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Nick Clegg kicks off election campaign in Abingdon

The Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg has been in the South today as he launched the party's General Election campaign. The liberal democrats are aiming to hold onto their seats in Mid Dorset and Poole North along with Eastleigh. And on his first day of campaigning, Mr Clegg said they are determined to win back the key marginal of Oxford West and Abingdon. Penny Silvester reports.

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Nick Clegg arrives in Abingdon for start of General Election campaign

Nick Clegg has arrived in Abingdon Credit: ITV NEWS MERIDIAN

Nick Clegg has arrived in Abingdon as he begins his battlebus tour as part of the Liberal Democrats General Election campaign.

The Lib Dem Leader chose to visit the marginal constituency of Oxford West and Abingdon for the start of his campaign. It's one of a series of Lib Dem target seats where they are fielding a woman candidate.

Clegg kicks off election campaign in Oxfordshire

The Deputy Prime Minister has chosen to launch the campaign in Oxford Credit: PA

Nick Clegg will today set out to woo women voters as he kicks off the Liberal Democrats' general election campaign.

The Deputy Prime Minister is beginning his battlebus tour in the knife-edge marginal constituency of Oxford West and Abingdon - one of a series of Lib Dem target seats where they are fielding a woman candidate.

Party strategists believe that winning over the female vote will be crucial to their chances of success across a range of key battleground constituencies.

Despite their dire opinion poll ratings, they insist that their own internal polling shows women voters coming over to them in a series of must-win seats.

They say younger women particularly are attracted by their policy on shared parental leave, while headline plans to prioritise mental health, raise tax thresholds and cut the deficit are popular among women generally.

Nick Clegg with his wife Miriam Gonzalez Credit: PA

Mr Clegg will highlight the Lib Dems' attempts to increase their quota of women MPs, visiting a series of constituencies where they have women candidates in the opening days of the election campaign.

They lost Oxford West and Abingdon - where the candidate is physics teacher Layla Moran - by just 176 votes to the Conservatives at the 2010 general election and are determined to win it back this time around.

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