As the election campaign passes the half way mark the main parties have continued to focus on a narrow range of issues.
The economy and immigration have dominated the campaign but topics such as the environment and Europe have been largely absent.
Other concerns such as education, pensions, women voters and the future of students have also slipped down the political agenda.
Do you feel that the main parties are overlooking certain issues? What is important for you? And what would you like to hear more about? Could it influence your vote? Send us your views.
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
As the EU are responsible for 83% of our laws, Europe should be to the forefront of issues debated. We should strive to regain our independence and freedom.
R Pitcher, Cannock
None of the parties have mentioned foxhunting a very big issue only a few weeks ago. Where does each party stand on this issue? Anyone know?
Paul Kottaun, Bognor Regis, England
All the talk is of the three main party leaders. Voting is for constituency members and local County Councillors. See how many people realise this!
Sheila Pilkinton, St Albans, Herts
Energy in the future. It is said that France started a concerted nuclear building programme to supply electricity in 1973 following the huge rise is oil prices then. We buy electricity from the French today. In 32 years time will we still be buying French generated electricity because our politicians will not debate this crucial issue for our future prosperity in the world?
Nigel Strang, Grimscote, Northamptonshire
Nobody talks about jobs. Nobody pays the proper attention in order to control the abuse of temporary work to be replaced with proper jobs. How do they dream to reduce taxes and finance primary needs if people cannot work and build their lives?
Mrs Pile, Swindon, Wilts
All of the parties seem to have forgotten about banning smoking in public places. Are they afraid of alienating the minority of people that choose to smoke? I'd vote for any party that had the guts to instigate an outright ban on smoking in public places, instead of the piecemeal offering Labour are backing.
Duncan, Loughborough, UK
Immigration, asylum, foreign policy, trade, overseas aid, civil liberties, law and order, the environment and the rest. The truth is that our elected government has only partial control of any of these vital areas that touch all of our lives every day. The real power of course lies in Brussels. The pathological fear exhibited by the three main parties against mentioning anything remotely connected with the "e" word speaks volumes. Reassuring, isn't it? Promotes trust in our politicians and gives you faith in our political system?
Ewen Jones, Shrewsbury
It's time parties started looking at the benefit fraudsters that cost this country a fortune! How annoying is it for a working class person, to see their income tax and NI being blown away by spongers who know how to stuff the system and live very comfortably out of it!
Tommy, West Lothian, Scotland
The sick and disabled and their carers are just not being considered in the election campaigns. Labour proudly announced that they were the first government to introduce a National Strategy for Carers. What is one of the key conclusions in this document - that carers' benefits could increase by up to £50/week by the year 2050! 10% of the UK population are carers, how many of today's carers will be alive in 2050? If you're a married carer without children you've lost your tax relief under Labour. You're not classed as hard working and what you do for loved ones is obviously not valued by the government. You're encouraged to try to juggle work and caring. We've all heard about how hard it is for working mothers to juggle child care and work. Six million of us are juggling care and often work, not to pay for luxuries or holidays as they're often not possible, but to pay huge heating bills. The sick and disabled don't get cold weather payments. They don't get a free TV licence. It's time for change.
Sue Gordon, Whitwell, Derbyshire
The creeping privatisation of education by supposedly failing LEA schools being replaced with City Academies who have some millionaire sponsor and don't have to follow the national curriculum. It introduces another tier on to our education system, which we don't need. I vote for all schools being LEA schools. Being good at business does not necessarily make one good at education.
Ben, London, UK
There seems to be a conspiracy of the media and politicians to keep homelessness off the political agenda. People keep banging on with the same old issues and sound-bites, yet nobody mentions the plight of the homeless who are people too, just as much as "hard working families".
Julian Borrett, Leeds, England
Yes, there are a number of significant issues which are being totally ignored during this campaign by the 3 main parties - namely the need for an English parliament in the wake of devolution, a review of the Barnett formula which effectively sees Scottish services subsidised by English taxes. And ID cards and the formation of the database state, which will totally change the relationship between citizen and government and Europe with reasoned debate as to why continued membership is good or bad for the country. Unfortunately these are all difficult issues which only the smaller parties seem to be willing to address.
