Tuesday, 5 May 2015


And I would walk 500 miles...
The Proclaimers are long-standing advocates of Scottish independence. The leaders of the three largest parties may not agree with their politics, but they are taking a leaf out of their book to win over voters during the final days of the campaign by trying to cover as much of the country as possible. David Cameron started the day in north London, and Nick Clegg was in the south-west, while Ed Miliband was in Bedfordshire.
The winner is? Er...
By 10 o'clock on Thursday evening the people will have spoken but the questions which will then follow look likely to be - "What on earth did they mean that? Who actually won? Who has the right to govern?"

Unless the polls are wrong - which they very well might be - and unless there is a late switch in opinion - which there still could be - most players and pundits are now expecting an election that is too close to call and may produce a result which could allow for either David Cameron or Ed Miliband to become prime minister.

So, what is obsessing politicians of all parties behind-the-scenes is debating what a legitimate government would look like.

You might think that's simple - one led by the winning party - but think again. In politics things aren't nearly so neat or simple as that. What's more your definition of what is a legitimate government tends, surprise surprise, to be shaped by how it helps the party you support. So, what are the competing arguments? Read more >
Nick Robinson
Political editor
This just in: Miliband says Labour would borrow less
Ed Miliband tells the BBC he does not believe Labour would end up borrowing more money than the Conservatives if his party is in power after May. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has estimated that debt would be £90bn higher in 2019-20 under Labour's plans. Read more >
Live and unplugged
The party leaders are hitting the road to drum up support in the last 36 hours of the campaign
On their live tour of the UK, the largest parties are singing the same songs on repeat in a final effort to drive their key messages home. For Ed Miliband, that is a promise to defend hospital budgets from "swingeing cuts" he predicts the Conservatives would make. But David Cameron insists voters should focus on the prospect of "chaos" under an SNP-backed Labour government. And Nick Clegg returned to his theme of painting the Lib Dems as the "guarantors of stability" in a hung parliament. Read more >
All smiles in Sandwich, Kent
Farage's bid to win hearts
UKIP has taken out a two-page advert in the Daily Telegraph, in which Nigel Farage urges people: "Vote with your heart." He says UKIP can offer "strong voices" that would "stand up to the political establishment". Earlier, former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith had said a vote for UKIP would be a "suicide note" for the chances of an EU referendum.
Read more >
Natalie Bennett in London earlier this week
Greens urge real surge
Leader Natalie Bennett has previously spoken of a "Green surge" and today she urged people to convert that into votes which could "send a message" on climate change. The Greens would "hold a Tory government to account" and "give Labour a spine" on environmental and climate issues, she promised. The party is currently registering about 5% in the national polls. Read more >
Q & A: What happens if nobody wins?
Ahead of what is likely to be the closest general election in decades, here is everything you need to know about what happens if there's no clear winner in Thursday's election. Read more >
Watch: Welfare debate
Andrew Neil and social affairs correspondent Alison Holt are joined by leading politicians to debate welfare reform, employment and pensions. Watch >
The campaign in pictures
The Press Association's photographers choose their favourite offbeat images from the campaign, including this of a selfie in Northumberland. View more >
Reality Check: Minority government
BBC Reality Check's Anthony Reuben takes us through a brief history of what has happened in the past when the government is formed by a party which does not have the greatest number of seats.Read more >
Politics around the UK
Parties warn of danger posed by opponents
Read more >
Nick Clegg campaigns in Cardiff
Read more >
Northern Ireland:
DUP seeking commission on Europe
Read more >
The view from Durham's distillers
Read more >
Reminder: Postal voting
Don't forget to cast your postal vote if you have one - but remember you can hand it in to a polling station any time before 22:00 on 7 May. Read more about how to vote >
Don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing
Do you miss the good old days? When ties were a little wider, and election predictions a little more straightforward? If so, you can watch Peter Snow take a trip down memory lane in his history of the BBC's election night programmes, Sixty Years of Swing.

Want to understand more about what swing means for this election? BBC political correspondent Ellie Price has recorded thishandy guide. And as usual you can get into the swing of this and more on the BBC live page >

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