DAY IN A NUTSHELL
On the fourth day of the election campaign, the focus switches from tax to spending cuts. The Conservatives outline for the first time how public spending could be cut by £12bn - to help fund their pledge to curb the rise in National Insurance. Meanwhile, Gordon Brown visits the mother of Sally Anne Bowman, whose killer was convicted thanks to the DNA register, as Labour put their case for keeping genetic profiles on record. The Lib Dems detail their "manifesto for consumers" which aims to limit bank charges on overdrawn accounts and bounced cheques.
Here's the full story of how the day unfolded.
POWER OF THE INTERNET
Social networking website Facebook has been brought in to get unregistered voters into the polling booth.
In a tie-up with the Electoral Commission,
users who visit the site over the weekend will be asked if they have registered to vote.
And the pitfalls of social networking are graphically illustrated by Labour election candidate Stuart MacLennan, who apologised for cursing leading politicians and calling elderly voters "coffin dodgers" on his
- but still was sacked.
QUOTES OF THE DAY SO FAR
"He was a young candidate, but that's no excuse. He was keen to engage voters through Twitter but that's no excuse for the rubbish and offensive and hurtful comments that he made." Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy on controversial tweets posted by sacked Labour candidate Stuart MacLennan.
"Gordon Brown is not puffed up by vanity and self-importance nor fuelled by avarice in the manner of his predecessor. It is just that his commendable ambition to make life better for the people of this country, especially the deserving poor, is totally frustrated by his unwavering conviction that he, and only he, knows how that might be achieved." Tory peer Lord Tebbit.
"I think it should be compulsory. Why don't you make it compulsory?" London Mayor Boris Johnson, commenting on Conservative plans for a voluntary national civilian service scheme.
"In Labour-Tory marginals, a vote for the Lib Dems is a vote which helps the Tories against progressive policies." Transport Secretary Lord Adonis makes the case for sticking with Labour in the Independent.
"I don't think Vince [Cable] is going to be in the Carlos Tevez [now of Manchester City, formerly of Manchester United] school of transfers from one team to the other, we work as a team."Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg cannot see his Treasury spokesman signing up for any of their rivals as part of a coalition.
"Prime Minister's Questions is a bear pit and you can't change it
There's an element of Christians being fed to the lions and you're either a lion or a Christian." Mr Cameron admits he has failed to get rid of "Punch and Judy" politics.
FRIDAY'S NEWSPAPER HEADLINES
Up to 40,000 public sector jobs could go under the Conservatives,
The Financial Times
says on its front page. The paper says Mr Cameron's adviser, Sir Peter Gershon, has told David Cameron to cut £1bn - £2bn from the public payroll in 2010/11 if he wins through a recruitment freeze and not filling posts.
The Guardian has also gone with
Mr Cameron's plans for the public sector
, saying no senior manager in the public sector will be able to earn more than 20 times more than the lowest paid person in their organisation under a Tory government.
Cabinet minister Lord Adonis makes a call for Lib Dem supporters to vote tactically for Labour in
, claiming there are few policy differences between the two parties.
The Daily Mail
tells of a 37-year-old woman who the paper says has been forced to sell her home to pay for cancer drugs Labour said it would fund, beneath the headline Victim of a Broken Promise.
THE VIEW FROM ABROAD
Spanish newspaper website ABC is impressed by what it sees as a resurgent Gordon Brown, who it describes as having been "a genuine political cadaver" a year ago. However it says David Cameron's Conservatives still have "every chance", given that Labour's promises of reform are "difficult to believe" after 13 years in power.
Whoever wins the election,
future polls could take inspiration from down under, according to the Australian.
Conservatives, who oppose Australia's alternative vote system - as mooted by Gordon Brown, are nonetheless "looking very closely at the Australian experience". The Tories are keen to use Aussie methods to iron out imbalances in constituency sizes to create a fairer system, says the broadsheet.
TODAY'S CAMPAIGN CATCH-UP
Conservative leader David Cameron hits back at Labour's claims of "fantasy" budgeting by
spelling out where he believes the £12bn savings could be made
in the public sector.
Gordon Brown attracts criticism after
appearing with the mother of a murdered woman
to stress the benefits of a DNA database.
Nick Clegg says the
Lib Dems will stop banks from "profiteering"
by hitting consumers with hefty fees when they go overdrawn.
Transport Secretary Lord Adonis woos Liberal Democrat voters
in Labour-Conservative marginals, urging them to vote tactically to prevent Tory victories.
The DUP and Ulster Conservatives and Unionists (UCU) agree on
running a joint unionist candidate
in Fermanagh and South Tyrone.
A Conservative win at Westminster does
not make independence in Scotland more likely,
says David Cameron.
Veteran Labour MP Frank Cook, deselected by his party two years ago, has announced
he will stand as an Independent
in Stockton North.