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Summary

  1. The Conservatives promise another 50,000 apprenticeships paid for by £200 million from Libor fines
  2. Labour announce a 10-point plan to reform the immigration system
  3. Lib Dems demand a stability budget within 50 days of the next government being formed as a red line for any post-election negotiations
  4. BBC2's Daily Politics hosts another election debate - this time on defence and security
  5. One hundred young voters quiz politicians on the cost of living in the final Newsbeat election debate
  6. There are nine days left until the general election

Live Reporting

By Pippa Simm, Jenny Matthews and Anna Doble

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Until tomorrow...

It's time for us to say goodnight after another busy day in the election campaign. But before we sign off and head home for sleep, we'll leave you with a quick round-up of today's main political news. Thanks for joining us - and see you tomorrow.

  • Growth in the UK economy slowed in the first three months of the year, according to official figures
  • David Cameron vows that a Conservative government would use bank fines to fund 50,000 apprenticeships
  • Ed Miliband pledges a 10-point plan to reform the immigration system
  • Nick Clegg said the Lib Dems would not enter into another coalition unless an emergency "stability budget" was held within 50 days
  • A group of ex-senior military officials has said any decision not to renew the UK's nuclear weapons programme would be "irresponsible folly"
  • Average incomes are set to fall over the next five years regardless of who leads the new government, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies
  • The Green Party pledged to double child benefit to £40 a week
  • Nigel Farage said he was "bored" with the media's "obsession" that depicted UKIP as a racist party
  • Ed Miliband was interviewed by Russell Brand , which prompted much discussion in the newspapers

What would a hung parliament mean for Britain?

During the election campaign, politicians have constantly said they are campaigning for an overall majority for their party.

However, the polls indicate another hung parliament is more likely.

With the parties having ruled out various coalitions, talks about who governs Britain could involve many parties, not just a handful or only the main ones.

Nick Robinson reports.

Conservative spending pledge

BBC News Channel

The focus of tomorrow's election campaign is inevitably going to be on tax, with the Conservatives pledging not to raise income tax, National Insurance or VAT for the next five years if they win the election, says our political correspondent Ben Geoghegan.

David Cameron is due to announce his plans in a speech on Wednesday, and is expected to propose a law to outlaw any tax rises.

Labour will say it is a sign that the Tories can't be trusted and they will point to David Cameron's broken promise not to raise VAT in the last Parliament., our correspondent says.

The Conservatives will be hoping to get good headlines from the policy, and by pledging to enshrine it in law they want to show it is a clear commitment, he adds.

Three new polls

David Cowling, BBC Political Research Editor, analyses the latest.

Two GB-wide polls and one from Scotland. Both TNS and YouGov deliver one-point Conservative leads, with the Lib Dems around 8%, UKIP around 13% and the Greens on 5%. Survation’s Scottish poll has the SNP on 51% and Labour on 26%, a swing of 24% that one year ago would have been unthinkable but not now. 

Farron: UKIP and SNP are dangerous

Newsnight

Tim Farron
BBC

Liberal Democrat President Tim Farron is on BBC 2's Newsnight programme, and says the party would not take part in a post-election coalition that involved either the SNP or UKIP.

"If you wrap yourself in the union jack, like UKIP, or the Saltire, like the SNP, you are dangerous," Mr Farron says.

He adds: "The politics of nationalism and identity is dangerous and divisive and we would not want to share power in any formal way with a party that wants to split up the country or destabilise it by taking us out of the European Union."

Tomorrow's papers

Wednesday's Times front page: Labour chief given £1.5m shares from tax haven #tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers

Wednesday's Times front page: Labour chief given £1.5m shares from tax haven #tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers

Tomorrow's papers

Wednesday's Sun front page: Monster Raving Labour Party #tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers

Wednesday's Sun front page: Monster Raving Labour Party #tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers

Newsbeat debate: Housing and cost of living

Newsbeat

Thefinal Newsbeat election debate has taken place in Edinburghwith the cost of living, jobs and housing discussed by 100 young adults and five politicians.

Lib Dem Danny Alexander pledged to build 300,000 new houses a year, while UKIP's Jonathan Arnott said his party would create a million new homes in 10 years. Gavin Brown of the Conservatives said his party was already cutting the cost of living "whether that’s energy bills, freezing council tax, freezing fuel duty".

Meanwhile, Labour's Jenny Marra said her party was "committed to increasing the minimum wage to £8.00 by 2020.” On zero-hours jobs and the minimum wage, the SNP's Humza Yousaf said: "In the 21st century we have women doing the same job as men but being paid less for it. It's completely medieval."

To keep across all the big election stories for young and first-time voters, check outNewsbeat's Election 2015

Newsbeat's election pages
BBC

Tomorrow's papers

Daily Mail Do you really want this clown ruling us? (And no we don't mean the one on the left) #tomorrowspaperstoday

Daily Mail Do you really want this clown ruling us? (And no we don't mean the one on the left) #tomorrowspaperstoday

Ease the pre-election stress... with BallotBots

Newsbeat's election game

Newsbeat

BallotBots is a game all about the general election, except we've turned your leaders into robots. Your task is to pair robot politicians with robot voters as you progress through a series of zones on your way to Number 10.Play it here on BBC Taster.

BallotBots
BBC

Tomorrow's papers

Wednesday's Guardian front page: Miliband’s tactical gamble #tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers

Wednesday's Guardian front page: Miliband’s tactical gamble #tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers

Tomorrow's papers

Wednesday's Daily Star front page: Red Ed & Brand talk total ballots #tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers

Wednesday's Daily Star front page: Red Ed & Brand talk total ballots #tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers

How boring is the election - statistically speaking?

More or Less

BBC Radio 4

Doughnut
Science Photo Library

There's just nine days to go until the general election. We don't know about you, but it's felt like a pretty long campaign already - and many voters are probably looking forward to the whole thing being over.

So, how boring is the general election - statistically speaking? Tim Harford, from BBC Radio 4's More or Less programme, has examined the figures - and has done so with a doughnut analogy.

Newsbeat debate

Live from Edinburgh

Newsbeat

On the need for more housing for young people, Jonathan Arnott of UKIP said: “The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors have said we’re the only party with a plan to address the supply side. We need to build one million more homes over the next 10 years.”

Jonathan Arnott, UKIP
BBC

Tomorrow's papers

Wednesday's Telegraph front page - Cameron's pledge: No tax rises for five years #tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers

Wednesday's Telegraph front page - Cameron's pledge: No tax rises for five years #tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers

Tomorrow's papers

Wednesday's Metro front page: Cop who tried to frame McCanns must pay £350k #tomorrowspaperstoday

Wednesday's Metro front page: Cop who tried to frame McCanns must pay £350k #tomorrowspaperstoday

Tomorrow's papers

Wednesday's Daily Express front page: Freeze on VAT and income tax #tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers

Wednesday's Daily Express front page: Freeze on VAT and income tax #tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers

'We're cutting the cost of living'

Live from Edinburgh

Newsbeat

Gavin Brown of the Conservatives
BBC

Gavin Brown of the Conservatives: “We’ve taken as many policies as we can to cut the cost of living, whether that’s energy bills, freezing council tax, freezing fuel duty, which is not just the cost of the petrol in your tank but cuts the cost of goods more widely.”

'I'm pregnant and in temporary accommodation'

Live from Edinburgh

Newsbeat

Danielle, 23, from Edinburgh
BBC

Danielle, 23, from Edinburgh is 32 weeks pregnant. She tells the Newsbeat debate: "I was homeless for two-and-a-half-years, I'm in temporary accommodation now and I'll have a newborn. People talk about scroungers, but I'm not asking for handouts, just somewhere to raise my child."

Newsbeat debate

Your tweets on housing and jobs

Newsbeat

Scottish students who pay no tuition fees raging there isn't any affordable housing after graduating university! Seriously? #newsbeat

You can't necessarily move to get a job. Sometimes you need that job to move. #newsbeat

Help to rent scheme is ridiculous. If you can't afford to save up £1000 for a flat deposit you shouldn't be moving out at all #newsbeat

Newsbeat debate

Minimum wage

Newsbeat

Jenny Marra, Labour
BBC

Jenny Marra, for Labour says: "Some apprenticeships in Scotland pay £2.73 an hour. It’s not good enough, that’s why the Labour Party is committed to increasing the minimum wage to £8.00 by 2020.”

Tomorrow's papers

Wednesday's FT: Cameron in election pledge to ban tax rises in life of next parliament #tomorrowspaperstoday

Wednesday's FT: Cameron in election pledge to ban tax rises in life of next parliament #tomorrowspaperstoday

Newsbeat debate

Your tweets on housing and homelessness

Newsbeat

i: @BBCNewsbeat - Why has the social inequality questn been ignored? The 99% are getting poorer, the 1% are getting richer. #newsbeat

#newsbeat Why not limit the number of houses that people or businesses can own - aren't there plenty of houses but in too few hands?

People don't understand why homelessness and reliance on food banks is increasing. It's because wage rises dont match inflation. #newsbeat

When will it all be over?

Nick Robinson

Political editor

Downing Street
BBC

Don't worry. Not long to go. The election that never seems to end will be over by next Friday… or maybe it won't.

On the morning after the night before, you might imagine that you won't have to hear from that seemingly endless parade of political leaders anymore but, and I'm sorry to have to break this news to you, you may be wrong. Very wrong.

If (and it is still an if) the opinion polls don't budge, as they have stubbornly refused to do not just for days or weeks but many, many months, the people may have spoken but no-one will quite know what it is that they have said. There will be no clear winner. No instant answer as to whether David Cameron stays in Number 10 or calls the removal men.

So, what happens then?

Read more from Nick.

'We need to build more homes'

Newsbeat live in Edinburgh

Newsbeat

Danny Alexander, for the Lib Dems, says his party will push to "build 300,000 houses a year". He adds: "The point is that for decades we have not been building the number of houses we need."

