWorld, @BBCNews, BBC News FB and G+ pages

‏@markfrankel29

tweets this video:

Seven #GE2015 party manifestos in 95 seconds - thanks to our top BBC Election Instagram team http://www.instagram.com/bbcelection

Video: Seven #GE2015 party manifestos in 95 seconds
Mark Frankel

Coalition partner poll

Nicola Sturgeon
BBC

A poll has found that the majority of British voters do not want Nicola Sturgeon (54%) or the SNP (59%) to play a role in the next government.

Just 19% said they would like to see the SNP play a part and 22% Ms Sturgeon.

The survey by ComRes for ITV News found that the Liberal Democrats were the most popular choice to act as coalition partners alongside one of the two big parties. Some 36% of those questioned said they would like to see the Lib Dems participate in a new coalition and 31% said the same of their leader, Mr Clegg.

However, 44% said Mr Clegg should have no role and 40% did not want the Lib Dems in government.

ComRes interviewed 2,048 British adults online between April 17 and 19.

Miliband on migrant tragedy

Speaking to the Scottish TUC about events in the Mediterranean, Ed Miliband said: "We cannot stand by as people drown in European waters, seeking to escape conflict in Libya and Syria." He said it was wrong to end the search and rescue operations and they should be immediately restarted.

Our country is known throughout the world for our generosity of spirit. It is time to reflect that and take action in the face of this terrible tragedy."

Clegg bids for Department for Education

The Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg says he would like his party to run the Department for Education if it forms part of a coalition government.

Speaking in Cornwall, the Deputy Prime Minister said the Lib Dems were the "party of education" and that he wanted to build on its "great work" in coalition. 

Some of the big reforms we've introduced in this government - Liberal Democrat reforms - are the ones that are standing the test of time. I want us to do more of that in the future. I don't believe the agenda from Michael Gove, a rather ideologically driven agenda, is the right thing for teachers, or pupils or parents and schools."

Brian, Student, 17

@BrianMcAuslan

tweets:

I fail to understand why 'LAB 30%' is trending... Surely it would make more sense for 'CON 34%' to be trending, since it's the bigger news?

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Text: 61124

Election live reader:

So the youngsters north of the border are sold on the SNP. They may regret that when they have to pay off the debt.

Turning truth `upside down'

Nick Clegg gives short shrift to the SNP manifesto, saying "there's nothing remotely progressive and fair about simply racking up debt".

I think the SNP today have turned truth totally upside down and inside out.”

Registration surge

The deadline to register to vote in the general election is midnight and a recent study suggests there may be as many as 7.5 million Britons not yet registered.

However, according to the Electoral Commission, there has been a surge of people signing up over the past few weeks.

school voting paper
BBC

Migrant disaster needs a `European solution'

The Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has called the deaths of migrants in the Mediterranean "just appalling". "We cannot have the Mediterranean turned into a sort of graveyard, a deterrent for people wanting to flee from their circumstances in north Africa," he said.

"These are children, these are innocent people."

Mr Clegg said it was important to go after the people smugglers but you could not expect the Italians to cope on their own and called it a "European problem" that required a "European solution". The UKIP leader, Nigel Farage suggested that the government's military action in Libya contributed to the deaths of migrants. Mr Clegg hit back, saying Mr Farage had taken "election time point scoring to a new low".

Bodies taken from a rescue ship
BBC

The manifestos are all `rubbish'

That's the verdict of the Spectator's Isabel Hardman. She reckons they're "not written for voters to read, only for sad politicos who are paid to pore over them for fine details. "

She says:

They are getting longer and longer as the years go on, yet politicians don’t seem to be doing a better job at impressing voters, or indeed winning elections."

Labour's manifesto for disabled people

David Blunkett
Getty Images

Labour has launched a manifesto for disabled people. It's also released figures which, it says, show that the UK’s 12 million people with disabilities will play "a key role" in deciding the outcome of the general election. Attending the launch was the former Labour Cabinet minister, David Blunkett, who won't be standing in this election. Policies include:

  • reforming the work capability asessment
  • abolishing what Labour calls the bedroom tax and the government calls the spare room subsidy
  • making sure teachers are "properly qualified" to work with disabled children
  • inviting disabled people to work with ministers to improve disability policies

Piers Morgan: Sturgeon is 'dangerous'

Writing in theDaily Mail, Piers Morgan says Scotland's First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon "is emerging as the world’s most dangerous woman that few outside Britain have ever heard of".

Piers Morgan
BBC

Jeremy Vine answers your questions

Email: haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

Can you remember the swing percentage in your aunt's constituency from 1979? Do you know where Margaret Thatcher stood before winning in Finchley?

Jeremy Vine answers his five questions to sort the first-past-the-post from the proportionately under-represented.

However, if you have a question you would like to submit for Jeremy to answer too, you can send it to haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk

Alternatively, you can visit this page for all the ways you can submit your own election geek question for Jeremy.

Jeremy Vine
BBC