Monday 20 April 2015


A very Scottish landscape
One of the most radical changes of the past year has been the rise and rise of the SNP on the Westminster scene, in spite of - or perhaps because of - the No vote in the independence referendum. Today its centrality to the political landscape was more visible than ever, with Nicola Sturgeon using her party's manifesto launch to set out not just what the SNP could offer Scotland, but the rest of the UK too.
The power of the woman who's not running
Something truly extraordinary happened this morning.

A woman who is not even a candidate in this election; whose party is running in just one of the four nations and which, even if it does as spectacularly well as some polls suggest, would have just one in 13 MPs in Westminster pledged to build not just a "stronger Scotland" but a "better and more progressive politics for everyone" in the UK.

Nicola Sturgeon showed once again why she is the undoubted star of this general election campaign and why she says her inbox is filled with emails from voters from outside Scotland who want the chance to vote SNP. Read more >
Nick Robinson
Political editor
Independence eclipsed?
Nicola Sturgeon received a rock star's welcome at her speech in Edinburgh
Playing "spot the difference" between the SNP's manifesto in 2010 and the one launched today is not very difficult. There is something obviously missing from their 2015 agenda, and it's the referendum on Scottish independence. Instead, it emphasises its goal of ending "austerity" and building a "progressive alliance" with other parties across the UK. But the SNP's dream has not died altogether - Nicola Sturgeon's expression of continued commitment to independence drew the loudest cheers from the crowd. Her political opponents responded by predicting her policies would plunge the UK further into debt. Read more >
SNP manifesto at-a-glance
You can read more about the SNP's plans in this round-up of the manifesto's need-to-know
points >
Cameron says: Be afraid
David Cameron has warned about the consequences of voting SNP in stark terms, saying that the prospect of a Labour-SNP deal was "very frightening" and "harrowing". Appealing to the rest of the UK, he pledged a review to ensure that England, Wales and Northern Ireland did not "lose out" as a result of further Scottish devolution. Read more >
Labour renews NHS attack
Labour is heading into a week of campaigning on the future of the NHS, which the party began by accusing the Conservatives of "not being straight" on cuts to public services or on how they intend to pay for £8bn a year in extra funding. The Tories say they will fund in full NHS England's needs by 2020, stressing their record on investment since 2010. Read more >
Last call to register to vote
It's the final day on which you can register to vote. Here's how to do it >
Watch: Environment and climate change debate
Andrew Neil and the BBC's environment analyst Roger Harrabin were joined by leading politicians to debate climate change, energy prices and the countryside. Watch >

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