Leigh Prosho, Tilbury, Essex
Key workers were promised affordable housing in our area. Pay has gone up 2.5% as of 1st April 2005, but our rent went up 14.5% on the same date with a recommendation that there should be no increase in local housing allowance. This means 12% worse off under Labour for this year in rent alone not to mention utilities have risen by a large figure too.
Liam Duncan, Upper Heyford, Bicester, Oxon
Another stealth tax. I own a small village shop in Suffolk and have just found out that my alcohol licence will become invalid in a couple of months as part of the new Licensing Act. No official notification has been sent to any shops, but we must all apply for two new licenses in the next couple of months or lose our ability to sell alcohol - which would effectively close us down. The cost to us for the whole process will be over £600 which goes straight to central government - more than we make on alcohol in the whole year. Previous cost was £30 every 3 years paid to the court. Were they waiting till after the election to tell us?
Richard O'Sullivan, Bildeston, Ipswich, UK
We have 20-25 years left before economically viable oil runs out. We need alternative sources of power in place before then or it's curtains for civilisation. Only the Greens and a few Lib Dems have addressed this. The media is deliberately ignoring this issue.
It's the environment that supplies all our needs; food, water, fuel and clean air as well as taking and neutralising our prodigious wastes yet we continue to degrade and push it beyond its sustainable carrying capacity with gay abandon. None of the main political parties dare address the reality of the dangers ahead, being too afraid of upsetting a largely ignorant and indifferent public. Even on these pages I note someone wittering on about the supposed high price of fuel.
Gavin Doyce, Warwickshire
I would like to see what the three major parties' plans are to tackle the housing crisis in this country. Will anyone lead the way on mass affordable housing?
Where are the proposals for devolution for the English regions? The key issues cannot be solved at a national level. It requires local common sense rather than bureaucratic state intervention.
Civil liberties should have been one of the key issues of this general election, now that Britain has turned into a police state. Civil liberties are the most important fundamental rights in a democratic society. But is Britain still a democracy?
Lenoir Anne, UK
The small business community, far from being fairly treated by Labour, is suffering under a punitive tax burden. If Big Business was treated on the same terms, there'd be no hefty donations to the Labour Party. Once in a while, it'd be nice to see some discussion of what micro businesses have had to put up with in the last 8 years.
Why has Europe not been discussed? We have both the referendum and single currency pending and it doesn't seem to be getting any mention at all. The pro Europe parties are shying from it because polls suggest the public aren't with them and the Tories daren't mention it after William Hague got trounced following a campaign centred on Euro issues.
Phillip Holley, London, UK
I think happiness is the important issue and to be happy I think we need more time to be with our family and our interests. As this also helps the environment I think the key issue is working less, earning less, spending less and doing more.
With all the talk of recruiting extra police, why hasn't any party addressed the issue that if the courts protected people from our growth in violence and hardened their sentencing then the police would not need to patrol in two's and effectively double the number of police officers we already have. Let us return to preventative policing instead of targeting policing.
Bob, Haverhill, Suffolk
The issue being ignored the most is the single, hard-working, born in Britain, taxpayer with no dependents or disabilities. These are the people the government ignores but yet expects them to pay for the services everyone else gets.
Why is no one telling the truth about the NHS? It will cease to function in 10-15 years time due to an ageing population and ever more sophisticated (and costly) treatments. Why is no one asking how this will be funded, since the status quo is not an option?
Lee, Guildford, UK
I am a disabled war widow who, today, cancelled her entire social care package delivered by Southwark Council because I am no longer able to tolerate their indifference to my needs while, seemingly, caring for them. How many people is local government treating in this manner whilst national government oversees it? The situation is Dickensian at best, inhumane at worst.
Maureen Hamilton, London, England
I am exasperated by continually hearing what the parties are doing to get women back to work. All they seem to think families need is more and more childcare. I pity those children who are all going to have to go to school from the age of three from 8am until 6pm every day. When is the vitally important role of mothers (or fathers) at home going to be recognised? Mothering is an extremely demanding vocation with long term benefits to children. The failure of present politicians to even see that they are overlooking is a great frustration to me.
