Wednesday, 15 April 2015


Follow the yellow brick road
What does Nick Clegg have in common with the Wizard of Oz? Well, we're not quite sure - but he pledged to "add a heart" to the Conservative tin man and "add a brain" to the Labour scarecrow as part of any future coalition, drawing loud cheers from the audience at the Lib Dems' manifesto launch. Whereas Labour and the Conservatives both tried something new in their manifestos, the Lib Dems seem to be sticking to the script, presenting themselves as a moderating force for the coalition age. UKIP also launched its "serious, fully-costed" programme for government today.
Who do you dislike least?
Take your pick. Clegg, Farage or Salmond. Who do you want to hold the balance of power? Who do you want to call the shots? Who should be in a position to hold the next government to ransom? Nick Clegg posed those questions today.

Coalition was inevitable, he suggested, so the choice was simply between a "coalition of conscience" and a "coalition of grievance" - in other words a Lib Dem coalition with either Labour or the Tories and not a deal between the SNP & Labour or the Tories, UKIP and the DUP. An hour later Nigel Farage made his alternative pitch for UKIP having a stake in the next government of the UK.

Hold on a second, though. The polls may continue to suggest there'll be no clear winner in three weeks time but coalition is far from inevitable. Read more >
Nick Robinson
Political editor
The once and future kingmaker
It's me, Salmond or Farage, Nick Clegg told an audience in south-west London
Nick Clegg predicted that no party would win the election outright at his manifesto launch today, telling voters to choose who will hold the balance of power - the Lib Dems, the SNP or UKIP. He promised a "coalition with conscience" that would not "lurch off to the extremes". Education and childcare were given pride of place, with £2.5bn assigned to education after 2017. The Conservatives and Labour have both insisted they can win on their own. Read more >
Lib Dem manifesto at-a-glance
The Liberal Democrats have launched their manifesto ahead of the general election. The full document is available online. The BBC News website has rounded up the key points. Read more >
The UKIP formula
Thoroughness pledged in Thurrock
Launching UKIP's manifesto in Thurrock, Nigel Farage said his party had done its sums and come up with a "serious, fully-costed" set of policy proposals. Star billing was given to what he called a "low-tax revolution" - keeping workers on the minimum wage out of tax, raising the 40p tax rate threshold to £55,000 and scrapping inheritance tax. The Conservatives responded that there was a "£37bn black hole" in UKIP's plans. Read more >
Election 2015 policy guide
The BBC has compiled a set of policy "cards" taking you through the parties' positions on the big issues and how they apply to different parts of the UK - now updated to reflect the manifesto pledges announced so far.
Take a look >
Reality Check: Education
How can the Lib Dems and other parties promise to boost education funding in England at a time of rising prices and pupil numbers? BBC Reality Check investigates. Read more >
The day in pictures
BBC News picture editor Phil Coomes rounds up the day's best snaps, including this verdict from Lord Ashdown on his party's manifesto.Read more >

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