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  1. Carl Dinnen

The sound track to the General Election

The sound track to the General Election Credit: Dan Kitwood/PA Wire

In case you wondered, this is what the General Election will sound like....

  • Conservatives; only we can protect the Economy.
  • Labour; only we can protect the NHS.
  • Liberal Democrats; only we can protect you from those two.
  • UKIP; only we can protect you from Europe.
  • SNP; only we can protect Scotland.
  • Greens; only we can protect the Environment.

The exciting thing is that no one, but no one, quite knows what the British electorate most wants protected, and we won't find out until the 8th of May.

Clegg sets stage for election battle in New Year message

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has set the stage for a bitter General Election battle next year, warning that "a lot of mud will be thrown" in the run-up to polling day.

The Liberal Democrat leader urged voters in his New Year message to give his party the chance of a second term in Government, rejecting the politics of "grievance, fear and blame" offered by their rivals.

Clegg said 2015 should be a "year for optimism" but that the two main parties presented the electorate with a "pretty grim choice".

"This year, a lot of mud will be thrown. A lot of over the top claims will be made, a lot of accusations will be hurled around the place. Ignore them," he added.

Highlights of Nick Clegg's appearance on Leaders Live

Nick Clegg is the fourth political party leader to answer young voters' questions as part of Leaders Live - the country's first series of Q&As streamed on YouTube.

The Liberal Democrat leader spoke about minimum wages, zero-hours contracts, tuition fees, mental health and immigration among other issues.

Here are some highlights from the live Q&A:

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Cable: Osborne's spending plans would be devastating

George Osborne's plans to cut public spending to reduce the deficit would be "devastating" for the UK, Business Secretary Vince Cable has claimed.

Business Secretary Vince Cable. Credit: BBC/Andrew Marr Show

Describing the Chancellor's plans announced in the Autumn Statement as "ideologically driven", Mr Cable said the police, armed forces and social care would be severely hit by the proposals.

The Business Secretary said he would "really worry" if the spending plans in the next parliament were realised.

Mr Cable told the BBC's The Andrew Marr Show that the Liberal Democrats had kept the Conservatives on a "tight leash" and they had been "well behaved" while in coalition, but were now promoting "extremes" ahead of next year's general election.

Responding to Tory accusations that the Liberal Democrat's plans would leave the country in chaos, Cable said: "We are committed to financial discipline, but we're not veering off to the extreme ideology that the Tories seem to want."

Nick Clegg: Leaders Live a 'fantastic initiative'

Nick Clegg has said his Leaders Live Q&A on Tuesday 16th December will bring political debate "to where young people are already active".

The Liberal Democrat leader said:

Leaders Live is a fantastic initiative from Bite the Ballot to get young people involved in the political debate. This project will take the leaders of the main political parties to where young people are already active – through exciting new ways of communicating.

– Nick Clegg, liberal democrats
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