Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Live Reporting

By Victoria King, Alex Stevenson and Bernadette McCague

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Recap of the day....

    The day has been dominated by manifesto launches, with David Cameron offering to help voters secure a 'good life'. We're signing off for the day but we’ll be back with more manifestos - the Liberal Democrats and UKIP - from 6am tomorrow. In the meantime, here’s a recap of the day:

    • Launching the Conservative Party manifesto , David Cameron said the Conservatives were the party of "working people"
    • Mr Cameron unveiled new policies on childcare, the right-to-buy and income tax
    • The other parties spent the day attacking the Tories’ pitch to voters. Nigel Farage said the Conservatives were “aping UKIP”; the Lib Dems said the Tories’ lack of detailed plans for cuts was “extraordinary”; and Labour insisted Mr Cameron's party wouldn’t stand up for working people
    • The Green Party launched its manifesto with party leader Natalie Bennett calling on voters to join a “peaceful revolution” as she laid out plans to end austerity politics
    • The Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy clashed with the SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon on austerity politics – and faced veiled criticism from his colleagues in London too.
  2. A place to call your own

    We finish where we started... with the Conservatives' big manifesto announcement on extending the right-to-buy to housing association tenants. In an interview with BBC2's Newsnight, the Conservative chief whip Michael Gove said it would help "tens of thousands of people to have a place they can call their own". As for the Tories' wider plans, he denied that people with disabilities would lose under proposals to cut welfare spending by £12bn. Mr Gove said:

    Quote Message: The idea that any government led by David Cameron would actually make the lives of disabled children, or families with disabled members, more difficult simply doesn't make sense."
  3. Wednesday's i

    i front page
  4. Wednesday's Independent

    Independent front page
  5. Wednesday's Sun

    Sun front page
  6. Wednesday's Daily Mail

    Daily Mail front page
  7. The latest on the polls....

    David Cowling, Editor, BBC Political Research says:

    Quote Message: TNS gave the Conservatives a two-point lead over Labour (34% versus 32%) and YouGov gave Labour a one-point lead over the Conservatives (34% versus 33%), with the Lib Dems around 9%, UKIP 14% and the Greens around 6%. Too early to tell if manifestos have any impact on public opinion. But the really interesting development was the publication of the latest batch of Ashcroft constituency polls. These comprised ten Conservative seats with challenging majorities for Labour to overturn. He found a mixed bag of results, varying from a 0.5% swing from Conservative to Labour in Harlow and a swing of one point in Dover, through to a 7.5% swing in Crewe & Nantwich, 7% in Finchley & Golders Green and 6% in Milton Keynes South. He also found that Labour were generally outgunning the Conservatives in terms of making contact with electors."
  8. Clegg: 'We will not sell out'

    The Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg tells the Guardian that the country faces a stark choice between "a coalition of grievance" that involves the Scottish Nationalists or UKIP, or the politics of conscience and stability with the Liberal Democrats. He was speaking ahead of the Lib Dem manifesto launch on Wednesday. He also tells the Guardian that the party will stick to its manifesto promises.

  9. Wednesday's Guardian

    Guardian front page
  10. Wednesday's Telegraph

    Telegraph front page
  11. Wednesday's Mirror

    Mirror front page
  12. John Prescott hits the campaign trail...

    John - now Lord - Prescott, (and former Labour deputy prime minister) has been campaigning in Merseyside today. He still knows how to pack a punch - verbally, of course. He compared Esther McVey - a Conservative Minister defending Wirral West - to Margaret Thatcher. The Liverpool Echo reports that he called her heartless.

    Here's a full list of candidates standing in Wirral West.

  13. Wednesday's Financial Times

    Financial Times
  14. A 'good life' for marine life?

    Here's a bit of the Conservative manifesto that may have passed you by. The Conservative Zac Goldsmith tweets:

    Quote Message: Fantastic that Conservative Manifesto includes biggest & boldest marine conservation measures of any Government ever."
  15. George Eaton, New Statesman's political editor



    Labour and Tories have looked like students desperately cramming to ensure they secure a pass in their weakest subjects (economy/society).

  16. Help at hand for undecided voters

    Need some guidance on which party to vote for? Democratic Audit UK - a research unit at the London School of Economics - has been reviewing Voter Advice Applications, which try to match voters' views to party policies

  17. Manifesto week

    Conservative manifesto launch

    Today it was the turn of the Conservatives and Green Party, yesterday Labour. Tomorrow brings us the Lib Dem and UKIP manifesto launches. How will those two parties try to tempt voters their way?

  18. 'Political cross-dressing'

    The BBC's political editor, Nick Robinson, examines the language of the party leaders during this manifesto week.

  19. Immigration warning

    The Huffington Post

    Britain would "fall apart" without immigration, a former senior Conservative minister has argued.

    Alistair Burt, who served as a Foreign Office minister from 2010 to 2013, said on Monday evening that politicians had to make sure to counter the "negative" view of migration.

  20. 'Mummy vote'

    On the BBC News Channel, Caroline Wheeler of the Sunday Express says the Conservatives' manifesto launch was aiming at both the "grey vote" and the "mummy vote" with announcements on right to buy and childcare. Kate Devlin, of the Herald, says the "good life" theme was not just an attempt to steal ground from Labour - it was also a pitch at potential voters.

  21. All change please

    The Lib Dem battle bus, previously known for hitting a pigeon , has been abandoned. PA's David Hughes (see the entry below) says journalists have opted for the tube instead.

