Monday, 4 May 2015


What they want you to remember
As most of us luxuriate in the final hours of a long weekend, the politicians are at work, doubling down on the messages they'd like you to remember when you cast your vote on Thursday. Earlier in the campaign Labour and the Conservatives experimented with some "political cross-dressing", as they ventured into one another's territory. Now they seem to have swapped back, with Labour concentrating on NHS funding and the Conservatives focusing on proposed tax cuts. The Lib Dems are also hammering home their well-rehearsed argument that two-party politics has had its day.
Has Ed Miliband said sorry?
This morning on Radio 4, Ed Miliband repeated that the big economic mistake of the last Labour government was a failure to regulate the banks properly, rather than to spend too much. But Brown, Miliband and Balls have to be held to account for making big and important long-term public spending commitments on the basis of money generated by a bloated banking sector that could not be relied upon.

That said, it is worth noting that only days before Northern Rock went kaput, and City euphoria evaporated, George Osborne as shadow chancellor was pledging to match the Labour government's promises to continue increasing public expenditure.

In other words, Osborne was in effect part of Sir Nick Macpherson's blinkered economic establishment. Even so, it doesn't make Brown, Miliband and Balls less culpable that Osborne also failed to identify that the government was living beyond its means.
Read more >
Robert Peston
Economics editor
The choice is yours
David Cameron travelled to Hastings and Ed Miliband to East Sussex on the campaign trail today
David Cameron and Ed Miliband have both been talking about choice today. Mr Cameron said voters face an "inescapable choice: me leading a strong and stable government, or with him: the chaos of being held to ransom by the SNP". Mr Miliband said his opponent wanted to reduce the election to a "clash of two nations" whereas he wanted people to ask: "Is it run for working people or is it run for the rich and powerful? That is the choice between me and David Cameron." But the Lib Dems diverged from that binary message, stressing what they see as the inability of any one party to hold the reins of power. Read more >
Greens accuse rivals of blame game
Natalie Bennett told activists in north London she rejected "those who try and divide us by our country of birth". She accused rival politicians of attempting to "sound tough... to stave off the perceived threat from UKIP". The Conservatives, Labour and UKIP have all resolved to tighten immigration controls.
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UKIP's electoral fraud warning
UKIP has proposed limiting postal votes to people who can prove they are housebound. A spokeswoman for the party claimed "postal voting has enabled a lot of electoral fraud". UKIP would also abolish the Electoral Commission and the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.
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Miliband stands by his stone
The unveiling yesterday of an 8ft piece of limestone inscribed with Labour's key election messages drew mockery from other party leaders, on social media and in some press outlets. But Ed Miliband has defended the prop, insisting: "Our pledges are carved in stone." He added he wanted to show the party's promises would not expire on 8 May.Read more >
Brand makes his mark
Despite having previously said he thinks people shouldn't vote, the comedian Russell Brand has endorsed the Labour Party - apart from in Green candidate Caroline Lucas'constituency. Brand spoke out following an interview with Labour leader Ed Miliband - which David Cameron described as "a joke". But Brand hit back that there was nothing funny about what the Tories have "been doing to this country". Read more >
Why Election 2015 is most unpredictable ever
David Cowling, editor of the BBC's political research unit, explains why he has never been more uncertain about the outcome of a general election in his life. Read more >
Politics around the UK
Scuffles as Jim Murphy campaigns
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Plaid could vote against Labour Budget
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Northern Ireland:
New issues divide voters in Upper Bann
Read more >
A guide to five key seats in Essex
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Breaking news
We couldn't let the Bank Holiday weekend pass without bringing you some of the social media reaction to Ed's Miliband stone. You can also read a brief history of the prop in British politics.

Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy has been at the centre of a scuffle in Glasgow city centre as he and comedian Eddie Izzard were heckled by opponents whilst campaigning. Protesters, who played loud music and shouted "Red Tories out", drowned out Mr Murphy as he tried to speak. And at the time of writing news has just broken (sorry) that an egg has been lobbed in David Cameron's direction in Bath, but smashed without hitting him. Follow yolks and serious news alike on the BBC live page >

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