Mrs S MacDonald, Worthing, W Sussex
I think the issue of England not having its own parliament is the big issue. On this site today there was a feature that was concerned with Tory and UKIP advertising in Plymouth and that it was reported to the police as it might cause racial tension to a minority. Isn't the fact that all of the main parties have a manifesto for Scotland and Wales but not for England and these countries have their own parliaments (Wales an assembly) racially disadvantage towards the English? Yet no one cares - who will report this to the police.
David Knight, Portsmouth England
How is it that everyone seems to think the economy is going well when we have a balance of payments deficit of £3.3 billion per month?
Terry Hyde, Coventry, UK
How many carers are there in the UK? 6 million? Has any politician in this campaign made any mention of them or of people with disabilities?
Mrs Lorraine Homayon-Jones, Blackburn, Lancashire, UK
What about the Child Support Agency? Labour promised a new system. How much longer do we have to wait?
A Pritchard, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales
The only real issue should be the environment. All other issues are irrelevant if we cannot breath, drink or have any quality of life in years to come.
Vicki Thornton, Colnbrook, Berks
Constitutional matters are a no-go area, subject to a conspiracy of silence. No proposals for the House of Lords; nothing on Europe; nothing on the West Lothian question; nothing on electoral reform; nothing on Northern Ireland. All these are more important for our future than health and education.
Brian W, Chelmsford
The issue which affects us all - young and old, rich and poor, is the issue of Europe. Whilst the nation is arguing over who should get in this time around, in a few years time it will cease to be relevant anyway. Unelected fat-cats in Brussels will ensure we no longer have a say in our own destiny, once we've been reduced to bite-sized regions.
Paul Allison, Malvern, England
The most important issue to me is regarding health and incapacity benefit. I was put off from voting Labour by what comes over to me as a yet more hard-line attitude towards those on long-term incapacity benefit. I am much more inclined to vote Lib Dem because of generally a more compassionate and balanced attitude regarding helping those who are ill and have less.
Cat, North East
What party is going to raise the question of what is going to happen to the people caught in the pensions gap, where pension schemes have been wound up? They cannot be helped by the financial assistance scheme or the recently introduced insurance scheme, approximately 60,000 citizens are affected.
Christopher Davis , Evesham
I feel ignored - not a single election leaflet has landed on the mat - let alone a canvasser on the doorstep. So whilst most of your correspondents agree with me that the environment is the issue that should be on the agenda nobody is listening. And I can't even vote Green here in order to register my protest.
Julie, North Yorkshire
Elderly people who have to be cared for, either at home or in a care home, are being completely ripped off by the government. They and their partners are losing everything they have worked so hard for all their lives to pay for care that should be state funded, as it is in more civilized countries. Elderly people are thrown onto the rubbish heap in Britain, and this government's exaggerated emphasis on children is at the expense of the vulnerable elderly population. It is completely amoral. When I see the suffering and disillusionment our elderly citizens are made to endure it honestly makes me ashamed to be British.
Bill, East Yorkshire
There has been no mention of tackling the increase in computer related crime (e.g. spammers, viruses, hackers etc), the slow rollout of nationwide broadband coverage, inflated internet access costs for the consumer and greater measures to protect children who use the internet, by means of educating parents. Nothing is being done about these worsening situations and none of the politicians have mentioned them at all.
There is a desperate need for proportional representation. Without it, I can hardly bother to vote - alongside many. Issues beyond the radar of the next five years are simply not addressed by the big three.
Michael Brown, London
I'm disgusted to find that nothing has been said by any party about cutting defence spending. One third of Britain's money - proportionally more than the United States - is spent on the defence budget. It is wasteful of resources and could be better spent on a better quality of life for the British people.
The environment, and the environment and oh, the environment. Wonder how many tiny minded people will still be wobbling on about non-issues like immigration 50 years from now when we have no water.
Leigh, Northampton, UK
Why isn't Michael Howard telling us about his proposals for more drug rehab places? Surely such proposals could impact greatly on general health, safety and crime figures?
Ann Jones, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
There are so many issues at the heart of social housing - backdoor privatisation via Arms Length Companies, broken promises, and local authorities playing pass the buck, with families often being re-housed hundreds of miles from home. Where do the main parties stand on current housing policy?
Mark Whiteley, Bangor, Gwynedd
Electoral reform is they key issue that no one is talking about. How are the parties going to restore trust and relevance to politics? Who do you vote for when none of the available choices represent you?
Richard Read, London
When is the government going to change our voting system to proportional representation?
Far too much attention is being given to people who have children - what about hard working singles, who work the long hours and pay the taxes that are keeping the economy buoyant?
Matt Munro, Bristol
I would like to know what policies Mr Brown would focus on if/when he became Prime Minister. Although Mr Blair has said that he intends to complete a full term, should he have a greatly reduced majority, lose any European referendum or endure more bad health, he would have to step down early. The recent body language of Mr Brown points to him being leader elect yet it is widely reported that he has stood in the way of various Blair reforms. As a labour victory looks imminent, we should know what direction he would take this country.
S Allsop, Essex
Housing and house price affordability is a major issue that impacts on peoples' welfare and job mobility. All parties seem to be ignoring this major issue.
Leonard H, London
Lack of attention to those on incapacity benefit, a fixed income. Unlike pensioners, no additional benefits like winter fuel were given. Pensioners are better off, yet we have to maintain cars and so on to get back into work.
David Waring, Crewe, Cheshire
Civil liberties seem to be a neglected issue. Presumably Labour, if re-elected, intend to continue eroding them (although they haven't said so in so many words). The rest haven't really said anything about their intentions in this area.
I wish the Tory party would "ignore" the issue of race, immigration and asylum for a while, they are beginning to seriously irritate me. Are today's Tories one trick ponies?
The banning of Scottish and Welsh Westminster MPs voting on issues devolved to their countries. Since Scotland and Wales have assemblies with the power to decide policies on these issues, the Scottish and Welsh MPs should not be allowed to vote on measures that only affect England.
How about workers' rights? There are still plenty of wicked employers around despite Europe's best efforts. Also, for those of us who can't even get to work for a horrible employer, where is the anti age discrimination law we are supposed to be getting?
Andrew M, Walsall, UK
Europe: If there is to be a referendum on the constitution in the next parliament, surely this should be represented somewhere in the respective parties campaigns.
Bob Hayton, Maidstone, Kent
The first duty of a government is to safeguard the human rights of the people. The current government is hell bent on destroying the rights of all because of the actions of a tiny minority. Violent crime continues to increase rapidly, mainly because we are denied the clear legal right - and the means - to self defence. The right of self defence is the most important and natural human right there is.
Steve Devereux, Hull, UK
To be fair, what about issues that particularly affect the minorities. Equal opportunities and institutional racism, for example, and not some insignificant debate on subsidies to asylum seekers.
Fuel prices. Again we can see the fuel prices steadily rising and none of the parties seems to have mentioned it within their manifestos. With the recent blockade at an oil refinery in Cheshire, doesn't each party think they should be adding this as an important voting issue?
Jason, Manchester, UK
All the parties are committing us to a continuing culture of spending. How can we blame the credit card debt on irresponsible spenders when our political parties set the trend.
Hampton, Rhyl, UK
Re: World Poverty. A good ideal, yes, but surely the initial approach is to remove the cruel regimes who are causing the poverty in their own nations. Many of these people are super rich and sending more money will just make them richer.
Roger, Poole, UK
Why on earth is no one discussing transport? Who's going to do what about the roads, public transport and airport expansions? I can't find any info out about it at all.
Steve Peake, Sudbury, Suffolk
What about young single professionals, who don't have children and have struggled onto the property ladder in the last year without any assistance. What about a tax break for us? Why are only people with children given any consideration?
J Lindsay, Glasgow, Scotland
With the election only nine days away we are aware of only one candidate (Conservative). No other candidate has put up a poster or a leaflet through the door. Is this common throughout the country?
Jack Baldwin, Oundle, Northants
I have heard nothing from any of the parties about what they intend to do for the disabled in the next parliament? Do any of them even recognise that the disabled suffer in much the same way as pensioners but don't receive concessions on such things as winter fuel allowance or council tax?
Joan Smith, Hexham, UK
How can it be that when the Tory vote, the Lib Dem vote, and the others vote all add up to far more than the Labour vote that it is likely that we will all get a party winning that most of us don't want? Proportional representation is a political issue I would like to hear more about, and a voting system whose time I think has come.
It is pathetic to see grown men squabbling over such minor matters, yet patently ignoring the big questions like environmental strategy for the next decade. It seems Labour and the Conservatives are clueless - only Lib Dems have made any position clear on this.
Andrew Smith, Cambridge, UK
Transport and the environment. I caught Charles Kennedy briefly holding a pot plant (or something) but that's been it from the three main parties. I believe only public demand will get these issues onto the political agenda and currently the future of planet earth isn't too high on our list of priorities.
Kathy Pearson, Plymtree, Devon
Some of the issues that have been discussed, like remembering what Mr Brown did to pension funds every year and recognising that the Conservatives have offered a start in the right direction. This is of no interest to the media until their employees all get old and wake up!
I am the mother of a nine-year-old disabled child who as a result of the government's policy of inclusion saw his specialist unit close down and Josh was placed in a mainstream school. He failed and, because specialist schools had closed down, at just seven years of age he is forced to board in a specialist school 75 miles away from home. There are thousands of special needs children in the country who are being denied opportunities and as parents we have been marginalised from any meaningful debate.
Julie Maynard, Ware, Hertfordshire
I think this must be first election in my lifetime where the top issue isn't the economy. Are we now so used to stable interest rates and low inflation that we don't appreciate these anymore? One thing that should be addressed is the inability of people on average incomes to make their first house purchase in most of the country.
George, Chessington, Surrey
The Barnett formula which effectively subsidises Scotland, so they can help their students and OAPs while Scotland is more affluent than most areas in the north, needs to go as it is outdated!
Harry Paget, Kent
Issues are being ignored. Michael Howard is banging the immigration drum to stir up his core support and pander to some people's rather sinister basic instincts. The only time he'll talk about health, is by frightening people with MRSA and he certainly won't talk about unemployment or inflation or interest rates or public services. Someone stated to me that Mr Howard is an 'idiot'. That's one thing he isn't. He is clever, but I find his campaign distasteful, his agenda harsh - verging on the sinister.
Few candidates are saying much about the European Constitution. Why is this, is it possible that the parties are trying to hush it up?
Peter Robinson, Stirling Scotland
I'd like to see a democratic, fair election system, one that actually represents the political balance in the UK and eliminates wasted votes and apathy
Oli Tuhey, Zagreb, Croatia
Gun crime has risen dramatically over the past few years, yet all parties stick rigidly to the failed idea that persecuting target shooters will somehow have an effect on inner city drug dealers.
Alex Swanson, Milton Keynes, UK
Global issues which affect all of us equally are being ignored in favour of targeting particular groups of voters. Environmental, international, humanitarian and European issues will all have a massive effect on us in the near future but none of them seem to want to cover these.
50% of households in Glasgow have no earned income. Single parents unable to work, massive abuse of disability income and a spiralling black economy. Any party that aims to reduce the continual pouring of money down the benefits drain will get my support.
Oil will reach peak production in 2007, and in the same year Britain will begin to import more than it's exporting, even though there won't be any spare capacity to import. This is a situation happening all over the world as Peak Oil draws near. I haven't heard anybody mention it in the entire campaign. This is a life and death issue, we need leadership.
Ross Hopkins, Canterbury, UK
Why is it prisoners get 40 mins free phone calls per week and don't pay council tax when those in military only get 20 mins free phone calls home and still have to pay council tax when detached overseas? Not my idea of tough on crime!
Tony Knight, Little Rissington, Glos
In the quest for a winning margin on May 5th, the parties focus on the issues which are perceived to matter to the largest number of people. The necessity of a populist result coerces this behaviour, and to some degree it is inevitable that the weaker and more vulnerable factions of society will be marginalised.
Adam Myatt, Birmingham
It's the ecology, stupid. The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the ecology.
Dave Hampton, Marlow, UK
All I'm hearing is immigration, immigration, immigration. What's happened to the main issues like education, Europe and transport?
If President Bush decides to wage war with Iran, North Korea etc, would British troops be sent with them?
E Ainsworth, Ayrshire, Scotland
TETRA radio transmissions adversely affect health and TV reception - none of the main parties has any concern for the electorate regarding this issue. We'll all be irradiated with this type of microwave transmission regardless.
Darren Stanley, Worthing, Sussex
I would like to see a greater commitment to quality of life issues, housing and the environment. But it won't happen until we have an electoral system in which every vote counts equally.