  22. David Hughes, Press Association



    Quote Message: Lib Dem bus stranded by side of the road due to some form of electrical problem. Driver trying to get it restarted.
    Lib Dem bus
  23. Gove: 'bright and optimistic' story

    Michael Gove

    Michael Gove, the Conservative chief whip, reviews the party's manifesto. Speaking to the BBC News Channel, he says: "I think it's a bright and optimistic story of the good life that all of us can enjoy in the next five years if we carry on the path that we have been following for the last five years."

    He says:

    Quote Message: We are now in a position to say to people that at every stage in your life we can provide an enhanced opportunity for you and your family."
  24. Debbie Cameron



    Quote Message: I want one interview where the question is 'why do you think that's a good idea' rather than 'how are you going to pay for it'."
  25. Manifesto test for Priti Patel

    In the hot-seat for Radio 4 PM's 10-minute election interview this afternoon was the Conservative Treasury Minister, Priti Patel.

    Presenter Eddie Mair asked her about a manifesto pledge to ensure everyone can access a GP in their area between 8am and 8pm seven days a week.

    There was a brief silence - a rare occurrence on PM - at which point Eddie Mair 'fessed up. "I beg your pardon. That was the 2010 manifesto. You didn't keep that promise."

    Ms Patel replied: "Well, well... let's go back to 2010 and where we are now. Of course there wasn't a Conservative government. It's been a coalition government."

    At which Mair observed: "It's the Liberal Democrats' fault!"

  26. Add to the debate

    Text: 61124

    Mary, London:

    SMS Message: Cameron delivered the best news today regarding housing and l am happy somebody is finally addressing the unfair and unjust housing policy. lf council tenants have the right to buy their properties with discount why not housing association tenants? l can't continue paying rent without it benefiting me in the future.
  27. Matthew Holehouse, Political Correspondent, Daily Telegraph



    Quote Message: "We've not got a money tree," says Greens' Darren Johnson, outlining plans to increase tax take by £200 billion
  28. ela!ne



    Quote Message: Forcing folk into mortgages they can't afford is how this economy got in a mess in the first place #righttobuy
  29. What about drugs?

    Generation 2015 panel member Billy Orton thought David Cameron's speech was "quite visionary, but I thought it was bit of a throwback to Thatcher's era". He laments that there was "very little mention" of the environment and drugs policies.

    Jordan Lee-Pirrie, meanwhile, felt the tone adopted by the PM was "very positive", if, perhaps, a little over-the-top. "But you need that, otherwise people aren't going to be interested in politics and they're not going to want to vote," he adds.

  30. Party you've never heard them before

    Jon Culshaw and Debra Stephenson

    Listen to impressions by Jon Culshaw and Debra Stephenson on BBC Radio 5 Live.

  31. Generation 2015 reaction

    Jodie Lunnon

    Several young people who are part of the BBC's Generation 2015 team of 200 young voters have been giving their reaction to the Conservatives' manifesto, launched by David Cameron today.

    Watching the speech, Jodie Lunnon felt there wasn't much in it to appeal to younger voters. But others on the panel liked the prime minister's focus on traditional and family values.

  32. Ross Slocombe



    Quote Message: Just emailed all the candidates standing in my local area in #election2015 to ask how they would improve things, lets see what comes back :)
  33. Frank Field: right-to-buy `a half-baked idea'

    Frank Field

    The veteran Labour politician Frank Field says he was "at the fore" of calls for Labour to support the right-to-buy back in 1970s and 80s. In an article for the Politics Home website he says he still supports the principle but not the details of the Conservatives' policy.

    Quote Message: I cannot support this half-baked idea. There are no guarantees the scheme will raise the income the Tories propose and no guarantees the social housing lost will be replaced."
  34. Labour's 'ethnic minority' manifesto

    Labour has been setting out policies designed to help people from ethnic minority backgrounds . Launching the party's BAME manifesto was shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan. He said that when his parents came to London from Pakistan in the 1960s they were "regularly confronted with signs saying ‘no blacks, no Irish, no dogs’". Mr Khan said there had been "huge progress" since then but that things had gone backwards under the last government.

  35. Are you a political poet?

    Can you express #GE2015 in verse?

    BBC Have Your Say has been asking readers to tweet an election-themed poem in 140 characters or fewer.  Click here to find out to take part.

  36. Tom Watson, Labour candidate in West Bromwich East



    Quote Message: From a bedroom window in North Warwickshire: "I'm making love to the wife but please put a poster in the letter box". There's commitment.
  37. Iain Dale, columnist



    Quote Message: That @GreenJennyJones is a rascal. Avoided answering difficult question by congratulating me on my Blog of the Year Award. Minx :)
  38. Ben Glaze, DailyMirror political correspondent



    Quote Message: Russian planes near our airspace, Russian ships in the Channel - manna from heaven for those wanting UK to meet @NATO 2% target. #GE2015
  39. Gove goes off message?


    There was nothing silly about the question BBC politics producer Chris Gibson put to Michael Gove: "Too late to win the election?" However, we'll leave you to judge whether the Chief Whip gave a sensible answer.

  40. Hot election tips from blacksmiths

    Andrew Neil

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    Blacksmiths in North Yorkshire

    The Daily Politics is touring the UK, calling in on voters at 18 sites to ask their views on the general election - and Tuesday's stop was in Tholthorpe, North Yorkshire. Reporter Giles Dilnot spoke to Will Lowe, Branny Drinkhall and Allison Steed, who work at a blacksmiths, about what the parties have to offer to earn their vote at the general election. Watch the film

  41. Have your say


    Phil Brown, Lowestoft:

  42. Signing off

    David Cameron

    It’s been a day dominated by manifesto launches, with David Cameron offering a brighter, more positive message from the Conservatives to voters. This is Alex Stevenson and Victoria King signing off for the day – we’ll be back for more from 6am tomorrow. In the meantime, here’s a recap of the day so far:

    • The Conservative Party manifesto saw David Cameron promise a “good life” as he positioned the Tories as the party for “working people”
    • Mr Cameron unveiled new policies on childcare, right-to-buy and income tax
    • The other parties spent the day attacking the Tories’ pitch to voters. Nigel Farage said the Conservatives were “aping UKIP”; the Lib Dems said the Tories’ lack of detailed plans for cuts were “extraordinary”; and Labour insisted Mr Cameron's party wouldn’t stand up for working people
    • The Green Party manifesto featured a promise for action on climate change
    • Leader Natalie Bennett called for voters to join a “peaceful revolution” as she laid out plans to end austerity politics
    • The latest inflation figures saw the consumer price index unchanged at 0%
    • Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy clashed with Nicola Sturgeon on austerity politics – and faced veiled criticism from his colleagues in London, too.
  43. In praise of UKIP

    UKIP Pakistan poster

    UKIP is enjoying the spiritual assistance of a Christian church in Lahore, Pakistan. Pastor Francis Bashir has revealed pictures of his congregation holding up a UKIP poster stating that “God made you successful”. Their enthusiasm for "Nigel Farag" – as his name is spelled on the poster – is clear. Pastor Bashir wants UKIP to win the election “because the party stands up for Christian culture and values and people from the Commonwealth”. Pakistani Christians are among the most persecuted in the world, UKIP points out.

  44. A long way from parliament

    Borders landscape

    Westminster feels rather a long way from Penrith and the Borders, the seat held by Conservative Rory Stewart in the last parliament. That distance is in the mind as much as it is physical, as Today programme reporter Matthew Price has been discovering. His report is the latest in Today’s 100 seats in 100 days series.

  45. James Kirkup, Politics @ Telegraph Media Group



    Quote Message: Can you tell the Conservative and Labour 2015 election manifestos apart? | via @Telegraph …
  46. Conservatives would `shackle workers'

    As the day goes on, other policies - beyond the headline-grabbers - in the Conservative manifesto are coming to light. The party wants to change the rules on industrial action so a strike could only go ahead "based on a ballot in which half the workforce has voted". And public sector workers would only be able to go out on strike if it was directly supported by 40% of people entitled to take part. The manifesto states: "We will protect you from disruptive and undemocratic strike action."

    The proposal has angered the unions with the GMB General Secretary Paul Kenny calling the Conservatives "class warriors" seeking to "shackle workers".

    Quote Message: We will soon see the double standards in operation as if the Tories are returned again they will have no hesitation in forming a Government while not securing 40% support from the electorate. Yet they propose to use that power to impose a 40% threshold on trade union members voting for strike action.
  47. Add to the debate


    Paul Barrett Brown:

  48. Hanging with the Girl Guides

    Miriam Gonzalez Durantez

    No-one, it’s fair to assume, told Miriam Gonzalez Durantez that being a politician’s wife would involve making edible pigs. But carefully crafting these objects out of chocolate digestives, fondant and cream eggs, as well as assisting in the preparation of lava lamps (pictured above), is exactly what Nick Clegg’s missus has been up to on a visit to a local Girl Guides hut. She’s been in Hazel Grove, Stockport, helping Lib Dem candidate Lisa Smart's bid to hold the seat. “It's obviously a very close campaign for everybody,” says Ms Gonzalez Durantez. “Nobody's going to have an outright majority and that makes it quite interesting." That’s one way of putting it…

  49. 'Flaky election bribes'

    Harriet Harman

    Labour's deputy leader Harriet Harman delivers her verdict on today's Conservative party manifesto launch:

    Quote Message: The Conservative Party have not and will not stand up for working families. It is working people who have paid the price of the last five years, with higher taxes and wages down £1,600. Yesterday Labour showed that it was the party of change and the party of responsibility with a fully funded manifesto that does not require any extra borrowing. The Conservative manifesto today shows once again that working people can’t afford five more years of the Tories.”
  50. Election deaths

    Independent candidate Ronnie Carroll's death brought into focus the need for rules to govern what happens in such an event. BBC political analyst Will Wearmouth sums up the relevant electoral law:

    • When an independent like Mr Carroll dies, the election proceeds as normal
    • When a candidate for a political party dies, the poll in that constituency is postponed. New nominations aren’t permitted, apart from a new candidate from the deceased’s party
    • If the Speaker seeking re-election dies, new nominations are allowed
    • If the Queen dies, polling day is postponed by 14 days
  51. Are you an election geek?

    Do you have all the answers?

    Click here to find out how to take part in Jeremy Vine's quiz.

  52. Blast from the past

    Delving into his elephant-like memory, our political correspondent Chris Mason reminds us that a plan to extend right-to-buy to tenants of housing associations appeared in the Conservative manifesto ahead of the 2005 general election. On page 22, to be precise.

    Remember this?

