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Lib Dems: 'Imagine we'll take a hit in Pontypridd'

By James Crichton-Smith, Pontypridd

Mike Powell, Lib Dem candidate, said on arrival at the count tonight that he is "feeling tired" after "a long campaign".

He said there had been a lot of positives on the streets and not many negatives.

Mr Powell added: "It's just a case of seeing what decision has been made on the ballot. It's difficult after five years in a coalition government. Difficult decisions have been made and a lot of pain inflicted, not because we wanted to do it but because it needed to be done."

When asked about his expectations for tonight's result, he said: "I'm not going to second-guess the count. I imagine we're going to take a hit. We're nothing if not resilient in the Valleys. We'll pick ourselves up tomorrow, dust ourselves down and start again."

Lib Dems leader cooks up a curry in Cardiff

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has warned that voters could be forced back to the polls before Christmas.

On a visit to Cardiff Mr Clegg warned that only a coalition involving his party could provide "stable" government after the May 7th vote.

Any attempt by the Conservatives or Labour to run a minority government with the support of parties such as Ukip or the SNP would be "a shambles" and would force voters back to the polls he predicted.

Credit: PA

Miriam Gonzalez Durantez watches her husband Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg making a curry during their visit to the restaurant Dabbawalla in Cardiff while on the General Election campaign trail.

The era of the single party government is over. It’s time for the people of Wales to decide who they want in Government. There is a huge amount at stake. The only way to keep Wales safe, stable and fair is with Liberal Democrats in government.

– Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrats

Lib Dems set out 'red line' over public sector pay rise

The Liberal Democrats have said that they would demand a pay increase for public sector workers, as part of any coalition deal.

The party have announced what they describe as a final 'red line' for post-election negotiations.

The Lib Dems want to introduce a minimum pay increase in line with inflation for two years from 2016-17.

This is a major commitment that will benefit thousands of people in Wales. No party will win an overall majority in this election and it is vital that parties are open and upfront about what they would do in a coalition.

Liberal Democrats will not enter a coalition with a party not prepared to back pay rises for people working in the public sector.

Public sector workers have made enough sacrifices to help our country get back on track. Only Liberal Democrat MPs can guarantee an end to further cuts to pay.

– Roger Williams, Welsh Liberal Democrats


Nick Clegg promotes carer help plan on Powys visit

Nick Clegg has been in Powys today, promoting the Liberal Democrats' promise of help for carers.

Watch the report from Mike Griffiths below:

Visiting a care home in Talgarth, near Brecon, Nick Clegg praised carers as "unsung heroes".

The party's UK manifesto includes a plan to give carers a £250 bonus by 2020, along with raising the amount carers can earn before losing their carers' allowance.

Kirsty Williams: Lib Dems have showed 'there is a light at the end of the tunnel'

Kirsty Williams has said that the Liberal Democrats have 'showed that there is a light at the end of the tunnel' and that they can provide 'opportunities for everyone.'

She also said that the Liberal Democrats have reduced taxes for the lowest paid, secured extra resources for Wales' poorest pupils and have restored the link between pensions and earnings.

Kirsty Williams has said that the Lib Dems have reduced taxes for the lowest paid. Credit: ITV News

Lib Dems propose no national insurance for apprentices

The Liberal Democrats have today pledged to continue a policy of National Insurance exemption for apprentices for the duration of next parliament.

Lib dem leader Nick Clegg meets apprentices on his campaign trail Credit: PA

The policy, which would allow businesses hiring apprentices under the age of 25 to not pay National Insurance Contributions, has already been committed to by the coalition government, and will come into effect in April next year.

Today the party has also announced plans to provide apprenticeship grants for businesses in England, boosting the Welsh budget by around £25 million over the next parliament.

We will make it cheaper for employers to take on an apprentices by abolishing employer National Insurance Contributions for people under the age of 25.

This will boost the Welsh economy while helping people to build careers. This is a pledge for the whole of the next parliament.

As we grow our economy, the Liberal Democrats believe we must enhance adult skills training and our further education colleges. Only then we can become the apprenticeship powerhouse of Europe.

– Jane Dodds, Parliamentary candidate, Montgomeryshire

Welsh Lib Dems: 'fair-minded people will be left disappointed by tonight's debate'

Welsh Lib Dem Jenny Randerson has criticised tonight's leader's debate, claiming 'moderate and fair-minded people will be left disappointed.'

Meanwhile the party say they 'deeply regret' being excluded from tonight's proceedings.

We deeply regret that Nick Clegg was excluded from this debate. The blame lies squarely with David Cameron. Not only was he too scared to face the electorate in this debate, he was too scared to accept the consequences of being the only leader not taking part. That is a pretty contemptible double act of cowardice. We wanted to ensure that at least one all party debate took place so we very reluctantly agreed to the current proposal. But it is outrageous that David Cameron’s cowardice has led to our exclusion.

– Spokesperson, Lib Dems
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