The five leaders of the five national political parties sum up in five sentences why voters should back them. Here is what they said (in alphabetical order):
Natalie Bennett, Greens:
1. The Green Party would build a fair economy that works for the many rather than the richest few, making the minimum wage a living wage of £10 an hour by 2020.
2. We would take back our NHS, end privatisation, and ensure it is a truly public service.
3. The Green Party is the only party with a concrete plan to tackle climate change through measures such as insulating 9m homes and investing in renewable energy.
4. Green MPs will give Labour a backbone, pushing them to be stronger on issues like the NHS, tuition fees, and the environment.
5. The Green Party will never prop up a Tory government.
David Cameron, Conservative:
1. The things that really matter — jobs, tax cuts, apprenticeships, schools, the NHS, homes, pensions, the environment — all depend on a strong economy. That’s what Conservatives are building — and we’re the only ones that can.
2. Our long-term economic plan is working: We’ve got a record number of people in work, cut taxes for more than 26m people, created 2.2m apprenticeships, increased NHS spending, increased pensions, and helped thousands of people onto the housing ladder.
3. The next step in our plan is to turn the good news in our economy into a good life for you, meaning an income tax free personal allowance of £12,500; 30 hours’ free childcare each week for 3- and 4-year-olds; 200,000 discounted starter homes for first-time buyers; pensioner benefits protected; 2m more jobs; 3m more apprenticeships; no deficit — a surplus instead.
4. We’re building a Britain living within its means; a Britain where if you put in, you get out; a Britain where we control immigration and have an in/out referendum on Europe; a Britain where you can have security at every stage of your life, with a good school, a decent job, a home of your own, keeping more of the money you earn, and having dignity when you retire.
5. Miliband would take us back to higher spending, taxes, borrowing, and debt — all the things that got us in a mess in the first place. He could only get in with the help of the SNP, and that’s a deadly combination for our country: The people who want to bankrupt Britain and the people who want to break up Britain. The only way to stop that is by voting Conservative.
Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrat:
1. The Liberal Democrats will add a heart to a Conservative government and a brain to a Labour one. We will not allow excessive Conservative cuts or reckless Labour borrowing.
2. With a hung parliament now certain, the Liberal Democrats have shown that we are prepared to put our country first to provide stability and fairness.
:3. Every Liberal Democrat MP is a barrier between Nigel Farage and Alex Salmond and the door to 10 Downing Street.
4. The Liberal Democrats will always keep our country united and stand up for a Britain that is open-hearted, open-minded, generous, and tolerant.
5. We have made our red lines clear: We will balance the books fairly with a stability budget within weeks of the election; increase the tax-free allowance to £12,500; end public-sector pay cuts; invest more in education and the NHS; and protect our environment.
Nigel Farage, Ukip:
Ukip’s pledge to Britain is:
1. Say No to the EU.
2. Control our borders.
3. Extra £3bn for the NHS.
4. Cut foreign aid spending.
5. No tax on the minimum wage.
Ed Miliband, Labour:
Britain only succeeds when working people succeed. Labour will:
1. Build a strong economic foundation for our country by balancing the books and cutting the deficit every year.
2. Freeze energy bills, increase the minimum wage to £8 an hour, end exploitative zero-hours contracts.
3. Create an NHS with time to care with 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 more GPs, and GP appointments within 48 hours.
4. Control immigration so people won’t be able to claim benefit for two years and make it illegal for employers to undercut wages.
5. Build a country with hope for our young, cut tuition fees, apprenticeships for every school leaver and smaller class sizes.
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