Just who are the seven political party leaders debating each other live on ITV tonight?

Here are some short profiles of the leaders taking part

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Indy Politics

Tonight the UK's seven party leaders will debate each other live on ITV. How did they get to seven? Here are the runners and riders.

David Cameron

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Who is he?

The Prime Minister and the leader of the Conservatives

What's his Twitter handle?

@David_Cameron or, for now, @Number10gov

Number of followers?

951k on his political account, 3.07m on the UK PM’s account

Any jobs outside politics?

Worked in public relations for seven years

Biggest gaffe?

According to former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks, David Cameron thought the well-known acronym “LOL” meant “lots of love” rather than “laugh out loud”. He is said to have appended it to all his text messages to her.

Where did he go to school?

Eton, then Oxford to do PPE

Who’s in the family?

His father worked as a stockbroker. His mother was the daughter of Sir William Mount, 2nd Baronet. David Cameron is a direct descendent of King William IV and 5th cousin twice removed of Queen Elizabeth II.

What do the Tories stand for?

Attempting to reduce the deficit by cutting spending, capping welfare payments, and cutting income tax

What constituency?

The leafy town of Witney in Oxfordshire

What you might not know about him:

He thinks the KGB tried to recruit him during his gap year

He is banned from liking the band The Smiths

Ed Miliband

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Any jobs outside politics?

Not really. Lectured at Havard University, but the subject was government and economic and also worked as an economic adviser at the Treasury.

Biggest gaffe?

Eating a bacon sandwich in an ungainly manner

Where did he go to school?  

Primrose Hill Primary School in Camden and Haverstock Comprehensive School in Chalk Farm, north London

Who’s in the family?

His father was Ralph Miliband, a Marxist academic, who died in 1994. His mother Marian Kozak was a human rights campaigner.

What does he stand for?

Responsible capitalism, an end to ‘exploitative’ zero-hours contracts, levy on banks, a two year freeze on energy bills and safeguarding the NHS from budget cuts and privatisation.

What constituency?

Doncaster North

What you might now know about him:

His favourite bands are Bastille and Norwegian group A-ha and he was addicted to the Magic Miner computer game as a youngster.

Nick Clegg

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Who is he?

The Deputy Prime Minister and the leader of the Liberal Democrats

Twitter handle?

@nick_clegg and @DPMoffice

Number of followers?

219,000 on his personal account, 21,600 from his DPM account

Any jobs outside politics?

Yes. He started out as a lobbyist for a firm representing Libyan interests. He then went into journalism, working for the Financial Times. He moved on to work in the European Commission. Before he became an MP in 2005 he was an MEP in the European Parliament .

Biggest gaffe?

A microphone picked up unguarded comments he made to David Cameron following a joint press conference. He was heard telling the Prime Minister: "If we keep doing this we won't find anything to bloody disagree on in the bloody TV debate."

He later admitted he was embarrassed by the remark. “Yeah, I cringed when I saw it,” he said, but brushed it off as “just a bit of banter”.

He admitted to BBC Radio Sheffield that he was embarrassed by the remark and the press coverage it had received.

"It just shows you can't afford to make tongue-in-cheek remarks with a microphone on your lapel,” he added.

Where did he go to school?

Caldicott School in Farnham Royal in South Buckinghamshire, where he was joint Head Prefect and later Westminster School in central London.

Who’s in the family?

He is the third of four children. His father was a banker, while his Dutch mother was imprisoned along with her family by the Japanese military in World War II in the Dutch East Indies.

What does he stand for?

The Lib Dems stand for a “stronger economy in a fairer society”. Their main policies are delivering tax cuts for the lowest paid by increasing the personal allowance threshold, increasing awareness and funding for mental health and protecting civil liberties.

What constituency?

Sheffield Hallam

What you might not know about them:

He speaks five languages: English, French, Dutch, German, and Spanish.

He’s an Arsenal fan.

Natalie Bennett

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Who is she?

The leader of the Green Party

What's her Twitter handle?

@natalieben

Number of followers?

55.3K

Any jobs outside politics?

Bennett never really worked in politics before becoming leader: she as a journalist for local newspapers in Australia, then did voluntary work in Thailand for a number of years. She then worked as an editor a British national newspapers.