    Composite image showing pages from the 2005 Conservative election manifesto
  53. Ned Simons, Assistant political editor, The Huffington Post UK


    tweets a link to an interview with former minister Alistair Burt:

    Quote Message: Cameron downgrades his immigration target to an ambition. Ex-minister says without migration UK would 'fall apart'"
  54. 'Massive subsidies'

    Boris Johnson

    Boris Johnson might not be such a big fan of today’s right-to-buy announcement, if comments from him in mayor’s question time just a couple of weeks ago are anything to go by. The comments, which can be found here at 17.30 in, have been flagged up by Liberal Democrats. Here’s what Mr Johnson had to say when pressed on extending the policy to housing association tenants:

    Quote Message: “If I may say so, obviously one of the issues with extending the right-to-buy to housing associations in the way that I think you are thinking of is that it would be potentially extremely costly to this body. We would have to make up the difference. Housing associations are private bodies, as we all know. It would involve massive subsidies. We would need to get the funds to support that. At the moment, I would stress, there is no such policy.”
  55. Mark Glover



    Quote Message: Loving @jamieoliver's manifesto idea in @theipaper to ban chewing gum in public. Would like to see spitting outlawed too #ELECTION2015
  56. Is leader a liability for her party?

    Andrew Neil

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    The Green Party "is having a wonderful campaign" said its leader, who predicted more than one-in-20 people would vote for them at the general election. Natalie Bennett was talking to Andrew Neil on the Daily Politics, where he asked her if she had become a liability for her party.Watch a clip

    Natalie Bennett
  57. Directors-general

    David Cameron

    Here are two more reactions to the Conservatives’ manifesto - one rather more sympathetic than the other.

    Quote Message: The economic recovery is strengthening, but there is still much to do. Progress has been made in cutting the deficit over this parliament, and the Conservative Party’s clear plans to continue the path of deficit reduction are welcome. Business will want clarity over how manifesto commitments will be funded. The Conservative manifesto includes a number of pro-growth measures, such as investing in infrastructure, creating a competitive tax environment, and boosting skills. And business is clear: our membership of a reformed European Union is also critical to our economic future.” from John Cridland CBI director general
    John CridlandCBI director general
    Quote Message: This manifesto promises us that the Conservatives have a plan for every stage of our lives. It’s highly doubtful that there are many voters who want David Cameron and George Osborne to plan their lives from cradle to grave. This is a missed opportunity by the Conservative Party to put forward a strategy for a growing and successful economy which allows individuals to make their own plans for their own prosperity.” from Mark Littlewood Institute of Economic Affairs director general
    Mark LittlewoodInstitute of Economic Affairs director general
  58. Emily Canfor-Dumas



    Quote Message: What happened to climate change? Remember that big issue? Doesn't seem to be on the agenda anymore... #ELECTION2015 #climatechange
  59. Squeezing the Tories

    From Arif Ansari, Lib Dem campaign correspondent

    BBC News Channel

    Nick Clegg

    Throughout this campaign so far Nick Clegg has been going to a lot of seats where the primary opponent is not a Labour candidate but a Tory candidate. Even in those seats where the Lib Dems are up against Labour, they hope that they can get those middle-ground Tories to support them. So they’re pretty hopeful the Tory campaign, which they see as a little too extreme, could alienate middle-ground Tories - and those are the kind of voters that Nick Clegg is trying to win over.

  60. Beth Rigby, FT's deputy political editor



    Quote Message: Female Conservative also said to me the campaign messaging wld have been more effective if more women at top table
  61. Allegra Stratton, political editor, BBC Newsnight



    Quote Message: Tory aides v kind to me today, loitering nearby with mike to help me ask PM a Q. But next time he should take more than one Q from a woman."
  62. Wellbeing success

    Relaxed people

    The economic debate is often dominated by confusing numbers, with their pesky decimal places and baffling percentages. Perhaps the alternative measure of wellbeing might reveal more about the state of British politics, former cabinet secretary Gus O'Donnell suggests. He's written an article for Prospect magazine highlighting the steady improvement in wellbeing seen over the last five years. "Why has wellbeing increased?" he asks. "Causal analysis of the data is still pretty primitive. But the first thing we can say is that it’s probably the economy, stupid." Ah. Maybe those pesky numbers do have something to do with it.

  63. Welsh socialist republic?

    Andrew Neil

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    Every child should have the opportunity to later stand to be elected head of state, says Leanne Wood. The Plaid Cymru leader told Andrew Neil there was "some way to go" before a Welsh socialist republic, but it it would be "fantastic if we could achieve that". During their Daily Politics interview, she was asked about Plaid's 11% poll result at the last general election, predictions for the next one, and her reaction to being mimicked in Radio 4's Dead Ringers comedy programme. Watch the interview

    Leanne Wood
  64. Skills drive?

    Second jobs are controversial in politics, but what about additional skills? We're thinking of starting a new series on "Things you have to learn on the campaign trail". We've seen plenty of food-related tasks - pizza, pie and pancake making - as well as car maintenance and animal husbandry.

    Now it seems Nicola Sturgeon has been having a go at weaving.

