Page last updated at 19:37 GMT, Friday, 30 April 2010 20:37 UK

UK election at-a-glance: 30 April

(L-r) David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Gordon Brown


With less than a week to go until polling day, Friday is dominated by the wash-up after the final televised prime ministerial debate, on the economy, which was watched by a peak audience of eight million people. Most polls conducted after the encounter suggest it was won by Conservative leader David Cameron - although Labour and the Liberal Democrats will be furiously promoting their man as either the outright winner, or the victor across the series of three debates. In their responses to the debate, the SNP and Plaid Cymru accused both Labour and the Conservatives of neglecting the nations and regions of the UK. Nigel Farage of the UK Independence Party said the debate had made it clear that - as a member of the European Union - Britain had no power to reduce immigration from member states. Elsewhere, former Prime Minister Tony Blair is joining Labour figures on the campaign trail today, while the party unveils its latest campaign posters. Conservative leader David Cameron and Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg are both campaigning in the English midlands. Here's how Friday unfolded.

Eric Liddell

While speaking to sports students at Loughborough University, Prime Minister Gordon Brown quoted the British Olympic athlete Eric Liddell: "The first half of the race involves outer strength, and the second half of the race involves inner strength." An interesting choice, given the backgrounds of the two men. Liddell was a son of Christian missionaries, Mr Brown the son of a Church of Scotland minister. Liddell went to Edinburgh University - as did Mr Brown. Liddell played rugby - which Mr Brown played too. There their paths diverge - Liddell went on to play seven rugby internationals for Scotland, before deciding to concentrate on running, appearing in the 1924 Paris Olympics - a decision immortalised in the 1981 film Chariots of Fire. Liddell famously withdrew from the 100 metres, when he found the heats would be held on a Sunday. Instead he switched to the 400 metre competition - going on to win gold as well as a bronze medal for the 200 metres. Mr Brown would probably also like to be a gold medallist in the election race.

Rory Bremner

What could be better? Four celebrities, some food and drink and a debate on the TV between the leaders of the three main political parties. That's the recipe for Come Whine with Me - as seen on BBC One's This Week. And it's a pretty eclectic bunch chosen to monitor the debate - John Sergeant, Christine Hamilton, Rory Bremner and Claire Sweeney. How did they rate the final encounter? And can Bremner do an impression of Nick Clegg yet? Watch it for yourself by clicking here.


Gordon Brown, says he will "try harder" and "dig deeper" following the final televised debate.

The programme itself, broadcast by the BBC, was watched by 7.5 million people.

Back on the campaign trail, Conservative leader David Cameron unveils his party's promises "contract".

Labour's latest election poster launch is overshadowed by a car crash nearby. The driver was unhurt.

The "bigot" incident continues to garner media attention. Gordon Brown explains, to the BBC's Jeremy Paxman, that he thought Gillian Duffy was talking about expelling foreign students when she spoke of immigration and education.

After polls suggest Nick Clegg came second in the third TV debate the Lib Dem leader says he's "excited" to be campaigning again. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair makes his second appearance in the campaign, saying Labour has "every chance of succeeding on 6 May.

The Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru outline their joint priorities for the next Westminster Parliament.

Police in Northern Ireland step up security ahead of the election amid fears of the threat posed by dissident groups.

Thousands of postal votes in Vale of Glamorgan will have to be sent out again after officials mistakenly advised voters their forms did not need signing before being returned.


"What we have seen tonight is a quite extraordinary, barnstorming performance by Gordon Brown."
Business Secretary Lord Mandelson

"Gordon Brown is something of a busted flush."
Liberal Democrat education spokesman David Laws

"He is the new Fisher Price gizmo. It's being pawed and smashed and it's starting to look a bit worse for wear. I don't think he is going to make it through to election day in a pristine state."
London Mayor Boris Johnson on Nick Clegg

"The question will be, is it better or worse than it used to be?"
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair, while having his blood pressure taken during a campaign event at a health centre


The Daily Telegraph thought David Cameron stole the show at the final TV debate, calling his performance his most assured of the election campaign. "Cameron on the money" is the headline. Gordon Brown "battled hard", says the report, while Nick Clegg was squeezed out.

In the eyes of The Guardian, the prime minister was "valiant" but failed to land the knockout blow. The Times places Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg "neck and neck". It has a striking photograph showing the three men off guard - Mr Brown and Mr Clegg both appearing to hop nervously on one leg behind their lecterns, while Mr Cameron gazes up at the ceiling.

The Daily Express hails what it calls a "total triumph" for the Tory leader, putting him on the threshold of Downing Street.

Quentin Letts, in The Daily Mail, thought Mr Brown looked "cadaverous" with a blueish tinge - like Stilton cheese. "And yet he fought" - he goes on - "fought like Professor Moriarty on the waterfall".

The Sun, which is backing the Conservatives, awards victory to the Tory leader. It describes his rivals as "Scrambled Clegg and toast" - with a graphic of Mr Brown's face on a piece of toast.

The Labour-supporting Daily Mirror uses its front page to attack Mr Cameron. He's mocked up as a salesman advertising a washing powder called "new improved Spin" which boasts "more fibs and froth than ever!"


6,700,000 - the number of people who chose to watch Coronation Street on ITV1 - rather than the first half-hour of the BBC's prime ministerial debate.

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