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Summary

  1. The Liberal Democrats say education funding will be a "red line" in any coalition negotiations
  2. Labour says it would exempt first-time buyers from stamp duty on homes worth up to £300,000
  3. Nicola Sturgeon says Labour has been "bullied" in to ruling out a coalition with her SNP party
  4. A letter signed by 5,000 small businesses backs the Conservatives
  5. There are 10 days left until the general election

Live Reporting

By Kristiina Cooper and Angela Harrison

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodnight

Before the Election Live page closes for the night, here's a brief look back at the main stories of the day:

  • The Lib Dems have said an extra £5bn spending on education in England would be a "red line" in any coalition negotiations
  • Labour said it would exempt first-time buyers from stamp duty if their homes cost less than £300,000
  • David Cameron has said he'll work the hardest he's ever worked to get a Conservative victory
  • 5,000 small firms have signed a letter printed in the Daily Telegraph in support of Tory business plans
  • The Greens said they would take away the "right-to-buy"
  • Nicola Sturgeon has accused the Tories of bullying Ed Miliband into ruling out a coalition with her SNP party

Tuesday's Independent

The Independent
The Independent

Tuesday's Sun

sun
sun

Tuesday's Mirror

mirror
mirror

Tomorrow's Daily Express

Daily Express front page
Daily Express

Tuesday's i

i
i

Tomorrow's Daily Mail

Daily Mail front page
Daily Mail

A grand Con/Lab coalition?

Kenneth Baker
BBC

BBC Radio 4's World Tonight is having a "pipedream discussion" about the prospect of a grand coalition between the Conservatives and Labour if the general election doesn't leave either party with an overall majority. A former Conservative party chairman, Kenneth (now Lord) Baker says there's a lot of agreement between the two parties - building more houses, reducing the deficit, keeping Trident. He says it would be difficult to achieve at the moment "because Britain hasn't had much practice at coalitions".

Tomorrow's Guardian

Guardian front page
Guardian

'Dangerous rhetoric'

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has accused rival parties of "dangerous and divisive rhetoric" in a "desperate" attempt to win votes.

Leanne Wood
BBC

Damn these polls!

David Cowling, Editor BBC Political Research has been digesting five polls - four GB-wide and one Scottish. He says:

"The four GB polls divide, on this occasion, between telephone and internet samples. YouGov gave a one point Labour lead and Populus a three point Labour lead. The two telephone polls suggested Conservative leads – Ashcroft six points and ICM three points. Each of them was sampled over the same period. If we include recent ComRes telephone polls there do appear to be more pronounced Conservative leads under this method. But then nothing is clear-cut in this election. Survation’s last three online polls gave Conservative leads and the last MORI telephone poll gave a two point Labour lead. Damn.

"The TNS Scottish poll was conducted face to face over a two week period. It gave the SNP 54% - the party’s highest rating since the 2014 referendum, with Labour on 22% - its lowest. Intriguingly, the poll found that 29% of those certain to vote 'remain undecided'.

Parents' night

Huffington Post's assistant political editor on priorities

Grant Shapps pulled out of an election debate in Hampstead tonight because he had parents evening. Which sort of seems fair enough.

Tomorrow's Financial Times

Financial Times front page
Financial Times

Ask Leanne Wood

The BBC is looking for people to join the "Ask Leanne Wood" audience. See here for details.

Leanne Wood
BBC

An 'incredibly messy outcome'

More from election statistician, Nate Silver, who has forecast the outcome of the general election for the BBC's Panorama. Silver's figures point to a situation in which even two parties together would not be able to form a majority without the help of a third.

He tells Panorama: "If these numbers held steady, you’d have the Tories as the largest party but Labour plus the SNP are more. Even then they are not a majority. The betting markets seem to think there would be more paths for Miliband in that case but it’s an incredibly messy outcome. There is still enormous uncertainty about who forms a government after 7 May.”

Sturgeon's favourite city

One last nugget from Nicola Sturgeon's interview with Evan Davis. She calls London "one of my favourite cities in the world" and she also has a soft spot for the north-east of England because "my gran was from just outside Sunderland".

Nate Silver
BBC

The US elections forecasting guru Nate Silver has been casting his eye over the UK for the BBC's Panorama. And he's come up with some predictions on the number of seats to be won by each party on May 7th.

  • Conservatives - 283
  • Labour - 270
  • SNP - 48
  • Lib Dems - 24
  • The DUP - 8
  • UKIP - 1.
  • Others - 16

Nate Silver admits, though, he has "no idea" who would form the next government.

You can watch BBC Panorama now on BBC1.

The football question

David Beckham
PA

An essential element of political interviews, a question about football. Evan Davis asked the Scottish Nationalist leader Nicola Sturgeon who she would support in an England v Germany match. She replied that she wasn't going to "pretend" she knew anything about football but said she would support England. She also revealed that she was "a big fan of David Beckham".

Election forecast

Newsnight

For the course of the general election campaign, Newsnight each evening will be publishing an exclusive Newsnight Index on the likely outcome, based on a sophisticated forecast model.

It is produced by Professor Chris Hanretty from the University of East Anglia and his colleagues at electionforecast.co.uk.

Graphic
BBC

Alleged election fraud

Police in Lancashire have told the BBC that a man has been arrested "on suspicion of electoral fraud and integrity issues". A Lancashire Police spokeswoman says a 38-year-old from Blackburn was arrested at around 14:30. 

SNP spending

Chris Cook

Newsnight Policy Editor

Newsnight's Policy Editor Chris Cook gets to the bottom of claim and counter-claim around SNP spending plans..

Miliband "bullied" by Conservatives

nicola sturgeon
BBC

The SNP leader, Nicola Sturgeon is in action again - this time she's doing a Leader Interview with Evan Davis. She says Ed Miliband has been "bullied" by the Conservatives into ruling out a post-election with the SNP

Fine head of hair

Tristram Hunt
PA

Labour's shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt was quizzed on Mumsnet today and admitted the issue of when summer-born children start school was a growing concern for both parents and admissions authorities,

He said: "I do think that this is something any incoming Secretary of State for Education will have to take a look at."

During the session he was also praised for his "fine head of hair", and credited his hairdresser Jack, adding: "In terms of tips, I would always recommend washing your hair before you go to bed."

No 'green light'

Newsbeat

Nicola Sturgeon has insisted that even if the SNP were to win every single seat in Scotland on May 7, it would not be a "green light" for a second referendum on independence. Scotland's First Minister faced a grilling from young people on BBC Radio 1's Newsbeat and when asked why she was "refusing to rule out" another referendum, she replied:

I'm not refusing to rule it out or rule it in, I'm making the point that ultimately whether there's another referendum is not my decision, it's a decision for the majority of people in Scotland."

Re-cap

If you've been too busy to check in on the election news of the day, here's a brief round-up:

The Lib Dems say spending on education in England would be a "red line" in any coalition negotiations

Labour say it would exempt first-time buyers from stamp duty if their homes cost less than £300,000

David Cameron has said he'll work the hardest he's ever worked to get a Conservative victory

5,000 small firms have signed a letter in support of Tory business plans

The Greens say they would take away the "right-to-buy"

Green housing

The Green Party says it will end the "Right to Buy" scheme, where people can buy their council homes - and build 500,000 social homes. It also wants to keep rent rises in line with inflation. Tom Chance, the party's housing spokesman, set out the other priorities:

The first thing is to allow more councils to actually borrow to build homes and across the country, local councils want to have this power but none of the other parties are willing to give it to them. We also want to take away a very generous tax break that's given to private landlords for their mortgages...and put it into social housing, so it's actually building new genuinely affordable homes for people."

housing boards
PA

Group hug regrets?

Leanne Wood, Natalie Bennett, Nicola Sturgeon
BBC

The SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon told Radio 4's Eddie Mair that she'd met Ed Miliband three times - one of those occasions was the party leaders' debate. Eddie Mair pointed that Mr Miliband didn't get a hug! At which Ms Sturgeon joked:

Maybe we should have invited him for a hug after all."

LIb Dems' red line

More now from the BBC's business editor Kamal Ahmed on the Lib Dem's pledge to draw a "red line" on education spending in England in any coalition negotiations.

Impassioned pleas from Cameron

Something got David Cameron stirred up in his speeches yesterday and today. They were delivered with unusual fervour, some reporters said.

Sturgeon: 'The final say is mine'

Salmond and Sturgeon
PA

Radio 4 PM's Eddie Mair asked Nicola Sturgeon if she had ever had a row with the former SNP leader Alex Salmond. "Yes," she replied. "I was his deputy for 10 years. It would be bizarre if we hadn't had differences of opinion." She wouldn't reveal what they had argued about though. When Mair asked who wins the rows, she replied:

The final say now is mine. That's how leadership works."

Gauke quizzed on names in newspaper letter

Andrew Neil

Daily and Sunday Politics

Conservative Financial Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke is challenged by Andrew Neil over some of the names who have signed a letter in Monday's Daily Telegraph. Representatives of 5,000 small businesses are calling for the Tories to be "given the chance to finish what they started".

Watch the interview

David Gauke
BBC

Sturgeon grilled on the NHS

Eddie Mair

PM on BBC Radio 4

As you would expect from Radio 4's PM programme, the SNP leader, Nicola Sturgeon faced several interesting lines of questioning. Eddie Mair challenged Ms Sturgeon - once a health minister in Scotland (2007-10) - over whether the SNP's health policies were truly "progressive". He said 4,000 NHS posts were "axed" in 2010. Ms Sturgeon came back with her own figure, saying that there were now 10,500 more staff than there were when the SNP came to power in 2007. But she added there was still "work to do" on the NHS.

Cameron: I'm hungry to win

David Cameron
Reuters

David Cameron has just been on Channel 5 News, where he dismissed claims his campaign has been a little lacklustre. He said he is "hungrier now than I was five years ago" to win.

Lib Dems

Education funding - what the Liberal Democrats call the "cradle to college" pledge - is the first "red line", the leader of the Lib Dems has revealed.

In an interview with the BBC's business editor Kamal Ahmed , Mr Clegg said a commitment to increase education funding in England from £49bn to £55.3bn over the next parliament was the non-negotiable price of the Lib Dems entering coalition government with either the Conservatives or Labour. Education is a devolved matter in the UK.

Spotlight on Sturgeon

There's a busy few hours ahead for the SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon with a string of interviews. Shortly, she'll be speaking to Eddie Mair on Radio 4 PM, swiftly followed by an interview for Radio 1's Newsbeat. And this evening she has her Leader Interview with Evan Davis.

Where's the yellow Play-Doh?

Nick Clegg
BBC

Fun and games for Nick Clegg as he visited a nursery in Wimborne, Dorset. He delved into some vivid lime-coloured modelling clay, asking the children: "Where's the yellow Play-Doh?" The Deputy Prime Minister also challenged one child to guess his age! If you ask a child a question like that...who know what answer will come back. In this case the answer was "96" . Mr Clegg is 48.