    Nicola Sturgeon
  65. The same hymn sheets

    Jim Murphy, Ed Miliband and Ed Balls

    Labour has run into a little difficulty over the consistency of its message on spending cuts. The problem was summed up by shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna declaring earlier that "the leader of the Scottish Labour Party will not be in charge of the UK Budget”. His comments followed shadow chancellor Ed Balls saying he couldn’t guarantee Scotland an exemption from cuts. That appeared to clash with Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy’s comments during last week’s TV debates. Mr Murphy, out campaigning in Cumbernauld today, insists he’s “singing from the same hymn sheet”. He said:

    Quote Message: "It isn't all about cuts, it's just a different approach to how we run our economy, which is we want more people out earning decent wages, paying taxes rather than subsidising low pay and that's a much more effective way of having economic growth."
  66. Britain's 'first crowd-sourced manifesto'

    Andrew Neil

    Daily and Sunday Politics

    Loz Kaye

    The Pirate Party started fighting for internet freedom but now has Britain's "first crowd-sourced manifesto", says its leader. Loz Kaye told the Daily Politics that it stood for "taking democracy back", and getting people involved in politics. And he claimed that internet access for all would help boost the UK economy and deliver growth. Watch the interview

  67. Tory manifesto highlights

    David Cameron

    Let's keep it simple for a minute. Here’s a few of the key pledges from the Conservative manifesto:

    • Right-to-buy scheme extended to all housing association tenants
    • Free childcare allowance for working parents of three- and four-year-olds doubled to 30 hours a week
    • All those who work 30 hours per week on the minimum wage taken out of paying any income tax
    • Rail fares prevented from rising above inflation until 2020
    • Extra £8bn a year for the NHS by 2020
    • EU referendum by 2017

    There’s much more, of course, on the deficit, the "Northern Powerhouse" and the “good life” - check out our at-a-glance summary here.

  68. How many people could benefit from a right-to-buy extension?

    Reality Check

    The Conservatives have said they would extend right-to-buy for “up to 1.3 million tenants of housing associations”. The party’s press release says there are around 800,000 housing association tenants who only have a limited ‘right to acquire’ social housing. The Conservatives also say that around 500,000 housing association tenants currently don’t have the right to buy their home. As the new policy would affect both of those groups, the Conservatives say that 1.3m people could benefit. But is this correct? The first thing to note is that the housing landscape has changed considerably in recent decades. The government’s 2013-14 English Housing Survey (EHS) said there were 3.9m households in the social rented sector in England in 2013-14. At 17%, that was the smallest type of tenure and follows a long downward trend since the 1980s. That suggests that the proportion of potentially beneficiaries from the right-to-buy extension is dwindling.

    Of those that might qualify under the Conservatives' plan, not all will be in a position to buy their own home. The EHS said that 8.6% of people in the social rented sector were unemployed. That compares with 3% overall in England or 5.4% among private renters. In terms of economic activity, the survey said that only 23.9% of people in the socially-rented sector were in full-time employment, compared to 62.1% of private renters. The survey also said that just 25.2% of people in the socially rented sector expected to buy a property, compared to 61.1% of private renters.

    The Conservatives could argue that this figure might change following today’s announcement. And they might also take some comfort from the EHS survey, which showed that 73.8% of people in the social rented sector have been in the property more than three years and so would meet the eligibility criteria in terms of length of stay in the property. But given the relatively high unemployment rate, and relatively low rate of people in full-time work, it is perhaps less likely that all of the people who are potentially eligible will find themselves in a position to buy their home.

  69. Jonathan Walker, local newspaper political editor



    Quote Message: If it's only people working 30 hours a week on the minimum wage who pay no income tax then it's not "a Tax Free Minimum Wage" really is it?"
  70. Kate Devlin, Westminster correspondent, The Herald



    Quote Message: Tory manifesto also appears to promise an "English rate of Income Tax..."
  71. 'Penalised the poorest'

    Nicola Sturgeon meeting voters

    The last five years of Conservative policy have “penalised the poorest people in our society”, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon says. The Scottish First Minister’s comments, following the launch of the Tory manifesto earlier today, saw her go on the offensive against David Cameron’s party’s austerity politics:

    • She criticised the Conservatives for punishing “women with children, the disabled” and “the vulnerable”
    • Ms Sturgeon said George Osborne and Mr Cameron had missed “every single one of their fiscal targets”. While she accepted the need to cut the deficit, she said it should be done in a way “that allows us also to invest in the NHS and growing our economy faster and lifting people out of poverty”
    • She called on new powers for Scotland to be delivered “in full and quickly” - before making clear the SNP wants full fiscal autonomy “over a period of years”
  72. Kate Devlin, Westminster correspondent, The Herald



    Quote Message: Tory pledge appears to contradict Smith agreement on extra powers that all MPs "will continue to decide UK's Budget, incl Income Tax"
  73. 'Double standards'

    Wind turbines

    The Conservative Party's election manifesto is a recipe for higher household energy bills, according to environmental campaign group Greenpeace.

    Spokesman Dr Doug Parr said: "Onshore wind is the cheapest form of low-carbon power. Stopping it whilst also committing to cutting carbon emissions only means we'll have to invest in more expensive sources of clean energy, driving up bills."

    He accused the Conservatives of "double standards and ideological bias", claiming the party will "champion localism when it comes to wind farms" but "run roughshod over local people's concerns when it's about fracking".

