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NHS becomes key battleground for rival parties

The NHS has become a key election battleground with a Conservatives pledge of an extra £8 billion a year for the NHS in England by 2020. Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats have attacked the announcement as an "unfunded" spending commitment.

Meanwhile, Labour is pledging one-to-one midwife care for every woman during childbirth as it launches its health manifesto.

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Poll: Tories stay ahead as Ukip support slumps to two-year low

The Conservatives took a two percentage point lead over the Labour party while support for Ukip fell in a new opinion poll.

The online poll of 1,916 adults put the Conservative Party up three points on 36% and the Labour Party up one point on 34%.

Meanwhile support for Ukip fell three points to 11%, the lowest level in the poll since 2012, while the Liberal Democrats were unchanged on 7% and the Greens were down one at 6%.

Opinium Research surveyed 1,916 adults online on April 8 and 9 for the Observer newspaper.

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