Tim, Hertford, UK
Political parties are so obsessed with the grey vote, the family vote, etc., that they are forgetting people who are disabled or widowed mums. Under the old system, they are increasingly demeaned and condemned to poverty, yet ignored by means tests, etc.
Elections should be about future policies from the parties, not the absurd diatribe and personal attacks about immigration and asylum from Howard which is feeding the fears of the electorate, I want to know about jobs, education ,health etc.
Walter Cronk, Barry, Wales
Disability: this week my foster sister got her benefits raided by the local council for "care costs", leaving her with -£4.33 a week after bills have been paid. What do we cut? Her food, heating?
Peter McGrath, Hinderwell, UK
International issues such as dropping the third world debt have been ignored. What is discussed is discussed in generalisations, not detail. What do the Conservatives mean by discipline in schools, student boards, draconian punishments, early intervention, inclusion policies? Who knows?
Victoria Mann, Glossop, Derbyshire
Transport is a major issue that we've heard hardly anything about, yet affects virtually every one of us. I would gladly vote for any party that puts this issue higher up on their list of priorities. The only party to highlight this so far seem to be the Greens, but they aren't putting up a candidate in my constituency.
Phil Tonks, Stourbridge, West Midlands
Everybody seems to have forgot about the failing child support agency with all the election stuff but those of us still being targeted haven't.
Paul Eastham, Blackburn England
The problem of personal and occupational pensions has not be put on agenda enough buy any party - Labour because their economic policy has contributed to half the pension shortfall and Gordon Brown's £5bn a year raid on pensions contributed to the other half. As to why Conservative and Liberal are not highlighting this more, I do not know.
Some form of proportional representation is long overdue. When will one of the major parties finally give us a chance to vote for who we want, and for that vote to make a difference?
I won't vote for any party that isn't going to take action over global poverty. We live in one world now.
Mike, Reigate, Surrey
Why is everyone ignoring the Tories proposals to scrap the Human Rights Act? These dreadful and ill thought proposals will impact us all stripping all British citizens of basic rights. Right to life, privacy, fair trial, and expression should not be taken for granted. Labour and the Liberals should be standing up in horror but instead they choose to ignore.
The environment is the obvious "no-show" in this election, despite all parties trotting out the line that it is the greatest threat to our world. Has rhetoric ever been further from action?
Matt Sellwood, Oxford
A question always ignored by the media but one which affects almost every family in the land, mine included: why is it that men are still discriminated against in having to wait five years longer for the state pension than women? Is it too much for this question to be aired in the UK or has political correctness forced it off the agenda?
Bob Newcombe, UK/New Zealand
The thirst for power is so very great and many unscrupulous politicians are concentrating on emotive issues like immigration and asylum when they should be concentrating on topics like education, Europe, the environment, pensions and the rights of women. Once in power they completely bask in the limelight. At least the present government has been honest and tried its level best in education and the economy.
Pancha Chandra, Brussels, Belgium
A serious issue that's being ignored is that we have an electoral system that means a party can achieve victory despite having a significantly smaller share of the national vote than another party. It's time that this was rectified. How can we possibly call ourselves a democracy while this situation persists?
Jamie Shepherd, UK
One issue that is being ignored relates to the election campaign. I find it very distasteful to try and win support by whipping up fear on sensitive issues as well as personal attacks on party leaders. A fine example of good manners and honest campaigning! I do not want someone to represent me and this country who conducts himself in such a manner. Shameful.
Liz, Lincoln, UK
I want to see devolution as an issue for debate during this election. The Labour government granted devolution to Scotland and Wales setting up the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly but has given no devolution at all to England. All that has been proposed is artificially created regional assemblies, for which there has been little support, and so has been dropped.
But which have been put in place throughout England, as appointed and non-elected shadow regional assemblies. The electorate in England should be offered no less than the chance to choose if they want the same devolved powers as the Scottish Parliament. Perhaps then more people would start to believe that their vote would actually make a difference.
Anthony Dart, Barnstaple, England
Yes, the plight and impact of the 7m economically inactive people. These are people who have dropped off the numbers between school and retirement. Significant numbers of which are highly skilled. How do we get them back to work? (Then we won't need immigration.) And the taxes they would pay would reduce the burden on everyone else etc.