Page last updated at 19:24 GMT, Wednesday, 28 April 2010 20:24 UK

UK election at-a-glance: 28 April

Gordon Brown faces media outside Mrs Duffy's home

DAY IN A NUTSHELL

Gordon Brown gets caught on microphone describing a voter he had just had a chat with on the street as a "bigoted woman". An apology swiftly follows but the fallout from his comments about the grandmother and lifelong Labour supporter dominated the day. On the policy front, after all three main parties are criticised by a leading economic think tank for not being open with voters about budget cuts, they come under scrutiny over their tax and spending plans. Chancellor Alistair Darling and his opposite numbers, George Osborne and Vince Cable, all face questions in a series of public appearances. Labour focusses on crime, and the Liberal Democrats on tuition fees. Sinn Fein launch their manifesto, Operation Black Vote host a political rally in London, and the SNP loses its legal challenge against the forthcoming BBC prime ministerial debate continues in Edinburgh.

SELF AND SUTCH
Screaming Lord Sutch

While David Cameron once described himself as the "heir to Blair", Radio 4's Today programme has been examining who has taken up the mantle of heir to Screaming Lord Sutch. The late leader of the Monster Raving Loony Party left a significant mark on the British electoral scene - once ending up in Richmond, south-west London, when he should have been contesting a by-election in Richmond, North Yorkshire. Writer and broadcaster Will Self has been examining the fringe candidates, who add that certain je ne sais quoi to British elections. You can listen to his report by clicking here.

CAMPAIGN CATCH-UP

Gordon Brown has said he is "mortified" after being caught on microphone describing a voter he had just spoken to in Rochdale as a "bigoted woman".

The three main parties face renewed scrutiny of their spending plans after the Institute for Fiscal Studies accused them of not coming clean on where the axe would fall after the election.

A Labour general election candidate was arrested after crashing her car into a roundabout, says her agent.

Labour campaigns on law and order and communities, promising people the right to petition for CCTV camera coverage.

The Scottish National Party fails in its attempt to get the BBC broadcast of the final prime ministerial debate banned in Scotland due to a breach of BBC impartiality rules.

The leader of the UK Independence Party, Lord Pearson asks voters in Somerset to back the Conservatives in three constituencies in the county.

A Tory candidate - Philip Lardner in Ayrshire North and Arran - is suspended for writing on his website that gay people "were not normal".

QUOTES OF THE DAY

"I'm a penitent sinner. Sometimes you say things you don't mean to say, sometimes you say things by mistake and sometimes when you say things you'll want to correct them very quickly."Gordon Brown on his comments about voter Gillian Duffy

"It's going to be tax, tax, tax for another 20 years to get out of this national debt, and he's calling me a bigot." Mrs Duffy's response on hearing of Mr Brown's remarks.

VIEW FROM RUSSIA

Although Russian TV has largely ignored the UK election, one report on official channel Rossiya 1 at the weekend focused on Nick Clegg. Anchor Sergey Brilev introduced him as someone who "is possibly about to become the next British prime minister".

"Something unbelievable is happening in London," Brilev said.

"With just one and a half weeks to go to the general election and for the first time in many years there is a chance that there will be a hung parliament in Westminster... and that the composition of a new government will be decided by a little known politician.

"His name is Nick Clegg and he is the leader of the odd ones out, the Party of Liberal Democrats."

The report picked up on Clegg's Russian roots and showed an Egyptian-style pyramid which has survived on the former estate in Ukraine of Clegg's grandfather, who was the ambassador of the Russian Empire to Egypt under Tsar Alexander III.

IN THE NEWSPAPERS

Under the headline "secret tax bombshell", the Daily Mail front page says voters are being deceived about huge tax rises and spending cuts needed after the election. The Telegraph also headlines on the issue. It proclaims it is "The Story These Men Don't Want You To Read", displaying pictures of Nick Clegg, Gordon Brown and David Cameron beneath.

The Sun's lead story is one of embarrassment for Labour - the decision by the makers of children's cartoon Peppa Pig not to let the character take part in a Labour campaign event. "Pig deserts sinking ship," the paper's headline squeals.

The Financial Times says David Cameron's campaign team is exploring the possibility of a deal with unionist politicians in Northern Ireland and nationalists in Scotland and Wales in the event of a hung Parliament, to avoid having to give in to Liberal Democrat demands for electoral reform.

MANIFESTO SALES

Fears that the prime ministerial TV debates have put the election focus all on personality instead of policy may be unfounded. According to book shop chain Waterstone's, sales of the party manifestos have risen strongly in comparison with the 2005 election. It said sales of the Lib Dems' manifesto had shot up 250%, with the Tories seeing a 193% gain, and Labour a 97% rise. But while the Lib Dems have seen the biggest increase in sales, the Tory manifesto was the largest seller overall. Waterstone said the Conservatives had 38% of the total manifesto sales within its stores, with the Lib Dems on 32% and Labour on 30%.

FIGURE OF THE DAY

Five - the number of times in one speech Gordon Brown re-used the New Labour soundbite "tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime".

FACT OF THE DAY

A political party exists, and has fielded candidates in four constituencies, on a platform of rights for the undead.



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