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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 April, 2005, 11:56 GMT 12:56 UK
Election at-a-glance: 12 April
All you need to know about Day Eight of the UK's 2005 general election campaign, at-a-glance:

12 APRIL IN A SENTENCE

Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy and wife Sarah celebrate the birth of a baby boy, providing a lighter note as Labour continues to focus on Conservative tax and spending plans.

CAMPAIGN CATCH-UP

Charles and Sarah Kennedy leave hospital with their newborn son, Donald James. Sir Menzies Campbell is filling in for his leader.

Charles Kennedy and his wife Sarah
Charles Kennedy is taking brief paternity leave from the campaign

Conservative plans for the economy have come under fire from both Labour and the Lib Dems as Tory Oliver Letwin insisted his proposals do add up.

The Greens are offering a "radical alternative" to the three main political parties, they have said at the launch of their manifesto.

Britain's party leaders have been warned against inciting racial tensions during the election campaign by Commission for Racial Equality boss Trevor Phillips.

Liberal Democrats set out their economic plans, including a new 50% top rate of income tax for those earning over 100,000 a year.

Labour calls for the sacking of a Conservative candidate who doctored a photograph of himself campaigning for an asylum seeker.

PICK OF THE ANALYSIS

For Charles Kennedy could not have picked a better time to become a father, but why is it that babies are such an electoral asset to all politicians?

A VIEW FROM SCANDINAVIA

In Denmark, Berlingske Tidende, says the fact that the MG Rover Group "looks set to close down" has "added a new dimension" to the UK election campaign.

"The loss of 6,000 jobs at Longbridge in Middle England... is a disaster which may cost the Labour government power", the paper says.

"MG and Rover were once among the most distinguished marques in the proud British motor industry. Their fall began when they changed direction to making more ordinary cars", the daily notes.

"MG Rover's exit is a sign of good market-economic health as it shows that car makers who cannot reinvent themselves have to close down", it concludes.

However, a commentator writing in Sweden's Dagens Nyheter says he realises why Tony Blair is heading for a third term after living in the United Kingdom for six months.

"Wages, employment, property prices and the quality of public welfare are on the way up.

"With the exception of the slippery reasoning for the Iraq War the Labour government seems to have done most things right", the paper says.

The commentator notes figures from the OECD which show that public expenditure in the United Kingdom will grow by 8% of GDP between 2000 and 2006, while the corresponding figure for Sweden will fall by 1%.

"The United Kingdom has been the Western European exception to the rule of high taxes and general welfare. Now the dynamic duo of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown is starting to close the gap", the paper says.

"The day Blair disappears - perhaps as a result of Iraq - Brown will take over and Old Labour will have its revenge", it concludes.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

It will do the campaign absolutely no harm - it's not just women, an awful lot of men like babies too and people generally respond warmly to family pictures

Liberal Democrat trade and industry spokesman Malcolm Bruce on the birth of leader Charles Kennedy's child.

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