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
- More than 100 business leaders write to the Daily Telegraph publicly backing another Conservative-led government
- Labour leader Ed Miliband pledges to end "exploitative" zero-hours contracts
- Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg highlights previously announced plans to triple paternity leave, during a campaign visit to Scotland
- Boris Johnson launches the Conservative campaign in London
- Leading Welsh politicians clash over the economy in an election debate
- Shadow chancellor Ed Balls pledges to end "Tory austerity" in his first budget if Labour wins in May, on the campaign trail in Glasgow
- UKIP calls for a "free and fair" referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union.
Vicki Young's one minute round up
Wednesday's newspaper headlines
The Telegraph leads with an open letter from 103 senior business leaders endorsing another Conservative-led government, and notes the executives oppose Labour plans to raise corporation tax. The letter warns that a "change in course" of policies could "put the recovery at risk".
Labour lays down the gauntlet on zero-hours contracts, writes the Independent. The paper says Labour's first Queen's Speech would propose legislation to ensure that employers would only be able to take workers on with a zero-hours contract for 12 weeks before they offered them regular terms.
The FT also runs with Labour's plan to abolish all zero-hours contracts. It says 1.8 million Britons work for firms that do not guarantee them any fixed hours, and adds that business organisation the CBI is "unhappy" at Labour's plan.
The Guardian leads with a different story: the Liberal Democrats' proposal for a new charter to "protect journalists from state interference" and end government-appointed broadcasting regulators.
What's gone wrong with politics?
Most experts believe the general election will result in no single party winning an overall parliamentary majority. So what's gone wrong with the system? Political commentator Danny Kruger offers his view.
Reality check of the day
The BBC's Reality Check team has been hard at work again.
This time, they've been assessing Labour's claims on the use of zero-hours contracts. What's the verdict?
"We are the party of home ownership, of kitchen ownership. They are the party of hypocrisy and kitchen concealment."
London Mayor Boris Johnson compares his party with Labour, as he launches the Conservative election campaign in London
"This is an unprecedented intervention in a British General Election... Their message couldn't be clearer."
Chancellor George Osborne, asked about the letter by business leaders in the Telegraph
"No one will be surprised that some business people are calling for low taxes for big businesses."
Labour's business spokesman, Chuka Umunna
"It's not all about big business, it's not all about Tory peers."
Stuart Rose, Conservative peer and former Marks & Spencer boss, on the business letter
"Yes we are the underdogs but look, the first ball's just been kicked in this campaign. We're nowhere near half-time let alone the final whistle. We can turn this around."
Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy on Labour's electoral prospects in Scotland
"If it's not good enough for us, I don't think it's good enough for the people of Britain."
Labour leader Ed Miliband on zero-hours contracts
"Labour's proposals go too far. They are unnecessary and potentially damaging. Frankly, this is an example of politics trumping good policy."
Christian May, Institute of Directors, on Labour's plan to curb zero-hours contracts
Prime Minister's wife Samantha Cameron swept into Kent on her first solo mission - in an attempt to woo voters back to the Conservatives. The seat is currently held by Mark Reckless who defected from the Conservatives to UKIP. But reporters were more interested in how Mr Cameron was feeling ahead of Thursday's leaders' debate. "He doesn't seem too nervous, but I have to say I'm very glad that it's him doing it and not me," she quipped.
It's not just politicians out on the campaign trail for this election. One candidate enlisted the help of his furry friend, Max (adorned with a party rosette for good measure), to go canvassing. Whose is this pet pooch? (Clue: answer below).
Max belongs to Matthew Offord, Conservative candidate for Hendon.
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