Gordon Brown has finally confirmed that the next general election will take place on 6 May. This is the expected countdown to polling day.
TUESDAY, 6 APRIL - ELECTION DATE ANNOUNCED
Following the long Easter weekend, Mr Brown formally announced the date of a general election as 6 May, after making the required trip to Buckingham Palace to ask the Queen to dissolve Parliament on 12 April.
THURSDAY, 8 APRIL - ADJOURNMENT OR PROROGATION
MPs and peers stop sitting in Parliament after traditional scramble by party bosses to see what legislation can be saved. Parliament continues to exist until it is formally dissolved the following Monday. After dissolution there are no longer any MPs, although ministers keep their jobs during the election campaign. Local returning officers receive election writs.
MONDAY, 12 APRIL - PARLIAMENT DISSOLVED
Parliament is formally dissolved and writs are issued for elections in the UK's 650 constituencies.
THURSDAY, 15 APRIL - TV DEBATE
ITV hosts the first of three 90 minute debates, from 8.30pm to 10pm, with Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg. The theme will be domestic affairs, although as with the other two debates it will broaden out into a general discussion with questions from viewers. Alistair Stewart is in the chair and the venue will be in the North West of England.
TUESDAY, 20 APRIL - REGISTRATION DEADLINE
Deadline for delivery of nomination papers/withdrawals of candidature/appointment of election agents at 1600 BST. Nominations announced at 1700 or as soon as any objections settled. Last day to apply to register to vote. Last day to apply for a new postal vote.
THURSDAY, 22 APRIL - TV DEBATE
Sky's turn to host the prime ministerial debate. Adam Boulton asks the questions between 8pm and 9.30pm on the Sky News channel and the main theme is foreign affairs. It will take place in the South-West of England.
TUESDAY, 27 APRIL - PROXY VOTES
Last day for receipt of late applications for people who cannot reach a polling station and want to vote by proxy (deadline 1700 BST).
THURSDAY, 29 APRIL - TV DEBATE
The BBC will host the final televised prime ministerial debate of the campaign. David Dimbleby will be in the chair, between 8.30pm and 10pm on BBC One, at a venue in the Midlands. The main theme will be the economy.
THURSDAY, 6 MAY - POLLING DAY
Election day, with polling stations open between 0700 and 2200 BST.