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Live Reporting

By Chris Sandys

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good night

Chris Sandys

BBC News

That's all from me. Thank you for being part of the debate - now roll on 7 May and your time to vote.

If you want to watch the debate it will be

available on the iPlayer.

You can keep up-to-date with all the latest news on the general election on the BBC's

Election 2015.


tweets: @bbcpointswest #battleforthewest Thanks for a fair debate all parties got to put across their points very refreshing especially 4 #biasBBC


tweets: #battleforthewest What a waste of time, we learnt next to nothing all hollow promises. Only the #ukip rep touched on the truth..


tweets: Enjoyed being in the audience for #battleforthewest Still not entirely sure where my vote will go but enjoyed it enormously


tweets: Kim Jong-Un getting a mention. Didn't see that coming. #battleforthewest

Let the voters decide

Labour's Thangam Debbonaire says her leader, Ed Miliband, has been really clear in ruling out a deal with the SNP and any coalition.

"I think it would be a good idea if we let the voters decide," she says.

And the final words of the debate go to Steve Stanbury, of UKIP, who says what really matters is whether parliament "start to listen to the millions of people who feel so shut out, disillusioned and disconnected to the Westminster political club. That's what we need."

BBC Points West election debate


tweets: Tessa Munt saying happy to work the The Tories again or Labour. Don't you just love a party with principles? #battleforthewest

Getting into bed

He is followed by the Green's Dominic Tristram who is against a coalition with the Conservatives.

According to him, a "more sensible way of running a government" would be a confidence and supply arrangement where the Greens can support the policies they agree with and avoid voting for the ones they don't.

BBC Points West election debate

Tessa Munt says the Lib Dems "have got something to offer" and have already "brought stability to the country".

"Coalitions do work. I think we could bring some financial common sense to Labour and some caring and compassion to the Conservatives."

Kim Jong-CamerUn?

Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg injects some humour into proceedings with the first answer.

"I would prefer it if the Tories won 650 seats, and had the one party rule, with David Cameron being the [North Korean leader] Kim Jong-Un of the United Kingdom," he jokes. "But I'm most unlikely to get that."

On a more serious note: "I would prefer minority rule. The thing I dislike about coalition is that it allows politicians to get out of their promises," he says.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un
AFP/Getty Images

Question 4: Minority or coalition

Ennan Mwendwa

The final question of the debate, and over to medical student Ennan Mwendwa, who asks: "Would it be preferable to have a minority government, or another coalition?"

You're welcome

Labour's Thangam Debbonaire is getting personal now.

She addresses Magda directly, and says: "This country prides itself on its values of tolerance and welcome, and if we're failing you on that Magda, I apologise."

Fruit, veg and marriage

We're listing the fruits of Somerset labour now, with Tessa Munt highlighting the need for people to pick "strawberries in Cheddar and mushrooms on the Mendips".

"If we didn't have that help from people outside of this country we'd be in desperate straits," she says.

Jacob Rees-Mogg says Britain has got "tighter and tighter on non-EU control" and he doesn't think that's fair on non-EU families.

"I have constituents who have got married to people from India or New Zealand who cannot bring their spouses in."

"What I want is a level playing field." And if you don't get it Mr Rees-Mogg? "I will vote to leave the EU," he says.

Top three issues

Robin Markwell

BBC Sunday Politics West

The questions tonight follow what polls have consistently shown are the top three issues in this election: the NHS, economy and immigration.

'Not my voice'

UKIP's Steve Stanbury responds with a denial: "Immigration clearly is one of the most important issues facing our country, and indeed for decades has been swept under the carpet by the political class who don't want anybody to discuss it."

He then rouses the audience with claims of many people saying "thank goodness" for UKIP and "the people's voice being heard for the first time". A number of people shout back "not my voice".

Steve Stanbury

Question 3: Immigration

Secondary school teacher Magda Bond, originally from Poland, has the third question for the panel.

"The immigration debate in the media is quite hurtful," she says. "Considering there's 55% of migrants coming to the UK from outside of the EU, why are you making EU migrants a scapegoat?"

