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Bob Constantine's Election Blog: Campaigning kicks off in the West

The first two days of the "proper" General Election campaign have seen visits to Wiltshire by both David Cameron and Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls.

Work and Pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith has also been out and about in Devon and Cornwall.

The common thread of course is marginal seats. The Tories are mostly fighting the Lib Dems in the region, Labour the Tories. So these visits are to seats that matter most to the particular political party involved.

David Cameron breezed into Corsham - part of the Chippenham constituency, which they are hoping to take from the Lib Dems.

While it was no more than a rally for the party faithful, the fact that he spoke without the usual jacket and tie made front page pictures and suggested a man full of energy and willingness to "roll his sleeves up".

It was noticeable that he said he didn't want another coalition, and that he got a resounding "No!" from the audience when he asked whether they wanted Mr Balls as Chancellor.

Mr Balls then went to Wiltshire himself - talking about business rates in Swindon South, then joining in a pensioners' singsong in Kingswood.

In our studio, he brushed off suggestions of economic mismanagement - HE didn't cause the collapse of Lehmann Brothers - but was cagey about whether Labour plans to tinker with the 40p tax band.

Given the tax rises he's denied - VAT, national insurance - there's scope to insert a new band for those on say, £75-£150,000.

We'll learn more when Labour publishes its manifesto.

Bob Constantine, ITV News West Country Political Correspondent

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