Danny Alexander
BBC

Get Involved

Newsbeat debate in Edinburgh

Newsbeat

Tina Daheley
BBC
Newsbeat's Tina Daheley is ready for your questions

Jobs, housing and the cost of living: Got a question about the issues we're debating tonight? Tweet your comments #Newsbeat

Minority governments

Reality Check

Houses of Parliament
BBC

It's Friday 8 May, all the votes are counted and every constituency declared.

The people have spoken, and delivered a resounding "not sure".

Unlike last time round, the policies, personalities and Parliamentary arithmetic do not allow for formation of a coalition government.

So what if a minority government is the only answer?

Over to BBC Reality Check's William Wearmouth.

'Completely medieval'

Newsbeat

Humza Yousaf, SNP
BBC
Humza Yousaf, SNP

On zero-hours jobs and the minimum wage, the SNP's Humza Yousaf says: "In the 21st century we have women doing the same job as men but being paid less for it. It's completely medieval."

'People should know they're safe'

Newsbeat debate on jobs and housing

Newsbeat

Isabel,19, from South Wales: "These job aren’t giving people security. People should have a relationship with their employer and know that they’re safe for the future."

Isabel from South Wales
BBC

Newsbeat debate

Your tweets on zero hours jobs

#newsbeat these politicians should be on zero hours contracts until the country is being run n an acceptable way for D hard working taxpayer

#newsbeat zero hours contracts are good for students, more graduate jobs are needed and rent is rather expensive. Show over.

Newsbeat debate

Live in Edinburgh

About to go live @BBCNewsbeat debate our young people are ready to go! Listen in on Radio 1 #newsbeat

About to go live @BBCNewsbeat debate our young people are ready to go! Listen in on Radio 1 #newsbeat

Newsbeat election debate

Live from Edinburgh

Newsbeat

The last BBC Newsbeat debate is about to kick off in Edinburgh (2100 BST).

More than 100 young voters will fire questions at five politicians: Jenny Marra of Labour, deputy leader of Labour in Scotland, Danny Alexander of the Liberal Democrats, Humza Yousaf of the SNP, Gavin Brown of the Conservatives and Jonathan Arnott of UKIP. The key themes are the cost of living, housing and the economy. Your hosts are Tina Daheley and Chris Smith.

Watch live video and text updates right here, listen on Radio 1/1Xtra or watch on the BBC News Channel. If you want to ask a question or post a comment, use our hashtag - #Newsbeat - on Twitter.

Newsbeat live in Edinburgh
BBC

The view from Anglesey

In Wales, the polls indicate that Plaid Cymru's momentum is nowhere near as strong as the SNP's in Scotland. Labour's support in Wales looks strong, too. But there are some key battles between Labour and Plaid Cymru. Huw Edwards has been to Ynys Mon, Anglesey, one of the heartlands of Welsh-speaking Wales, to talk to the island's voters about their priorities.

You can watch his film here.

And a profile of the Ynys Mon constituency and a full list of candidates standing there is here .

Brand chat 'will get more people engaged'

Ed Miliband with Russell Brand
Russell Brand/YouTube/PA

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has defended Ed Miliband's decision to do an interview with Russell Brand. He told Channel 4 News: "I think there are lots of people who watch his channel and Ed Miliband is going to do interviews with people left, right and centre all across the country...

"The fact is, if Russell Brand wants to do an interview, and Ed Miliband goes and does it and people watch it, that's good, because it will get more people engaged in politics."

NI leaders' debate

There's another debate tonight too, in addition to the @bbcnewsbeat one. Representatives from the five major political parties in Northern Ireland are debating on UTV. Nigel Dodds of the DUP, Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness, the SDLP’s Mark Durkan, Danny Kennedy of the UUP and the Alliance Party’s Naomi Long are taking part in the one-hour programme, which starts at 8pm and is chaired by Marc Mallett. It's also being aired on ITV's national network, from 10.40pm.

Last Newsbeat debate

Greg Dawson, Politics reporter for BBC Newsbeat, tweets

At 9pm - the last Newsbeat debate feat. @dannyalexander @JennyMarra @HumzaYousaf @JonathanArnott @GavinBrownMSP

At 9pm - the last Newsbeat debate feat. @dannyalexander @JennyMarra @HumzaYousaf @JonathanArnott @GavinBrownMSP

Population growth clash

There's been a lively-sounding debate about the UK's population in Margate, hosted by BBC Radio Kent. A Liberal Democrat candidate called for a conversation about how many people could live "on this island".

The Tory, UKIP and Labour candidates said they understood him to mean limits on having children, describing his comments as chilling, astonishing and "barmy".

He said he just wanted a debate about population growth.

You can read more here.

Debate in Margate
bbc

Greens oppose eCall

Green MEP Jan Phillip Albrecht
bbc

Meanwhile, over in the EU Parliament, MEPs have voted to get emergency call devices called eCall installed in all new cars, as of 31 March 2018. The aim is to reduce deaths in road accidents, but there are concerns about data privacy. The Greens have come out against.

Green MEP Jan Phillip Albrecht explains why here.