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Election date announced

Prime Minister Gordon Brown today officially fired the starting gun for the general election.

After meeting with the cabinet this morning, the Prime Minister met with the Queen to formally request the dissolution of Parliament for a general election to be held on 6 May.

Making the official announcement outside of 10 Downing Street, the Prime Minister said: “The future is within our grasp. It is a future fair for all. Now all of us, let’s go to it.”

This will be Brown’s first general election as Labour leader and he has positioned the party as a ‘steady hand to steer Britain forward’.

Conservative leader David Cameron described the upcoming polls as: “The most important general election for a generation.”

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has been careful to position his party as a credible alternative to the two main parties. He said: “This is a choice now between the old politics of the two old parties and something new, something different, which the Liberal Democrats offer.”

The official announcement of the 6 May date- described as the country’s ‘worst kept secret’- means that the parties have just four weeks to convince voters to back their policies.

The three party leaders will also face each other in a trio of televised election debates. The first 90 minute debate will be shown on ITV on 15 April, the second on Sky on 22 April, and the third on the BBC on 29 April.

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