David Cameron has been put through his paces by Sir Ian Botham
DAY IN A NUTSHELL
With the three main parties preparing to launch their manifestos early next week, details of the documents start to emerge. Labour will pledge not to raise income tax rates, the BBC has learned - but will not promise not to raise VAT. The manifesto will also begin with a tribute to troops in Afghanistan. The Conservatives will guarantee patients access to a local GP, while leader David Cameron enjoys a healthy pursuit - joining Sir Ian Botham on a charity walk. Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg warns there could be "serious social strife" following severe spending cuts.
See how the day unfolded.
QUOTES OF THE DAY
"Gordon has got a radio face, and nothing can get away from that but I actually think that in so far as these things matter, that evidence of dedication, of hard work, of total commitment to the national interest, cragginess, if you like, is going to work to his advantage."
Lord Kinnock, former Labour leader
"People like our policies, what they need to know is that by voting Green you can get Green politicians elected and at this election there is that real possibility of getting those first MPs elected."
Caroline Lucas, Green Party of England and Wales leader
"After five more years of integration into the corrupt octopus in Brussels we will no longer just be enmeshed in its tentacles, we will be in its bowels."
Lord Pearson, UK Independence Party leader
"I think I'd have to be made a sort of made of granite if I wasn't a little bit apprehensive, but I'm also looking forward to it."
Nick Clegg, Lib Dem leader on the TV debates
"I've always said this is not my decision, I am happy either where I am - being constructively helpful on the backbenches - or on the frontbenches.
David Davis on speculation he might return to the home affairs brief
SUNDAY'S NEWSPAPER HEADLINES
interview with the Sunday Telegraph,
David Cameron says he will govern for "everyone in Britain" if he is elected. The Conservative leader promises that he would steer away the more "divisive" policies linked with the Thatcher governments of the 1980s, and urged the country to "join together, act decisively and move forward with optimism".
In an election diary for the
Sarah Brown - the prime minister's wife - says this election is "not about big P politics, as in people shouting at each other in the House of Commons. It's about the policies that make life better or worse for people in their everyday lives".
News of the World
says there is a danger of tactical voting by minor parties in marginal constituencies, which "threatens to mire us in a hung parliament and cripple prosperity".
A full-page editorial in the People puts forward the opposite view, saying that Britain has nothing to fear from a hung parliament.
VIEW FROM ABROAD
From The Australian:
Nick Cave lives in the English seaside resort of Brighton because it reminds him of St Kilda. The similarity is no coincidence, as the Melbourne suburb was largely modelled on this southern town, which first attracted bathers in the 18th century and gave birth to English beach culture. Brighton is better known today as the gay and alternative capital of Britain, but in less than four weeks the town is likely also to become the site of a significant breakthrough in British politics. In the general election Gordon Brown has called for May 6, voters in Brighton are expected to elect Caroline Lucas as the first member of the House of Commons from the Green Party. With growing numbers of British voters backing new political parties despite the constraints of a 19th-century, first-past-the-post voting system built for two-horse races, the election of a Green will give new hope and momentum to other fast growing parties.
Labour's election manifesto will contain a pledge not to raise income tax rates - but there will be no such pledge on VAT, the BBC learns.
The Conservatives will guarantee patients access to a local GP as part of their manifesto.
Britain could be hit by "serious social strife" if Labour or the Tories win the election and introduce severe spending cuts, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg says.
The SNP leader Alex Salmond marks his final day as an MP with a damning criticism of the House of Commons. First elected 23 years ago, he says parliament has suffered "an extraordinary decline".
Labour has been asked to apologise after sending leaflets to thousands of women warning them Tory polices on cancer could endanger their lives.