Election 2015: Day at-a-glance
In the run-up to the general election on 7 May, we'll bring you a daily guide to the key stories, newspaper headlines and quotes from the campaign trail.
Day in a nutshell
Parliament has been dissolved, meaning MPs no longer hold their offices. Prime Minister David Cameron met the Queen, formally marking the end of the coalition government. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg also met the monarch in his role as Lord President of the Council.
On the campaign trail:
- Mr Cameron said voters faced a "stark choice" between him and Labour's Ed Miliband on 7 May
- Mr Miliband warned the Conservatives' promise to hold an EU referendum risked an "extraordinary loss of British influence"
- Labour took out a full-page advertisement in the Financial Times, setting out its determination to "put the interests of Britain and British business first rather than risk an EU exit". But some firms criticised the use of their quotes in the advert
- The Conservatives said Labour would raise taxes for every working family in Britain by £3,028
- Labour dismissed the figure as "made-up", and the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) released an analysis which said the party had not said "anything to suggest that this is what they are planning"
- Nick Clegg said the Liberal Democrats would occupy the "reasoned centre ground" during the campaign
- UKIP leader Nigel Farage said his party offered a "radical choice" and a decisive break from the "Westminster political class"
- Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, said the party could be in a "very decisive place" in a hung parliament after the general election
- Welsh Labour, the Welsh Conservatives and the Scottish Greens launched their campaigns
Follow Monday's political action on our live page.
Mason's minute summary
Monday's newspaper headlines
David Cameron is to claim a Labour government would increase the tax bill for working families by more than £3,000, The Times reports. The newspaper also runs with claims from the Institute For Fiscal Studies that Labour could still be borrowing as much as £30bn by the end of the next Parliament.
The Guardian writes that Ed Miliband, in an attempt to woo the business community, will warn later than an EU referendum would lead to a bitter campaign and the Conservatives tearing themselves apart. The Financial Times says the Labour leader sees his pro-EU stance as the best way to defuse "business hostility" to his party.
The Telegraph reports that one of Labour's top donors has praised Mr Cameron's economic policies and said plans to reintroduce the 50p tax rate risked "alienating" some voters.
Downing Street was a hot topic as we waited for David Cameron to emerge - but it was a fox chasing a duck outside Number 10 that had people tweeting. The BBC's Rebecca Keating wondered if it was UKIP ramping up their "fox in the Westminster hen house" line...
Meanwhile, three #GE2015 stories have been trending on Facebook: Reality TV star Katie Hopkins vowing to leave the UK if Labour win; a combative interview by the BBC's Andrew Neil with Labour campaign co-ordinator Lucy Powell; and a satirical mash-up video by Cassetteboy that takes aim at Mr Cameron, George Osborne and Nigel Farage.
Elsewhere, Labour released its first election broadcast - featuring actor Martin Freeman - on YouTube.
Quotes of the day
"Together we are turning our country round and for your sake, for your family's sake, for the sake of your children and their future, we must see this through together."
Conservative leader David Cameron
"It is a recipe for two years of uncertainty in which inward investment will drain away, two years of uncertainty in which businesses will not be able to plan for the future, and two years of wasted opportunities for progress, for profit, for prosperity: a clear and present danger to British jobs, British business, British families and British prosperity."
Labour leader Ed Miliband on Conservative plans to hold a referendum on EU membership
"Unless they're going to tell us exactly how they're going to do it, then I'm afraid we're left having to guess."
Conservative chairman Grant Shapps on his party's claim Labour would raise taxes for working families by £3,028
"I think there is a real space in this campaign, which I obviously hope the Liberal Democrats will fill, for the reasoned centre ground."
Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg
"I'm a straight-talking person, I'm honest - UKIP are not going to win the general election. But you know what? No-one is going to win the general election."
Nigel Farage, UKIP leader
"The Westminster establishment have had things their own way for far too long - it's time for Scotland to lead progressive politics across the whole UK by voting SNP."
Nicola Sturgeon, SNP leader
What happens if no party wins an overall majority on 7 May? Our correspondent Ross Hawkins has been taking a look, with the aid of some eye-catching graphics.