Friday is dominated by the fallout from the first of the
live television debates
between the leaders of the three main political parties. In Manchester, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg clashed while answering questions on immigration, crime, education, social care and defence, in front of a studio audience. Elsewhere, Chancellor Alistair Darling and his Conservative shadow George Osborne are both on the campaign trail in Scotland, while the SNP's focus is on renewable energy. In Wales, the Conservatives vow to end Labour's "poverty of ambition" as they launch their Welsh manifesto.
See how the day unfolded.
IZZARD V BARLOW
Eddie Izzard v Gary Barlow on the campaign trail
While comic Eddie Izzard has been out on the road supporting the Labour cause for the past couple of days - it was the Conservative Party who got their celebrity big gun out on Friday - with no less a character than Take That front-man Gary Barlow. Both appeared in places of learning (Izzard a sixth-form college, Barlow a school), both were seen in close proximity to their party leader and both received a rapturous welcome. Perhaps a 1-1 draw?
LORD OF THE DANCE?
Peter and Rita: Not dancing around the issues
One of Thursday's campaign highlights was the sight of Business Secretary Lord Mandelson
tripping the light fantastic with Huddersfield's Rita Mackenzie at the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool.
Despite giving a short verdict on the peer's performance for the cameras at the time ("he's nice to dance with"), BBC Two's The Daily Politics felt short-changed. So Rita came back onto the show on Friday, declaring the peer was ready for Strictly Come Dancing. Head Judge Len Goodman has not been approached for a comment.
QUOTES OF THE DAY
"Last night, on the TV debate, I felt a bit like I was in Britain's worst boy-band - so it's a pleasure to share the stage with the founding member of Britain's best ever boy-band." Conservative leader David Cameron appearing with Take That's Gary Barlow
"I am a serious guy. I don't think there was a lot of laughs from any of the candidates, to be honest." Prime Minister Gordon Brown reflects on a gag-free first TV debate
"I think last night potentially was a game change." Former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown
"We had three Westminster politicians who agree with each other on 99% of the issues." Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond
"Long after the United States, and even after Iran, Afghanistan and Mongolia, politics in Britain is moving into the television age." The New York Times
Nick Clegg's performance in the first prime ministerial debate earned rave reviews in the Spanish press. A piece from a Spanish daily, featured on the ABC website, described the Liberal Democrat leader has having "reason to be pleased".
"With an attractive and charismatic image, Clegg cleverly exploited his position as the alternative to Labour and the Conservatives."
David Cameron, the piece said, connected to the audience using stories, and personal experiences. However, Gordon Brown was criticised for being "too rational".
Moderator Alistair Stewart won praise for the "agile" way he kept proceedings ticking along.
FIGURE OF THE DAY
37 - ITV's per-centage share of the total TV audience for the First Prime Ministerial Debate.
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