Friday, 17 April 2015


Tearing down the third wall
There was no shortage of drama in last night's debate between five of the opposition party leaders - more fiery than the somewhat reserved cast-of-seven performance earlier this month. Not much doubt over who the leading lights were either, with all eyes firmly on the relationship between Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon as the dust settles. And Nigel Farage must surely be in the running for best supporting actor after his unexpected tearing down of the third wall - he berated the audience for being "left-wing", a comment he stuck by today.
The Ed v Nicola Show (part two)
David Cameron's absence gave Mr Miliband the chance to taunt the absent prime minister for his lack of political courage. It also allowed him to focus his fire on the SNP's Nicola Sturgeon, trying to create a distance which he has, so far, struggled to create. He rejected her repeated invitations to work together to "get rid of the Tories".

On the other hand the debate confirmed that the battle for Scotland is the defining drama of this election campaign. The images of the night, the video clips and the memorable sound bites are all of Ed v Nicola.

Conservative HQ and the Tory press will take delight in using them to conjure up the spectre of a weak minority Labour government being forced to deal with and placate a rampant SNP. Read more >
Nick Robinson
Political editor
Is that your final answer?
Scotland's role in the election is squarely centre-stage
David Cameron is pressing Ed Miliband for an answer on whether he'd work with the SNP in a hung parliament. Mr Cameron tweeted that Mr Miliband "won't rule out a vote-by-vote deal" after Nicola Sturgeon made a direct appeal to Labour during the debate, offering to help the party be "bolder". But Mr Miliband emphasised on stage that he has "profound" differences with the SNP and, as yet, shows no signs that he's ready to phone a friend. Read more >
Unemployment figures: a new job
The number of jobless people fell by 76,000 to 1.84 million in the three months to February. But with the numbers published during an election campaign, the parties have a slightly different job to do, as they try to tie the figures to their campaign message. David Cameron hailed a "jobs miracle" which only his party can safeguard. Ed Miliband objected too many of these jobs were "low-paid and low-skilled" - something he says he'd address as PM. The Lib Dems' Danny Alexander said it was evidence of what his party can bring to government. Read more >
Build your own majority
Struggling to make it through the last few hours before the weekend? Fear not!

The BBC's visual journalism team has devised this game, allowing you to fit together different parties in any combination you like in order to achieve a majority. You're welcome.
Start playing >
Watch: Miliband's invitation to Cameron
Labour leader Ed Miliband used his closing debate statement to challenge the prime minister to a head-to-head debate - an invitation David Cameron has repeatedly declined. Watch >
Farage turns to the audience
UKIP leader Nigel Farage has accused those attending the BBC's election debate of being a "left-wing audience" before suggesting "the real audience are sitting at home".
Watch >
Reality Check: Do parties keep manifesto promises?
After a week of manifesto launches, BBC Reality Check takes a look at the track record of new governments implementing their pre-election pledges. Read more >
Coming up: Daily Politics debates
The Daily Politics is holding a series of themed debates over the next three weeks. The first, on Monday at 12:00 BST on BBC Two, is focused on environment and climate change. Tuesday is foreign affairs, Wednesday the economy, and Thursday education. Read more >

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