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  1. Updates from Wednesday 29 April

Live Reporting

By Hannah Bewley

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Thank you and good night

Hannah Bewley

BBC News Online

Thank you for joining us this evening for the



You can watch again

here if you still don't know who to vote for next Thursday.

End of three-party politics?

via Twitter

Wes Richardson

tweeted: "Why should we listen to the top three parties? You have had a chance and haven't been doing your jobs." Summed it up nicely. #southdebate

Lively, well-informed and superb questions

...and that was just the audience.

Sally Taylor, your election debate ringmaster for the evening,

tweeted: "Haven't come across such a lively well informed audience with superb questions.

Sally Taylor

"Very lively...a testing ringmasters job for me!!!!"

'People really care'

Peter Henley

Political editor, South of England

Talking to people during this campaign I have felt they are more empowered and feel they have more of a stake.

A lot of politicians agree with me that they haven't experienced this in previous elections, people really care this time.

Promises, promises

Politicians promise a lot during the election campaign. But how much of it do they really mean? And does it make a difference to your vote?

David Cameron

The BBC's

Reality Check team has been sorting fact from fiction, wheat from chaff and hype from hyperbole so you know who to believe about what.

'Hope or austerity'

Sally Taylor asks the panel with a royal baby on the way, is it hope or austerity ahead of the general election?

They all say hope, and it depends who you vote for.

And with that the debate ends for the evening. Continue to have your say using the hashtag


'End zero-hours exploitation'

Rowenna Davis said a Labour government would work to end "the exploitation" of zero-hours contracts and give people the opportunity to accept a more secure contract after a certain amount of time.

Rowenna Davis

Penny Mordaunt, Conservative, said the move would harm businesses.

UK built on different nationalities

We've been asking for your views during the BBC South election debate, Danny M emailed to say: "It is very worrying how intolerant normally sensible people have become.

"Immigration always has and always will make our country a richer place.

"The UK always has been a country built on many different nationalities throughout its history."

Living wage embarrassment

Dev Mistry asked the most revealing question of the night.

Debate panel

"Do any of you know what the living wage is?"

None of the panel knew.

It's £7.85, but you knew that already.

'It gets taken off you'

Audience member Kathleen Kerridge said raising the tax threshold hadn't helped, as her family might earn £5 more a week, but £10 gets taken away in support.

Parties on economy

Lib Dem Layla Moran said she is proud of her party lowering the tax threshold while in government.

Mike Glennon, UKIP, said Britain needs to become an attractive place for businesses to boost the economy.

Penny Mordaunt, Conservative, said: "This goes to the heart of people's quality of life. Our welfare reforms are about making work pay."

'We're facing pressures'

Kathleen Kerridge told her story: "We have gone through health problems and redundancy in our family and eviction through a private landlord and were then rehoused in sub-standard accommodation.

Kathleen Kerridge

"We were collecting benefits and didn't need to worry about prescription charges, travel costs, school uniform, school lunches, but when my husband got a job we had to face a lot of pressure suddenly.

"We had to go to the food bank to feed the family, things are so bad people are going to charity to get food."

Better off?

Sally Taylor

Presenter, BBC South Today

"Are you feeling better off?"


The audience are split. Some shout "yes" and some shout "no".

'Our NHS, not yours'

Audience member Ann said: "It is our National Health Service, it's not yours.

"When are you all getting together and stop using it as a political football?"

Mark Chivers, Green Party, said when you start to think about patients as customers you change the ethos.

Labour on the NHS

Rowenna Davis, Labour, said: "If we were setting up the NHS today, we would make it a health and care service.

"What we can't do as a Labour Party is sign up to the cuts and austerity the coalition has introduced."

'Stop political meddlin'

via Twitter

Mike Greenland

tweeted: "#southdebate Reduce income tax and create an NHS tax that everyone pays Then people can chose how much to fund it and stop political meddlin"

'I thank the immigrants'

Dave Owen

tweeted: "#SouthDebate I work in nhs, it would not exist without immigrants and I thank them for their contribution."

Tory view on NHS

Penny Mordaunt, Conservative, said: "We have got to do more than just give the NHS the money it needs.

"We have got to integrate budgets and involve the voluntary sector more."

Lib Dems on NHS

Layla Moran, Liberal Democrat, said: "We want to listen to the professionals in the health service.

Layla Moran

"We will move the NHS towards prevention rather than cure."

NHS debate

GP David Paynton asked the panel: "We got through the last winter, just. The care system in this country is on the brink.

"What plans do you have to secure the long-term future of the NHS?"

Why listen?

One audience member asked: "Why should we listen to the top three parties? You have had a chance and haven't been doing your jobs."

Debate audience

Immigration debate

Mark Chivers, Green Party, responded to the question about immigration saying: "The reason why there is a problem in the NHS is that services haven't been invested in properly, it is not the fault of the last people who came here."

Mark Chivers

Where will cuts go?

Geoff Charnley

tweeted: "HOW & WHERE WILL TORY £12bn WELFARE CUTS HIT THE SOUTH? #southdebate"

'Deeper immigration issues'

Giving her views on immigration, Labour's Rowenna Davis said: "[We] will raise the minimum wage to £8 per hour to stop people being undercut.

Rowenna Davis

"We know there are deeper issues that need to be addressed surrounding this issue."

UKIP on immigration

UKIP's Mike Glennon said Britain is a "small island", adding: "We need to control immigration, it is not about race it is about space."

Mike Glennon

"UKIP will introduce an Australian-style point system."

Immigration 'reforms'

First to respond on the the issue of immigration is the Conservative's Penny Mordaunt who said: "We will make additional funding available for the extra stress on public services.

Penny Mordaunt

"We also need to reform the freedom of movement within the EU."

Immigration issue

Our first question comes from audience member Rhys Aldous who asked: "What are you all going to do about immigration?


"We are all feeling the effects of it on the NHS and public services."

Tune in

Here we go then, tune into BBC One now to watch the BBC South election debate.

South debate

Get involved on

Facebook and
Twitter using the hashtag

Other candidates are available

Hannah Bewley

BBC News Online

Unfortunately we couldn't hold a debate with every candidate in the south of England but there's a trove of information on the

BBC News website.

Andrew Beaumont's election form with lego characters
Andrew Beaumont

Each constituency has a profile listing all the candidates standing against those speaking tonight.

Click on each of the following for

Oxford West and Abingdon,
Southampton Itchen,
Worthing East and Shoreham,
Portsmouth North and
Mid Dorset and North Poole.

What does Peter say?

Peter Henley is the

BBC Political Editor for the south of England.

Follow him on Twitter

@BBCPeterH for his take on tonight's debate. He's been
snapping away, drinking slushies and
eating ice cream all in aid of the campaign so far.

Peter Henley

Behind the scenes

via Twitter

Cameraman Paul Martin

tweeted: "Some more behind the scenes pics from
#southdebate from earlier... Do catch up on BBC South later tonight."

Behind the scenes
Paul Martin

Debate panel

Our final member is Labour's Southampton Itchen candidate Rowenna Davis who grew up in London and has lived in Bitterne Park for the past few years.

Rowenna Davis
Rowenna Davis

She used to be a journalist and became interested in politics as she wanted to "play a part in solving problems" rather than writing about them.

According to

her website, she once made it from Vancouver to Venezuela in a second-hand truck.

Debate panel

Green Party candidate for Mid Dorset & North Poole Mark Chivers has lived in the Poole area for more than 20 years and had a career in financial services.

Mark Chivers

He says: "Many people are struggling because of the government's austerity agenda" which he is "fundamentally opposed to".

Debate panel

Liberal Democrat candidate for Oxford West & Abingdon Layla Moran is a physics and maths teacher by profession and

according to her website "her mother is a Christian Arab from Jerusalem, and her father is a British EU Ambassador".

Layla Moran
Getty Images

She has lived in Greece, Ethiopia, Jamaica and Jordan and believes government policy should be based on "evidence not political posturing and rhetoric".

Debate panel

UKIP's candidate for East Worthing and Shoreham Mike Glennon will be appearing and said the people of the UK have the right to govern themselves and should not be dictated to "by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels".

Mike Glennon
Mike Glennon

His election campaign was launched with the distinctive UKIP purple double-decker bus touring his constituency.

Debate panel

Let's introduce our panel which is made up of five election candidates, starting with Conservative Portsmouth North hopeful Penny Mordaunt who was elected as an MP in 2010 and grew up in Portsmouth.

Penny Mordaunt

As a member of parliament she was a member of the Public Bill Committee for the Defence Reform Act.

She is a Royal Navy reservist at King Alfred on Whale Island and appeared on reality television programme Splash!

Debate presenter

Sally Taylor is hosting tonight's debate and keeping the politicians in check.

Sally Taylor

She has been presenting

South Today since 1987 and brings years of experience of grilling the people in power.

Good evening and welcome

Hannah Bewley

BBC News Online

Welcome to the live page for the BBC South debate.

Audience members will be grilling candidates from across the region and political spectrum on a range of issues.


Get involved on

Facebook and
Twitter using the hashtag
#southdebate. You've got no excuse not to.