Voices

Too many let electoral tactics influence their decision in the polling booth

Ken Ritchie: What's so special about "my" MP?

'The first-past-the-post [FPTP] voting system goes back to before time, almost." So said Richard Shepherd MP in the Commons in February. But it is not the case. There is nothing untouchable about our voting system, and when our forebears found reasons to change it, they did. We may have the "mother of parliaments", but her children have rejected her old ways.

Brown has got it right on deficit, say economists

More than 100 senior economists have backed Gordon Brown's approach to tackling Britain's huge deficit and opposed David Cameron's plan to start cuts in public spending this year.

Election Highlights of the Day: 28/04/10

Difficult conversation of the day

After "megastar" Peppa Pig was stopped from appearing at a Labour Party mini-manifesto launch by her licensing company, Children's Secretary Ed Balls said: "Peppa did tell me that not only is she a supporter of universal Sure Start but would be quite worried if George Pig lost his child trust fund." Wouldn't want to have to break the news to him.

Tories accuse Lib Dems of 'holding country to ransom'

The Conservatives today accused Nick Clegg of trying to "hold the country to ransom" after the Liberal Democrat leader spelt out some of the conditions under which he would offer his party's support in a hung Parliament.

Nick Clegg hints he could work with Labour

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg indicated today he would be prepared to support a Labour Party which had slumped to third in the share of the vote - but he would not let Gordon Brown retain the keys to No 10.

Splits emerge in Labour's election strategy

Alan Johnson breaks cover to say Labour should not fear deal with Liberal Democrats

I want to push this all the way, declares Clegg

Nick Clegg will demand that Gordon Brown improves on his "miserable little compromise" of limited electoral reform as the price of propping up Labour in a hung parliament.

Electoral reform: So, just what system would give a fair result?

Even if Labour gets fewer votes, it can still beat the Tories. John Rentoul weighs up the possible alternatives and finds they all have their good points – and bad

Pam Giddy: At least one party gets the urgency of political reform

Safe seats are as shameful as the rotten boroughs of the 18th century

Parties unveil plans to clean up politics following expenses scandal

Almost a year after Westminster was convulsed by the expenses crisis, the political parties are vying to take the toughest line on dealing with corrupt MPs.

Gordon Brown pledges 'comprehensive' constitutional reform

Gordon Brown promised the "most comprehensive programme of constitutional reform for a century" as he sought to seize the initiative in the General Election campaign today.

Clegg dismisses Labour vote pledges

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg today dismissed Labour promises to overhaul the voting system, likening them to a "consumer guarantee from Del Boy".

Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon: You Ask The Questions

The Former leader of the Liberal Democrats answers your questions, such as 'Should we abolish appointed Lords?' and 'When are you planning to retire?'

Plans to reform House of Lords in the pipeline

After almost a century of promises from politicians of differing hues, the Government is finally poised to publish firm plans to make the House of Lords wholly elected, it has emerged.

Andrew Grice: Brown's insurance against defeat

Gordon Brown's deathbed conversion to electoral reform may look like pure opportunism and widening the goalposts for his team just as the match kicks off. But in a few months, it might just be a clever insurance policy that pays a handsome reward.

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War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?