Liverpool's Labour mayor has lost the latest round of a legal fight with a school where he used to work.Read the full story ›
Some say migrants take advantage of benefits system putting pressure on housing and jobs. Others say they add to our rich cultural tapestryRead the full story ›
A day after Ed Miliband launched Labour's election manifesto in Manchester, David Cameron and Natalie Bennett did the same for the Conservatives and the Greens.
And today a poll of polls - that's an average from all the major polling organisations - put the Conservatives and Labour neck and neck on 34% but saw the Liberal Democrat vote well down on 9%.
Well, Nick Clegg's party are confident they'll do much better in the seat of Manchester Withington, which they've held for the last 10 years.
Our reporter Adam McClean went to see if they can buck the national trend:
Recent constituency polling by pollster Lord Ashcroft in Conservative-held marginal seats are showing no overall trend in the North West.
Data collected between the start of March and the beginning of April in eight North West seats show Labour ahead in four, the Tories ahead in two and a dead heat in the others.
Polling conducted between the 2nd and 11th April show Labour ahead by three points in Crewe and Nantwich, where the Tories currently enjoy a majority of 6,046.
In the same period Ashcroft's polling found voters undecided in the Lancashire seats of South Ribble and Rossendale and Darwen, where the parties are at a dead heat, as shown in 'Constituency voting intention' section of the chart below.
Meanwhile data collected in other Tory held seats in Lancashire between March 30th and April 4th show a more positive picture for the Conservatives.
In Blackpool North and Cleveleys Ashcroft's poll shows the party five points ahead of Labour on 42 to 37, while in Pendle the poll puts the Tories four points in front on 41 to Labour's 37.
In Morecambe and Lunesdale though, where the Tory's majority is just 866, Labour have a lead of six points over the Conservatives.
Polling in mid-March puts Labour ahead in Wirral West by five points, and in the seat of City of Chester Ashcroft put Labour 11 points ahead of the Conservatives.
The one thing consistent in all eight of these polls is UKIP's support is falling over time, as shown in three North West seats below.
How seriously should we take these polls? Some believe they are a distraction, and we of course should always remember - it's only one poll by one pollster. But be in no doubt - the politicians look at them and take them very seriously (I was alerted to the release of the latest Ashcroft polling by a very happy candidate keen to point out they were ahead).
As David Cameron said today though, the only poll that matters is on May 7th.
All Lord Ashcroft's polling can be found here.
As we hurtle headlong to the election we continue our look at the North West's closest battlegrounds. In this report we hear how students, the health service and immigration could be key issues in the Manchester seat of Withington. Adam Maclean reports
One of the key marginals Labour will need to win if Ed Miliband's to become Prime Minister is Wirral West.
Former TV presenter Esther McVey won the seat for the Conservatives in 2010.
There are five candidates standing in Wirral West:
In the latest of our constituency profiles ahead of May the 7th, our correspondent Ann O'Connor went to Wirral West, to see how the battle for power is unfolding:
The Labour Party today chose Manchester to launch it's manifesto ahead of the closest General Election in modern times.
Our political reporter Daniel Hewitt was there in the old Granada Studios and caught up with Lucy Powell, parliamentary candidate for Manchester Central, and vice-chair of the Labour Party's election campaign.
Labour will launch it's manifesto in Manchester with a promise to introduce a 'Budget Responsibility lock' and cut the deficit every year.Read the full story ›
The candidates standing for Bolton West are as follows:
- Chris Green (Con)
- Julie Hilling (Lab)
- Bob Horsefield (UKIP)
- Andrew Martin (Lib Dem)
- Andy Smith (Independent)
- John Vickers (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition)