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  1. ITV Report

General Election 2019: What you need to know today

Sometimes photo opportunities on the campaign trail are a piece of cake. Credit: PA
  • By ITV News Content Producer David Williams

Nicola Sturgeon's already been out and about but Friday sees the SNP officially kick off its 2019 campaign with pledges to protect the NHS from future trade deals.

The Conservatives will also make a health-service related pitch - an attempt to lower the hurdles for the NHS to recruit doctors and nurses from around the world - while Labour are promising to transform the world of work for women.

Among the party's pledges is extending statutory maternity pay to a year and getting big businesses to introduce menopause policies.

ITV News will be sharing all the key speeches and campaign appearances as they happen throughout the day as part of our Campaign Live coverage.

You can follow all the key live events on itv.com/news Credit: ITV News

Here’s what's in store today:

  • The SNP officially launch their campaign in Edinburgh
  • Boris Johnson continues his campaign tour with visits to an East Midlands hospital and school before heading to North Wales
  • Labour will unveil a series of reforms to transform the workplace for women
  • The Liberal Democrats take their campaign to Scotland as Jo Swinson travels to Fife
  • Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage visits South Wales as part of his campaign tour

What else is making the election headlines today?

The view from the campaigns

Paul Brand sums up events in the Conservative camp after the three-nation tour. Has it done enough to quieten dissent?

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Romilly Weeks looks at where the Labour campaign goes from here after a topsy turvy start in which two former MPs urged voters to back the Tories.

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Rebecca Barry wonders if Friday will see an extension to the political niceties coming out of the Liberal Democrat camp.

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Angus Walker has heard every word of every speech Nigel Farage has made so far on the campaign trail.

Here on the road he outlines the private campaign strategy the Brexit Party leader hasn't talked about yet.

Calling Peston: The ITV News Election Podcast

Shehab and Daniel will dial in Robert for his thoughts every weekday of the campaign. Credit: ITV News

It's only a few days into the campaign and already Daniel Hewitt is exposing broken campaign promises... from the Calling Peston team.

Co-host Shehab Khan apologises for his Day Two location fail before star of the show Robert Peston mea culpas for forgetting to plug the show on TV.

Then he gets down to business. Answering: How damaging is Tom Watson's exit from Labour? Do the parties' money commitments add up and what does it tell us about the role on non-Brexit issues in the so-called Brexit election?

Plus, Jen Williams from the Manchester Evening News attacks the "telescopic view" from Westminster. Hear it all below...

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ITV News Political Reporters Daniel Hewitt and Shehab Khan will be digesting the campaign every weekday - and dial in Robert to get his take on it all.

The Calling Peston podcast will take you behind the scenes of life reporting on the election campaign trail, hearing from our reporters on the road across the country.

Like what you hear? New episodes will appear every weekday afternoon at 5pm. Download it from wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

The Battlegrounds: Why the Liberal Democrats are aiming very, very high

The Liberal Democrats are daringly ‘shooting for the moon’ in some parts of the country, writes ITV News National Editor Allegra Stratton.

Positioned in third place, they believe they can catapult into first place in Remain places like Kensington, Cities of London and Westminster; Finchley and Golders Green.

(You’d better get going on your election 2019 Top Trumps).

But the party is not content with this kind of target list – senior figures talk up their chances.

I’ve seen quite alarming results inflation – going from its current 19 up to 60, 100 and 200. These possible gains are bandied around interchangeably.

There’s a reason for this...

Continue reading Allegra's analysis here and watch her latest report from the battleground seat of Newbury above.

Analysed: The spending pledges of the main parties

John McDonnell and Sajid Javid outlined their spending plans on Thursday. Credit: PA

Before Brexit fever hit Britain, economic spending announcements used to dominate elections.

Former US president Bill Clinton is still known for his “it’s the economy, stupid” quip, a motto that helped him win the keys to the White House in 1992.

Now the main parties in 2019 have outlined what they'd spend the money on if they win power.

But how much of it comes from borrowing? And what do the spending experts make of it?

Find out the answers here.

Today's question: Will the East of England stay blue?

The 2017 election map shows the Conservative dominance of the East of England. Credit: ITV News Anglia

While the political map of the East of England is predominantly blue, there are several seats that will be contested fiercely over the coming weeks, explains ITV News Anglia's David Hughes.

The Conservatives took 54% of the vote to claim 58 of the region's 69 constituencies in 2017.

But in 2019 experts are predicting a four-party race for many seats.

So which are the top targets?

David offers a comprehensive guided tour.

Plus, as ever, here are your...

Catch up on the best of Thursday's campaign stories:

What's happening away from the election?

Here's what else is making the news today: