Opposition Leaders Debate - LIVE
David Cameron (Conservative) and Nick Clegg (Lib Dem) will not be featuring in the BBC debate.
Tonight's debate will feature:
~Ed Miliband (Labour)
~Nigel Farage (UKIP)
~Natalie Bennett (Green Party)
~Nicola Sturgeon (SNP)
~Leanne Wood (Plaid Cymru)
The opposition leaders debate kicks off at 8pm.
16/04/15 Reverse order Timestamp format
Live coverage of tonight's opposition leaders debate will start at 7.30pm, with updates from Live Blogs Editor Michael Seymour.
Less than half an hour to go till tonight's opposition leaders debate. Leaders from Labour, Ukip, Green Party, SNP and Plaid Cymru will feature, but no PM or Deputy PM.
Labour leader Ed Miliband has taunted Cameron for missing the debate and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has said he feels "left out".
Ed Miliband probably has the most to lose/ gain tonight and is likely to face an onslaught from the other four opposition leaders.
Tonight's podium order from left to right: Ed Miliband, Leanne Wood, Natalie Bennett, Nicola Sturgeon, Nigel Farage.
Tonight's question order...
Right, time for the debate...
Opening statement from Plaid Cyrmu's Leanne Wood...
"Cuts are a choice, austerity is not inevitable."
UKIP's Nigel Farage...
Cut the foreign aid budget, contributions to the EU and adopt an Australian style points system for immigration.
'I'm the only person saying what you are thinking.'
Labour's Ed Miliband attacks Cameron for not coming tonight.
Labour will put "working families first".
SNP's Nicola Sturgeon says the SNP will work from inside Westminster to work for the many, not the few.
Sturgeon and Wood have both mentioned coalitions possible coalitions.
Green Party's Natalie Bennett: "Challenge the establishment, vote Green."
Miliband and Bennett both got good responses from the BBC tracker worm for their opening statements.
The first question is on spending cuts.
Ed Miliband was criticised for his 'robotic performance' in the last leaders debate, particular for looking directly down the camera... he's at it again this time.
The first question in full: "Do you think it's fair to increase goverment spending when my generation will be left to pay the debt?" from Charlotte Dennis.
Nigel Farage claims to be the only one of the five to be able to cut the spending and balance the books.
Big applause for Nicola Sturgeon who just criticised Cameron for not coming to defend his record in government.
The other four party leaders plan to balance the books through investment. Wood "wants to tackle the deficit, but not at any cost".
Wood to Miliband: 'Would you hold an emergancy budget to reverse Tory cuts?'
Miliband uses the opportunity to bring up the mansion tax.
Sturgeon says there is no difference between Cameron and Miliband.
Bennett is now taking on Miliband for only being 'a little bit better' than Cameron.
Next Question, thoughts on lack of affordable housing and how they plan to tackle it. Dimbleby points out this is a devolved issue for Wales and Scotland.
Miliband: Build more houses and tackle the private renting market.
Farage brings up 'the immigration problem' and UKIP's brown field policy for building more homes.
A lot of talk of a rent cap from the leaders.
Sturgeon also pointed out that homes need to be protected from the Conservative right-to-buy policy for those who can't afford to buy and need to rent.
Miliband: 'Not opposed to right-to-buy, but the Tory plan wont work.'
Farage accuses the BBC for getting in a biased, left-wing audience... Boos from the audience. "The real audience are at home." Probably not the best idea to insult the audience, Nigel.
Other leaders attacking Farage for blaming everything on immigration.
The #WheresDave meme is now in full swing...
Third question, can we really give up Trident and not meet the 2% GDP spending on defence?
For Farage, it's a definite no.
Bennett does not feel safer with nuclear weapons (Trident).
Applause for Bennett on that point.
Over on Google, Ed Miliband is the most searched of the five leaders so far.
Wood says we can't afford it when money is needed for people struggling to get by in Britain. Says we should realise our diminished role in the world and become a beacon for human rights.
Sturgeon wants to get rid of Trident and spend the money on conventional forces and on the issues affecting people in Britain.
Absent Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has just tweeted...
Farage asks Miliband, would he sign up to a European army? Miliband's answer, "No".
Miliband brings up his 'saying no to Obama over Syria' line again.
Unsuprisingly, Leanne Wood disagrees with Farage again over UKIP's stance on defence.
He we go... It's the immigration question.
"Immigration has put public services at real risk, what are your plans to deal with this?"
Bennett wants to celebrate the contribution of migrants.
Sturgeon says there should be controlled immigration, but we should solved the problem through investment, not scape goating immigrants.
Miliband says he has changed Labour's stance on immigrants.
Time to tackle the bosses who are undercutting wages with immigrants.
Nigel Farage claims UKIP is being abused over immigration, Leanne Wood puts him down (again) over his HIV+ comments in the last leaders debate.
More on Ed Miliband's looking down the camera tactic...
Farage repeats his HIV+ comments that got a lot of criticism during the leaders debate and a lot of news articles said had no evidence behind them. http://www.theguardian.com/politics/reality-check/2015/apr/03/do-foreigners-come-to-uk-to-get-hiv-treatment
Ed making some at home uncomfortable again with his looking down the camera.
... and again.
... and again.
Can of worms opened there! A question on what kind of coalition deals are on the table.
The question in full: "What kind of a deal would you be prepared to enter into in the event of a hung Parliament?"
Sturgeon: 'I' can work with anyone other than Cameron and Farage.'
Pretty much the same from Leanne Wood "I not prop up a Conservative government."
And the same from Natalie Bennett.
Ed says no to a SNP coalition.
Farage has been pretty quiet on this question, I doubt he'll be making Labour a coalition offer.
So, that marks the end of the questions. Time for the closing statements.
Sturgeon: "None of us can afford any more austerity." No to Trident, yes to investment.
Wood: "Opposition that offers more of the same is no opposition."
The debate now ended, Lib-Dems and Conservatives now have their say in a special QT.
Hague saying Labour & SNP would be a "coalition of chaos"
Sorry for the short delay, we were having some technical difficulties. We're back on track now!
Lib Dem MP Danny Alexander said David Cameron wouldn't let them join the debate
An apparent contradiction compared to what the Lib-Dems were saying earlier today.
UKIP's Mark Reckless says Farage was "the only adult in the room". Did he include the audience as well?
Jean Lambert, MEP for the Green Party, says a handful of Green MPs could influence the next parliament.
Sinn Féin's Chris Hazzard says tonight's debate showed a lack of interest in NI from the other parties.
DUP's Nigel Dodd says they will work with either Conservatives or Labour depending on the results of the election.
Dodd argues for a referendum on the membership of the United Kingdom in the EU, says DUP could be "powerful influence for good".
BBC are now interviewing members of the audience, including the most improbable floating voter. From UKIP sympathizer to fawning over Sturgeon!
Aaand it's over. We'll be be back shortly with our summary of tonight's debate!