Page last updated at 16:38 GMT, Monday, 19 April 2010 17:38 UK

UK election at-a-glance: 19 April

Nick Clegg, Gordon Brown, David Cameron

DAY IN A NUTSHELL

The mounting problems being caused by the ash cloud over Europe are focusing leaders' attention. The prime minister held a meeting of the Cobra civilian contingencies group before heading back on the campaign trail. David Cameron is concentrating on his Big Society idea. Meanwhile the Lib Dems are talking about green jobs, and the DUP are launching their manifesto in Belfast. The weekend polls suggesting a post-TV debate surge for the Lib Dems continue to influence campaigning. See how the day unfolded.

PIENAAR'S PEANUTS

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No-one saw it coming, Cleggmania that is, not even John Pienaar, BBC 5 live's chief political correspondent.

He takes up position down the pub - with a pint and a packet of peanuts - to reflect on this unexpected turn of events and what might come next.

MONDAY'S QUOTES

"I can't predict what's going to happen. I'm acutely aware as everybody else is that polls go up, go down." Nick Clegg, Lib Dem leader

"You could easily wake up on May 7 and find literally you are stuck with what you have got, you are stuck with Gordon Brown in Downing Street, you're stuck with a deficit, you are stuck with an economy that isn't moving and nothing has changed."
David Cameron, Conservative leader

"If people don't vote, if they vote for any of the other parties, it can risk the awful prospect of David Cameron being in Number 10."
Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman

"The ever-growing potential for a hung Parliament offers unprecedented opportunities for a focused cohesive unionist bloc in the House of Commons."
DUP leader Peter Robinson

"If people want art they can buy it themselves."
BNP leader Nick Griffin on his party's arts policy

THE OTHER DEBATE

David Miliband on 'not invading Iraq'

It may not have had the prime-time billing of the prime ministerial debates, but the foreign affairs debate hosted by the BBC's Daily Politics produced its own Clash of the Titans in the guise of Foreign Secretary David Miliband and foreign affairs spokesmen William Hague and Ed Davey. On invading Iraq, Mr Miliband said: "If we'd know then what we know now", the invasion would not have happened.

THE DIGITAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN

The Straight Choice website provides one of the big stories of the day. Voters can upload the leaflets they get through the door - and someone from Birmingham Hall Green did. It's from Labour candidate Roger Godsiff and says "Do you want convicted murderers, rapists and paedophiles to be given the vote? The LibDems do." It includes a picture of a number of convicted criminals, including paedophile nursery worker Vanessa George. The Lib Dems said they would not give those currently in prison the vote, but would look at extending it to convicted criminals.

SOAPBOX PICTURE OF THE DAY
Jack Straw on his soapbox
Jack Straw on his soapbox

This is the soapbox of Justice Secretary Jack Straw, who has been out and about campaigning to be re-elected as Labour MP for Blackburn. He has been leaping on and off it to speak to potential voters in Blackburn and also Wolverhampton, Coventry, Coalville and Leicester, so far. Leeds was drizzly though, so his soapbox stayed in the car. It was specially made for him 25 years ago, apparently. (Other parties standing for Blackburn include Bobby Anwar for UKIP, Paul English for the Lib Dems, Robin Evans for the BNP, Michael Law-Riding for the Conservatives, and two independents - Bushra Irfan and Janis Sharp).

TODAY'S NEWSPAPER HEADLINES

David Cameron goes on the offensive against the surge in Lib Dem popularity by warning in the Guardian that a vote for Nick Clegg risks the country being "stuck" with Gordon Brown in No 10.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the Tory leader is planning to launch a "positive" offensive to head off the threat from the Lib Dems.

The Times says for years it has been a boringly predicatable, recurrent victory parade for the red team. Then the blues, backed by a stupendously wealthy foreign donor, became the favourites. And even the third-placed team - "brilliant at style, thin on substance" - have been a serious force. What are they talking about? The football Premiership, of course.

A clear election victory by either Labour or the Conservatives is needed, according to the Financial Times, to keep the world's investors buying British gilts.

The Daily Mail says Nick Clegg is being embraced by the public only because he is personable and - by virtue of being relatively unknown - less tainted than his rivals by the greed and venality of the last Parliament.

ON MONDAY'S CAMPAIGN TRAIL

Campaigning in Wales, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg announced plans to cut government spending by £3.1bn to fund a "green jobs" scheme.

On a speech in London, Conservative leader David Cameron says their "big society" concept is the only "new idea" on offer.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown outlined discussions he held with Spanish premier Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero about the use of airports in Spain to help Britons stranded abroad by the ash cloud.

The parents of Michael Shields - who was pardoned after being jailed over the death of a Bulgarian football supporter - showed their support for Labour after the Liberal Democrats used their son as part of their election campaign.

An ICM poll for BBC Asian Network suggests that just over four in 10 Asian voters intends to vote.

NUMBER OF THE DAY

28: The number of pubs UKIP leader Nigel Farage says he has visited in four days of campaigning.



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