Magda Bond


tweets: It's interesting how certain PPC's insist on raising their voice to be heard, whilst others policies speak volume enough #battleforthewest

'Austerity = attack'

Jacob Rees-Mogg

Jacob Rees-Mogg's turn, and the Conservative candidate echoes David Cameron's pledge that there will be no increases in the main taxes and says "you cannot spend money you don't have".

Over to the Greens, and to a round of applause as Dominic Tristram argues: "Austerity isn't much to do with the deficit, it's about an ideological attack on the welfare state and the poor."

And how is UKIP going to sign up to austerity and help the poorest? "Quite simply by cutting out gross areas of massive waste," says Steve Stanbury from the Forest of Dean.


tweets: NHS debate ignites with UKIP's @stevestanbury claiming £10bn could be saved by leaving EU to audience cries of "nonsense" #battleforthewest

Brain fade?

Robin Markwell

BBC Sunday Politics West

Was that a brain fade from Tessa Munt over where Lib Dem welfare cuts will fall? She could have mentioned "removing eligibility for the winter fuel payment and free TV licence from pensioners who pay tax at the higher rate" which appears in the party manifesto.

'Poor paid the price'

The first invited to respond is Tessa Munt, who says it is important not to go into surplus at speed and "essential" that welfare is not cut for those most in need.

Labour's Thangam Debbonaire responds by saying it is "the poor who have paid the price" under the present government. She proposes Labour will help the poor by abolishing zero hours contracts, cutting exploitation of the poorest and getting people into work.

Question 2

Moving onto the economy and we have a question from Lewis Holliday. He asks the panel:

"How do you plan to reduce the deficit while limiting the damage on Britain and its working people, and who can offer the best future in the long-term afterwards?"

Lewis Holliday

'A scare story'

Robin Markwell

BBC Sunday Politics West

Conservative Jacob Rees-Mogg calls claims of growing NHS privatisation a "scare story". He argues some private provision is needed to keep services free to patients. Spending on private services within NHS England has risen from 2.8% of the budget in 2006-7 to 6.1% today -

more by clicking here.

'Health tourism'

The audience is warming up. To a chorus of heckles, UKIP's Steve Stanbury suggests "health tourism" is costing Britain big and the NHS should be for the people of Britain alone who have paid into it. "That is fair and that is common sense," he ends.

BBC Points West election debate

Care in the community

Tessa Munt, Liberal Democrat, believes it is the "most important thing" to keep the NHS free at the point of use.

"Good community hospitals and guaranteed care in the community" will be essential to its future success, she believes.

Tessa Munt

'Credible promises'

An early bid to get the audience onside from Labour's Thangam Debbonaire, claiming her party will be "making promises that are credible".

That follows a pledge to introduce a mansion tax and tobacco tax which will "help fund 20,000 nurses, 8,000 more GPs, 5,000 care assistants and 3,000 midwives".

Thangam Debbonaire

Question 1: NHS

And we're off. The first question comes from Andy Wait, a retired deputy head teacher, who asks: "In what ways do you intend to ensure the NHS finance remains strong?"

Andy Wait

Find your constituency

Election 2015

There's eight days to go until the general election on 7 May. Find who's standing in your area with

BBC Election 2015.


tweets: Looking forward to watching #battleforthewest on
@bbcpointswest I'm in the audience #livelydebate

The five panellists

From across the West region, the five panellists in tonight's debate are:

  • Dominic Tristram, from the Green Party in Bath
  • Thangam Debbonaire, a Labour candidate in Bristol
  • Steve Stanbury, for UKIP in the Forest of Dean
  • Liberal Democrat Tessa Munt in Wells
  • And Jacob Rees-Mogg, for the Conservatives, in North East Somerset

Good evening

Chris Sandys

BBC News

Hello and good evening.

Tonight on BBC One in the West, an audience of voters is questioning politicians from the region on the big issues ahead of next Thursday's general election.

Stay with this live page for text commentary reflecting what is said, and the response that follows.

If you want to get involved then do tweet us: