SNP manifesto 2015: Less of a ransom note, more of a blank cheque
By Nida Broughton - 21 April 11:01

The SNP's manifesto, far from a ransom note, is easily reconciliable with Labour's fiscal plans. The bigger fear is that none of the parties are planning for what happens if the economy takes a turn for the worse.

Nick Clegg: not the best, not the worst. Just what we're stuck with
By Rosie Fletcher - 21 April 10:19

Clegg’s tactic for the election is to pitch his party as the necessary bulk needed to eke out a full government. Much like whoever did the budgeting in the Conservative manifesto, the Liberal Democrats are here just to make up the numbers.

Big beasts: Francois Mitterrand, David Cameron and Barack Obama. Photomontage by Dan Murrell.
They may be ill-loved, ugly and tribal – but political parties are a necessity
By Mark Damazer - 21 April 9:24

In a world where depoliticising politics is sure to get a cheer on Question Time, the parties are key to keeping the system running.

The party leaders, minus Cameron. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/AFP
Who are the party leaders?
By New Statesman - 21 April 9:01

Where is Natalie Bennett from? How old is David Cameron? What was Nigel Farage's job? We give you the lowdown on the party leaders.

Chancellor George Osborne. Photo: WPA Pool Getty Images News
What is the deficit?
By New Statesman - 21 April 8:15

The deficit is the gap between government spending and income.

There is a Commons majority for Trident and the party couldn't amend Budgets in the way it hopes.
Why the SNP would struggle to hold Labour to ransom
By George Eaton - 21 April 7:55

There is a Commons majority for Trident and the party couldn't amend Budgets in the way it hopes. 

Here's why the Conservatives are banging on and on about the SNP
By Stephen Bush - 20 April 17:47

A new poll confirms what the Conservatives been saying privately, and bodes ill for Labour after the election.

Natalie Bennett, the leader of the Greens. Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images
Where is Natalie Bennett from?
By New Statesman - 20 April 16:45

The Green Party leader is from Australia, but now holds British Citizenship.

It's not Ed Miliband who Vladimir Putin wants in Number 10
By James Bloodworth - 20 April 16:09

For all the Conservative scaremongering, it is their victory, not Miliband's, that will be cheered in the Kremlin

The UK has been officially in recession since 2009. Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images
What is austerity?
By New Statesman - 20 April 15:58

When the government lowers spending during a recession, it's often called "austerity".

Market meltdown, vigilante mobs, and an asthma epidemic. Photo: Getty
Simulection: What happens when you run Labour's 2015 manifesto through a video game?
By Daniel Griliopoulos - 20 April 15:48

We are running the parties' manifestos through Democracy 3, an election simulation video game. Here's what happens if Labour wins...

Germany and Sweden have both recently been governered by parties that finished second.
Can Labour enter power if it finishes second? Europe shows it can
By George Eaton - 20 April 15:23

Germany and Sweden have both recently been governered by parties that finished second. 

Simulection: How I'm testing the party’s 2015 manifestos on the video game Democracy 3
By Daniel Griliopoulos - 20 April 15:15

What happens when you run the main political parties' 2015 manifestos through a politics simulation game?

Carpe diem, Ed. Carpe diem. Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Ed Miliband has learnt what YOLO means - and he loves it
By Media Mole - 20 April 15:11

"That is a good philosophy for politics!"

A giant ballot box. Photo:  Matt Cardy/Getty Images
The blagger's guide to the election
By New Statesman - 20 April 14:04

What happens if no-one wins? Why are people not voting? What happened in 1974, and why does it matter?

Foreign devils. Photo:Getty
Britain's immigration debate has taken a turn for the toxic
By Kavya Kaushik - 20 April 13:58

Whether it is the attacks on migrants crossing the Mediterranean or questions about Nick Clegg's heritage, our national debate on immigration has taken a nasty turn.

Julian Huppert speaking at the New Statesman Debate on the EU. Photo: Chris Boland
Europe: in or out? The Cambridge Literary Festival New Statesman Debate
By Tom Gatti - 20 April 13:47

The Ukip and Lib Dem candidates for Cambridge clash over Europe in a packed debating chamber.

Shadow chancellor says Leader of the House would "talk to all parties" but rejects negotiations on the Budget and defence.
Balls says Labour would speak to SNP - but rules out negotiations
By George Eaton - 20 April 13:40

Shadow chancellor says Leader of the House would "talk to all parties" but rejects negotiations on the Budget and defence. 

Exclusive: George Foulkes calls on Philip Hammond to intervene in the Mediterranean
By George Foulkes - 20 April 13:17

We cannot, therefore, continue to bury our heads in the sand, nor can we hide behind talk of a more comprehensive EU strategy. The simple fact is, unless more boats are sent out to patrol the region and rescue people, more innocent lives, including those of children, will be lost in the days and weeks to come.

The Lib Dems' coalition red lines are too agreeable – they need to start playing hard to get
By Richard Morris - 20 April 12:01

No one's talking about deals with the Lib Dems, because there's nothing in their manifesto to scare the Tory or Labour horses.

Many voters feel today's candidates all look and sound too similar. But are they really? Picture: Ralph Steadman
Armando Iannucci: It’s time for a very British revolution
By Armando Iannucci - 20 April 11:30

From Labour's mugs to Cameron's debate dodging, the run up to this election has involved a calculated contempt for openness and honesty.

What's wrong with tax avoidance?
By Mark Rowney - 20 April 11:30

In 2012, Ed Miliband said it wasn’t “for politicians to lecture people about morality”; he was right. Notwithstanding some politicians’ moral convictions, society cannot agree a moral standard for tax. 

A polling station. Photo: Dave Thompson/Getty
What are the top seats to watch in the election?
By Harry Lambert - 20 April 9:59

Harry Lambert of the New Statesman's tells you the ten seats to watch on polling night.

It can cost over £30k to stand for parliament. Photo: Getty
How much does it cost to stand as an MP?
By Caroline Crampton - 20 April 9:57

If you want to stand on the stage on election night wearing a rosette, you'll have to buy it yourself.

A woman passes a polling station sign. Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty
Why do so many people not vote?
By Ashley Cowburn - 20 April 9:53

If they use their voices on 7 May, these voters, once considered “lost”, could decide the outcome of this bitterly fought election.

Portraits of former PMs hang in Number 10. Photo: Dan Kitwood - WPA Pool/Getty Images
What happened in the 1974 election?
By Stephen Bush - 20 April 9:52

Oil, Scottish Nationalists, and a split house - it all sounds a bit familiar.

The Queen has no say in the new government - and heading off to Windsor might be the best move. Photo: WPA Pool/Getty
If no one wins the election, what happens?
By Anoosh Chakelian - 20 April 9:50

A minority coalition? Labour and the Tories together? Confidence-and-supply?

What will Labour do for people with disabilities?
By David Blunkett - 20 April 8:52

I have been very fortunate in my life to have had essential help when I have needed it and the opportunity to make a difference to the lives of others. This election is the moment when disabled people can exercise their power and make their voice heard. And today, with the launch of its disability manifesto, Labour is hoping to win their support.

What can be done about the rising number of food banks?
By Frank Field and John Glen - 20 April 7:44

The number using food banks continues to rise. What's being done about the problem of public hunger, and what must we do next?