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  1. ITV Report

Bob Constantine's Election Blog: Tonight's debate will be 'fascinating encounter'

Tonight's ITV debate will be the only chance to see Cameron and Miliband go head to head, along with five other party leaders.

The stage is set for tonight's live ITV Election debate - the only time David Cameron and Ed Miliband will go head to head, along with the other five mainland parties - Lib Dems, UKIP, Greens, SNP and Plaid Cymru.

Having seen the set and the layout, we're set for a fascinating encounter. After drawing lots about the positions, Ed Miliband is in the centre, with David Cameron and Natalie Bennett (of the Greens) at either end.

So whereas Mr Cameron will have a rival on just one side (Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP), Mr Miliband will be sandwiched between Nigel Farage of UKIP and Leanne Wood of Plaid Cymru.

Seven party leaders will be pitching to the nation.

Host Julie Etchingham will have a tough job keeping them to time - they have a minute each to state their case on the individual topics - and to stop them interrupting or shouting each other down in the open debates.

Will we hear references to the West Country, given our number of marginal seats? I wouldn't bank on it, but for the time being at least it keeps the leaders well away from our region - the debate is taking place at Salford in Manchester.

Each leader will have a minute to pitch their vision to the audience on each topic.

Tune in to ITV at 8pm tonight for a unique two hours.

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