Thursday 16 April 2015


Deal or no deal
If you've been following the high-octane drama which is the assorted TV appearances of our party leaders, you'll know that tonight's line-up has been reduced from seven contestants to five. We don't yet know if it will produce a winner, but we're certain to hear more about who is willing to do a deal with whom and what their terms (sorry - "red lines") are. Also sure to feature is the NHS, after fresh questions were raised today about whether any of the parties know how they would pay for it.
All eyes on Ed
We're all in the spin room where the press will be watching closely tonight's opposition leaders' debate. No David Cameron. No Nick Clegg. All eyes really will be on Ed Miliband - the only man on the stage who could possibly be prime minister.

In particular, they'll be watching the dynamic between him and SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon. He's likely to try to attack her record in government in Scotland.

There is, of course, a danger for him that the "anti-austerity" parties gang up against him. That will be an opportunity for him to try to speak directly to voters. It's a chance too for Nigel Farage. He will be the only voice on the right of the political dialogue - and he'll try to make the most of that. Whether it will be a game-changer or not no one really knows. But all the parties will be looking for a breakthrough. Watch a round-up of today's events >
Vicki Young
Chief political correspondent
Do not adjust your set
Sadly you cannot vote for David Dimbleby on 7 May
Yes, you're seeing correctly: it's a debate between the party leaders, but with no David Cameron and no Nick Clegg. It will be Labour, the SNP, the Greens, UKIP and Plaid Cymru in the spotlight tonight. With a little more breathing room than the seven-way spectacle earlier this month, could they have more of a chance to shine - or stumble? Tune in from 20:00 BST on BBC One, or follow our live online coverage, to find out. Read more >
Life support urged for NHS
None of the parties are doing enough to guarantee the NHS in England the money it needs, according to a former head of the service. Sir David Nicholson, who retired last year, told the BBC additional funds need to be made available immediately, not by the end of 2020. The Lib Dems insist they have been "very clear" about where to find an extra £8bn a year. The Conservatives stress they have made the same £8bn commitment, acknowledging it poses "a significant financial challenge". Labour says it will provide an extra £2.5bn funding a year.Read more >
Are you registered to vote?
No? What are you waiting for? There's less than a week to get your name on the register for one of the tightest election races in decades. And for the first time, you can register online.">Read more >
Introducing 'Blukip'
Nick Clegg has warned there is a "genuine threat" of a coalition of Conservatives, UKIP and DUP - a creation he dubbed "Blukip". He was fighting back after one poll suggested the Lib Dems could lose all their South West seats.
Read more >
The day in pictures
BBC News picture editor Phil Coomes rounds up the best images of the day. This one shows Labour supporters waiting for Ed Miliband in north London - and one dog with election fatigue.
View more >

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