Party leaders back on the campaign trail after debate

Most of the main party leaders are back out on the campaign trail today after the ITV leaders' debate. All seven party leaders went head-to-head for the first and only time this general election last night, clashing over issues such as the economy, the NHS and immigration.

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Poll shows Miliband closing popularity gap on Cameron

A new opinion poll has indicated that Ed Miliband is starting to close the popularity gap on David Cameron and more voters now believe the Labour leader is doing a good job than a bad one.

An online Survation poll of 1,207 people carried out after last night's leaders debate showed Miliband's individual approval rating climb 8.1 points from minus 4.4 to plus 3.7 and Cameron's rating improve by 4.3 points to plus 7.7.

The other political leaders involved in the debate also saw their approval ratings climb in the poll with the SNP's Nicola Sturgeon now on a 15.4 point approval rating, Ukip's Nigel Farage on 6.2 points, Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg on -6.2 points, Leanne Wood of Plaid Cymru on 11.9 points and the Green Party's Natalie Bennett on 3.1 points.


Sturgeon gains 15k Twitter followers after leaders' debate

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has revealed she has 15,000 new followers on Twitter.

Sturgeon was out on the campaign trail after taking part in the ITV leaders' debate on Thursday night.

Meanwhile a SNP supporter showed off her tattoo of former first minister Alex Salmond as he hit the campaign trail in Kirkaldy.

A supporter shows off her tattoo of Alex Salmond Credit: PA Wire

Salmond, who hopes to make a return to Westminster in May, praised Sturgeon saying she had "hammered" David Cameron in the televised leaders' debate.

Wood: Hopeful parties like Plaid will have some influence

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has said she felt last night's debate was a success and she was able to achieve what she set out to do and speak for Wales.

Speaking to ITV News following last night's leaders' debate she added that she remained hopeful that voters would ensure "small parties like ours have some influence" after the election:

Nigel Farage: HIV comments were 'hard, cold fact'

Nigel Farage has defended his comments on foreign HIV patients during last night's TV debate, following criticism from other party leaders.

The Ukip leader said he presented "hard, cold facts" on the number of non-British nationals being treated for the virus.

"I am showing a way where we could save between £1-and-£2 billion by not allowing very expensive drugs to be given to non-British nationals when there are people here suffering from cancer and other problems that need treatment."

He also played down talk of a coalition between Ukip and the Conservatives, and says it appears likely that the next government could be comprised of three parties.

"I think it is impossible to predict at the moment what the arithmetical mix is going to be," he added.


Sturgeon: Important whole of UK understands the SNP message

Nicola Sturgeon has said that is important that voters outside of Scotland understand what SNP stand for.

The SNP leader said: "Clearly my main audience Scottish voters, asking people in Scotland to vote SNP to make Scotlands voice heard. But I also want to make clear that for voters in England, Wales and Northern Ireland we want to be allies in winning more progressive politics."

Cameron: Other parties offer 'coalition of chaos'

David Cameron has refused to directly answer a question over whether the Conservatives would go into coalition with Ukip, but said last night's debate presented him and his party as alone in offering a "clear plan" for the economy.

On the election trail in Greater Manchester, Cameron said all the other parties presented a vision of "chaos".

"I thought last night the biggest impression was a choice - you stick with that clear leadership, that clear plan, or you put it all at risk with a sort of 'coalition of chaos' that want extra debt and extra taxes."

Miliband: Debate presented two choices for election

Ed Miliband meeting with activists in Blackpool today.

Ed Miliband has said he will let others decide who won last night's election debate, but argued that David Cameron "tried and failed" to defend his record during the programme.

Taking questions while meeting with Labour activists in Blackpool, Miliband said: "I leave the commentary to others."

He said there was a choice between only two prime ministers ahead of the election - David Cameron and himself - adding: "What I think people were able to see was that choice very starkly last night.

You have got David Cameron, defending an economy that I think isn't working for most people in our country, defending an NHS that isn't working for most people, and me setting out Labour's clear alternative based on this fundamental idea that it is only when working people succeed that Britain succeeds.

– Ed Miliband, speaking in Blackpool
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