  74. Nick Eardley, BBC politics reporter



    Quote Message: Tory manifesto p 23: "A Conservative Government will give Parliament the opportunity to repeal the Hunting Act on a free vote"
  75. 'Small business champions'

    Quote Message: We're very much champions of small business in the Green Party and we want to restore strong local economies built around small business and cooperatives. Those small businesses put far more back into the communities than the big businesses do." from Natalie Bennett Green Party leader
    Natalie BennettGreen Party leader
  76. Your questions

    BBC News Channel

    David Gauke, George Osborne and Priti Patel

    Conservative Treasury spokesman Priti Patel - George Osborne's left-hand woman in the above shot - will be live on the BBC News Channel at 16:30 to answer your questions about the Tory manifesto. Tweet questions to #BBCAskThis - and if you send in a video question you may see yourself on TV.

  77. Faisal Islam, Sky News political editor



    Quote Message: a cunning meaty think tanky idea this RTB policy, but £18bn of realisable excess expensive housing equity over parliament is a big big claim"
  78. Natalie Bennett interview

    World at One

    BBC Radio 4

    Natalie Bennett

    Green Party leader Natalie Bennett says the party's "big focus" is on increasing spending, creating a million public sector jobs and providing free social care for over 65s. But how will you pay for this? Cracking down on tax avoidance and evasion to raise £30bn a year, as well as a tax on the financial sector are among the party's plan, she explains.

    Ms Bennett says the party has "a philosophical commitment" to re-balancing society to help the disadvantaged who have been "hard hit" by austerity. The current system is set up for the big multi-national companies and we'll turn that around, she adds.

  79. The shrinking BNP

    BNP logo

    Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis notes that with nominations now closed there are just eight BNP candidates at this general election - in 2010, there were 338. Read more on the Newsnight live blog.

  80. Knives out

    World at One

    BBC Radio 4

    "He did stab his brother in the back, that is absolutely clear," says Environment Secretary Liz Truss of Ed Miliband.

    Her comments come after Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said Mr Miliband had "stabbed his own brother in the back" to lead Labour and was now "willing to stab the UK in the back" by doing a deal on Trident with the SNP "to become PM".

    Ms Truss, pressed on Mr Fallon's remarks, said he was "right to highlight the character implications of Ed Miliband in government".

  81. Ian



    Quote Message: #David Cameron says we will build affordable homes on brownfield. Maybe build places of work on brownfield as well not just houses.
  82. Pic: Camerons meet voters in Swindon

    David and Samantha Cameron meet Nicole Calver and Paul Pearson
  83. Anne McElvoy, Economist public policy editor



    Quote Message: "Im not going to give a running commentary."@trussliz on Worldat1. Trans: "Don't want to answer question and will talk about something else"
  84. Joe Murphy, political editor of the Evening Standard


    Singing star Ronnie Carroll may have died at 80 - but thanks to a quirk of electoral law he'll still appear on the ballot paper in a seat where the majority is just 42. Read more.

  85. George Eaton, Political Editor, New Statesman


    tweets a link to his blog:

    Quote Message: Cameron promises a land of sunshine - but how many will believe him? My take on the Tories' manifesto launch"
  86. Pic: Miliband campaigning in Loughborough

    Ed Miliband
  87. 'Massively successful'

    World at One

    BBC Radio 4

    Liz Truss, Conservative environment secretary, is challenged on the World at One over the Conservatives' right-to-buy housing announcement. She says the party wants to give more people the benefit of home ownership. Right-to-buy has been "a massively successful policy" and we want to extend that to 1.3 million more families, she adds.

    The Conservatives have also promised to fund the NHS in England by £8bn extra a year, which NHS bosses say is needed to sustain the system. Asked where the money will come from, Ms Truss doesn't answer, instead pointing to the government's "track record" of making the necessary reductions in government spending to invest in the health service.

    "We've got the track record, Labour's track record is a letter saying we've got no money left."

  88. 'Tens and tens of billions'

    World at One

    BBC Radio 4

    IFS director Paul Johnson is speaking to BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme about the Conservatives' election manifesto launch.

    He said the prime minister confirmed that the Conservatives are looking for a budget surplus by 2018. To get to that, he adds, they will need “tens and tens of billions of pounds” of spending cuts or tax increases, “but we got no new detail whatever of what those might look like”.

    Quote Message: That implies something really dramatic... rally big cuts on welfare spending, really big cuts in local government spending, really big cuts in all the other bits of spending which haven't been specifically protected."
  89. Pic: Clegg and Hughes campaign in Southwark

    Simon Hughes and Nick Clegg meet voters in Southwark
  90. David Maddox, Political journalist for The Scotsman



    Quote Message: So not much for Scotland in Conservative manifesto...noticeably @RuthDavidsonMSP chose a fish farm over being with the PM in Swindon #GE2015
  91. Send your views

    Text: 61124

    M. Scott, Newcastle:

    SMS Message: Why not ask these people why they do not refurbish all the council properties standing empty? Surely the cost would be a fraction of cost of new building.
  92. Ask a minister

    BBC News Channel viewers can put questions to Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander later. He'll be live in the studio with Huw Edwards at 17:30 BST, when the presenter will be getting answers about Lib Dem policies on behalf of viewers.

    You can tweet questions to #BBCAskThis, or email video questions to .

  93. Tim Sculthorpe, Press Association parliamentary editor


    tweets : Very roughly - the Tory manifesto is around 31,000 words, the Labour manifesto about 20,000 words. This is a pretty useless fact.

  94. Political 'cross-dressing'

    Nick Robinson

    Political editor

    David Cameron launches the Conservative Party manifesto

    This week of political cross-dressing goes on.

