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Election 2010 Lookahead: Thursday 8 April

The who, when and where of the campaign.

By Jon Bernstein

Each morning between now and 6 May we’ll mark your card and highlight the main events of the coming day’s campaigning, party by party and across the media.



Gordon Brown kicked off his morning on Radio 4’s Today programme — a typically combative exchange with John Humphrys in the 8.10 slot. Brown is expected to spend the day defending the intended rise in National Insurance contributions. He will host a London press conference with the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, and the Business Secretary, Peter Mandelson, focusing on the economy. Elsewhere, the sitting MP for the marginal Birmingham Edgbaston constituency, Gisela Stuart, takes part in a Question Time-style public debate on the environment with fellow general election candidates — the Conservative Party’s Deirdre Alden, the Liberal Democrat Roger Harmer and, for the Green Party, Phil Simpson.


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David Cameron hosts his party’s launch London press conference at 10.30 this morning. The Millbank Tower “presser” is likely to see him reveal plans for a voluntary “national citizen service”. He then stops off at an academy school in London before heading to Norwich (3.15pm) and Plymouth (7pm) for a community meeting. Meanwhile, Samantha Cameron will be campaigning in Leeds (10am) and Brigg and Goole (2.30pm). By the way, it now looks likely that the Conservatives will unveil their manifesto on Tuesday 13 April.

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Liberal Democrats

Nick Clegg teams up this morning with the party’s former leader Charles Kennedy and the current head of the Scottish Lib Dems, Tavish Scott MSP, to launch the Lib Dem campaign for Scotland. All three will be on the Pacific Quay in Glasgow (9.30am). From there, Clegg goes ahead of the Tories to the marginal seat of Eastleigh (notional majority of 534), where he will hold a joint event with the Lib Dem candidate and home affairs spokesman, Chris Huhne (1pm). Finishes his afternoon in Bristol (3.20pm).


Other parties

Plaid Cymru officially launches its election campaign on Anglesey today. The Plaid leader, Ieuan Wyn Jones, will then visit Plaid candidates from across the north of Wales in a tour of constituencies.


The media

While Brown kicked off the day on the Today programme, David Cameron was on the GMTV sofa. Later today, ITV’s Tonight programme (7.30pm) investigates the prospects of a hung parliament and reveals which seats could prove decisive to the final result on 6 May.