Biggest gaffe?

Bennett gave two incredibly awkward interviews on the day of the Green Party’s campaign launch. She claimed to have a cold, and later apologised to her supporters

Where did she go to school?

She won a scholarship to MLC, an Australian independent school. She has a degree in agricultural sciences from the University of Sydney and an MA in mass communication from the University of Leicester

Who’s in the family?

Bennett’s father was a carpenter and her mother a part-time secretary

What does she stand for?

The Green Party wants a £10 an hour minimum wage by 2020, public ownership of rail and energy, and no tuition fees

What constituency?

She’s not an MP, but she’s standing in Holborn and St Pancras (which covers Camden Town in North London)

What you might not know about her:

Bennett once worked at this very newspaper – the Independent – as a sub editor

She’s only the second leader of the Green Party ever – the post was created recently

Nicola Sturgeon

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Who is she:

The leader of the Scottish National Party and Scotland’s First Minister

Twitter handle?

@NicolaSturgeon and @ScotGovFM

Number of followers?

136k on her political account or 7,338 on her government account

Any jobs outside politics?

She worked as a solicitor

Biggest gaffe?

Nothing huge comes to mind, though staunch unionists might offer up a few

Where did she go to school?

Greenwood Academy in North Ayrshire and the University of Glasgow, where she studied law

Who’s in the family?

Her dad was an electrician and her mum was a dental nurse

What does she stand for?

Ending austerity, scrapping Trident, free university education. Oh, and Scottish independence

What constituency?

Glasgow Southside, in the Scottish Parliament

What you might not know about her:

She was the youngest parliamentary candidate in Scotland at the 1992 election – at the age of 21

She once interviewed the star of Danish political drama Borgen for STV’s Scotland Tonight show

Leanne Wood

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Who is she?

The leader of Plaid Cymru

Twitter handle?

@LeanneWood

Number of followers?

15.4k

Any jobs outside politics?

Prior to her election to the Welsh Assembly she was a probation officer and co-Chair of the National Association of Probation Officers. She also worked as a lecturer at Cardiff University.

Biggest gaffe?

Not really a gaffe, but Wood is most controversial for referring to the Queen as ‘Mrs Windsor’ during a debate on the Queen’s speech in the Welsh Assembly. She was asked to (and refused to) leave the chamber

Where did she go to school?

Educated at Tonypandy Comprehensive School (now Tonypandy Community College), and the University of Glamorgan.

Who’s in the family?

Intensely private, Wood has a long-term partner and a daughter Cerys Amelia.

What does she actually stand for?

Securing parity of powers between the Welsh and Scottish devolved administrations, ending austerity, and the state taking a more active role in invstment

What constituency?

South Wales Central region in the Welsh Assembly

What you might not know about her:

Wood takes her inspiration from the 1976 novel 'Woman on the Edge of Time', by Marge Piercy. She has said reading it was “as though someone had removed a blindfold”.

She also supports the decriminalisation of cannabis.

Nigel Farage

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Who is he?

The leader of the UK Independence Party

Twitter handle?

@Nigel_Farage

Number of followers?

199,000

Any jobs outside politics?

He worked in the City as a trader in commodities

Biggest gaffe?

Last year he said he felt “uncomfortable” seeing women breastfeed and said mothers “should sit in the corner” to breastfeed, he said he wasn’t happy about people speaking foreign languages on trains and said he would not be “comfortable” if Romanian men moved into the house next door.

Where did they go to school?

Dulwich College, a public school in south London

Who’s in the family?

He was born to Barbara and Guy Farage. His father was a stockbroker but left the family when Mr Farage was five. He has four children – two with his ex-wife and two with his current wife.

What does he actually stand for?

Principally the party exists to campaign for Britain’s exit from the European Union. It also wants to impose much tighter controls on immigration, including a five-year moratorium on unskilled migrants, and reduce foreign aid to £2 billion.

What constituency?

He is standing to be an MP in South Thanet. He is currently an MEP for the South East region.

What you might not know about him:

He didn’t go to university

His wife, who he employs as his personal assistant, is German.

 

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