    David Cameron tried to re-brand the Conservatives as the party of working people - the day after Ed Miliband claimed that Labour was the party of economic responsibility.

    It is not just the language that has changed, it is the tone.

    Read more from Nick.

  95. 'Aping UKIP'

    Nigel Farage

    Nigel Farage, who’s been out and about in Kent today, says the right-to-buy initiative won’t do anything at all to guarantee homes go to British people. He says the Conservative manifesto as a whole was a “re-hash of so much of what was said in 2010” – and voices concern that there was “no commitment to Britain’s defence whatsoever”.

    Quote Message: There are a lot of policies here that are long-term UKIP policies and they are trying to ape UKIP. But let’s remember that commitment to reduce immigration to tens of thousands is still there - they failed, the commitment to up the thresholds on inheritance tax are still there and haven’t been delivered on. This is so much of the same that people have seen before, that I’m not frankly sure people will believe it." from Nigel Farage, UKIP leader
    Nigel Farage, UKIP leader
  96. Iain Watson, Labour campaign correspondent


    tweets: looks like @ed_miliband will be literally drummed out of Leicester at end of ethnic minority manifesto launch

    Drummers at Labour's ethnic minority manifesto launch
  97. Socialist dreams

    Leanne Wood

    Leanne Wood doesn’t shy away from her very left-leaning brand of nationalism, declaring that a Welsh socialist republic would be “fantastic”. She admits on the Daily Politics there’s a long way to go, though, and says it’s hard to contest an election when she hasn’t got the chance of becoming prime minister. Ms Wood says she’s hoping to lead a party with five MPs after the general election – that would count as a success because it would be Plaid’s best-ever haul. It would be a net increase of two from their 2010 performance.

  98. Inflation views

    Inflation graph

    Here are two rather contrasting takes from the Conservatives and Labour on today’s inflation figures, which remained at the record low of 0% in March:

    Quote Message: “Today our plan for working people gets another boost, with good news for family budgets. For the second month in a row, inflation is at zero. Thanks to our long-term economic plan, Britain's economy is getting stronger: jobs are up, the deficit is down, the economy is growing, and inflation is at record lows. We are the party for working people offering you security at every stage of your life.” from George Osborne, Chancellor
    George Osborne, Chancellor
    Quote Message: "A few months of falling world oil prices won’t solve the deep-seated problems in our economy or make up for years of bills rising faster than wages. Wages continue to be sluggish and are down £1,600 a year on average under this government. And tax and benefit changes since 2010 have left families £1,100 a year worse off on average. Labour’s better plan will build a more productive economy that will earn our way to higher living standards for all. While the Tories will end up raising VAT again to make their sums add up, Labour's plan will back working families." from Chris Leslie, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury
    Chris Leslie, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury
  99. Have your say


    BBC News website readers react to Conservative plans to extend the right-to-buy scheme for housing association tenants.

    Maxine Barton emails: How is this fair? Having had subsidised rent now the property can be bought with up to 70% discount! What about young people who can't get a local authority property and have to seek out private rentals? What help will they get to buy their own property?

    Kirsty Mardlin in Hertfordshire writes: I can't believe with the existing affordable housing crisis that a Tory government want to sell off the few houses left by opening up the right to buy to housing associations tenants. How about helping those of us trapped paying three times more than those in social housing in the private rent sector by providing us a 35% deposit on our houses. We will be forced to move out of our area and further north soon as rent prices are rocketing.

    Babs Taylor emails: Surely if they can afford an expensive property within the social housing stock, these persons can afford to live in either private housing sector or take advantage of other schemes such as shared ownership. There are houses purchased not for occupants but for the greedy. Should social housing not focus on the needy?

    Christine Holland writes: Right to buy will have long term, detrimental effects and costs for the country. They are buying votes. My daughter can't afford a home, why on earth should my taxes help someone already in a home to buy one?

    Rose Knight emails: If the Conservatives win the election, I would probably have to move out of the council property I live in as it's worth quite a lot. I am financially unable to purchase my home so what do I benefit from this? Having to moving into a smaller property!! Doesn't make sense. It's all about robbing Peter to pay Paul!

  100. 'Extending opportunity'

    Sadiq Khan

    Labour has launched its manifesto today – not the big one, that was yesterday, but a document specifically targeting black and ethnic minority voters. The party is highlighting its compulsory jobs guarantee for those aged 18 to 25 who've been out of work for 12 months, plans to raise the national minimum wage and a cross-government race equality strategy as the highlights of its plan to “extend opportunity and tackle discrimination”.

    Quote Message: “Britain only succeeds when all working people succeed. That’s why Labour has a plan to build an economy that works for ethnic minority families and to tackle race inequality.” from Sadiq Khan, shadow justice secretary
    Sadiq Khan, shadow justice secretary
  101. BBC story: Greens urge voters - 'join a revolution'

    Your comments

    Mark comments:

    If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. You cannot achieve all of this without raising a lot of money to do it. Tax the rich and they will move abroad, borrow the money and deepen our debt. Its the system that needs changing, Capitalism is rapidly turning into a noose around our necks.

    Andrew Johns says:

    Nice to see all the people re-enforcing their own ignorant stereotypical opinions of what the Greens stand for. Just because it's a different view to your own doesn't make it lunacy. Plenty of examples through history to learn from, and many experts agree with Green policies. Some countries are even already successfully implementing them.

  102. Have your say



  103. Truss on right-to-buy

    Elizabeth Truss, the Conservative environment secretary, says today's manifesto shows hers is the "party of working people" - wait, we've heard that phrase before.

    Liz Truss

    Asked about the right-to-buy policy, and specifically what happens if councils can't - or won't - sell their most expensive social housing properties, Ms Truss insists: "This is a policy that works across the country". It's being funded on a "national basis", she says, adding that 15,000 families move out of expensive homes every year.

    Quote Message: These are Treasury numbers that have been fully costed."
  104. 'Desperate pledges'

    BBC News Channel

    Danny Alexander

    “We’re the only party, really, that’s set out any detail on how we’d actually balance the books and pay for the promises we’re making,” Liberal Democrat Danny Alexander tells the BBC News Channel. “The Tories won’t describe their cuts in detail because they go much further than anyone else wants to go, cutting to the bone in public services.” The Lib Dems would offer £6bn of tax rises, £7bn of measures to crack down on tax avoidance, £12bn of departmental expenditure savings and £3bn on welfare. Mr Alexander, George Osborne’s right-hand-man in the Treasury over the last five years, says the Tories’ manifesto isn’t nearly as convincing because it lacks the same level of detail. 

    Quote Message: These desperate pledges from a party that knows it can’t win the election will strike voters as pretty unbelievable."
  105. Nick Faith, Co-founder of Westminster Policy Institute



    Quote Message: Tucked away on p49 is a commitment to implement boundary changes post 2018. #torymanifesto
  106. 60% questions

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Natalie Bennett

    Natalie Bennett faces Andrew Neil on the BBC's Daily Politics. She's claiming that increasing the top rate of income tax to 60% for those who earn over £150,000 will bring in £2bn - but where's the proof? "What we'll talk about is what we're planning, which is a crackdown on tax avoidance," she replies. People don’t decide their lives based on “money”. She says London has a lot to offer in terms of “lifestyle”.

  107. Not impressed

    BBC News Channel

    Quote Message: It's a total con... The big issue with the Tory manifesto is they're trying to keep the massive cuts they want to make entirely secret." from Danny Alexander Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury
    Danny AlexanderLib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury
    Danny Alexander
  108. Patrick Wintour, Political editor of the Guardian



    Quote Message: TUC gen sect O'Grady "The Conservative plans on industrial action ballots will make it almost impossible for unions to call a legal strike"
  109. Send us your views

    Text: 61124

    Holly, Leeds:

    SMS Message: Can you please ask or let me know have the Conservative said anything in the manifesto anything about helping the genuine sick or disabled people who can't work or are we forgotten again because we don't qualify as hard working people? Does no one care because over the last 5 years I feel as though I've been classed as a scrounger.
  110. Plaid security

    Daily Politics

    Live on BBC Two

    Leanne Wood

    Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood is on the Daily Politics. She isn’t very sympathetic to the idea that senior politicians should be shielded from the public. “I have no bodyguards or security team, and I’m free to go wherever I want,” she says. Nick Clegg got into a bit of difficulty while out campaigning, but that doesn’t seem to have shifted Ms Wood’s view. “I think that’s important for democracy, actually - I think politicians should be available to the public to be scrutinised on their policies.”

  111. Add to the debate

    Text: 61124

    Mike Shaw , Leek, Staffordshire:

    SMS Message: The Conservatives say that they are the party of the working people, funny that the room is full of rich business men and women & supporters. Who's he kidding?
  112. Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity


    tweet a link to their response:

    Quote Message: As @peston says we've major concerns about #righttobuy given the track record of replacing homes sold through it"
  113. Thinking about tomorrow

    David Cameron exits

    David Cameron exits, accompanied by his wife Samantha, who will presumably now be advising him on which Good Life couple she thinks they're most like. Senior Tories stand and applaud as Fleetwood Mac's Don't Stop blasts out on the speakers. As in 'Don't stop thinking about tomorrow' - fairly subtle messaging there.

  114. Nicholas Watt, The Guardian



    Quote Message: Now @Conservatives nicking @billclinton Fleetwood Mac 1992 campaign theme tune
  115. 'On the right track'

    Tory applause

    And now David Cameron is wrapping up. "Britain is on the right track," he says. He wants to clear the deficit and go for full employment. "Stick with the team and the plan and the vision that will deliver security for working people throughout their lives, throughout our country," he finishes. And that, as they say, is that.

  116. Isabel Hardman, Assistant editor, The Spectator



    Quote Message: Cameron produces a vague cloud of candyfloss when @BBCAllegra asks him for detail on welfare cuts
  117. Welfare details

    David Cameron

    Here's the final question, from BBC Newsnight's Allegra Stratton. She's asking David Cameron why he's being so clear on the "nice stuff" and so unclear on the "nasty stuff" - like £12bn of welfare cuts. The Conservative leader says further welfare cuts are the right thing to do - but he doesn't offer any new detail about how that will actually be achieved. Instead he offers a lengthy exposition of the Conservatives' deficit reduction strategy.

  118. Taking stock

    On the right-to-buy policy, and the question of whether the government will actually be able to get councils replacing the stock they're going to sell off, David Cameron gets interrupted by applause before he can actually answer the question. In London, he says, some properties have been sold off that have led to a dozen others being constructed.

  119. Beth Rigby, FT's deputy political editor



    Quote Message: Great question from @BBCAllegra £12bn of welfare cuts? How can you be so open about the nice stuff and not about the nasty stuff? #GE2015