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Equilibrium's Finance and Investment News Roundup

It is the week of the General Election, and the major parties are working hard to try and influence voters ahead of May 7th. In this week's roundup, we look at the steps being taken by the Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats, UKIP, the Scottish National Party and the Green Party as the important day draws near.


Leaders tour the UK to secure last-minute votes

The leaders of the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats have embarked on tours around the UK in a last-minute attempt to secure votes. As the day the people go to the polls approaches, David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg have each headed out to influence those who are not yet certain which party to choose. 

Mr Cameron has pledged a 36-hour campaigning stint, while Mr Miliband is travelling throughout the country and Mr Clegg is traversing the length of the UK, from Land's End to John O'Groats. 

With the parties doing all they can to influence votes, Mr Cameron is continuing to urge against the prospect of a Labour and Scottish National Party (SNP) coalition government, while Mr Miliband has warned hospital budgets could be slashed if the Conservatives remain in power.  

Poll suggest Conservatives and Labour are neck and neck

A new poll has indicated the Conservatives and Labour are tied as election day approaches. Conducted by YouGov for The Sun newspaper, the survey found the two parties both have 33% of the vote, suggesting there is a very real prospect that neither will secure enough seats to win an overall majority. 

The poll is the latest in a long line showing there is little to separate the two parties in the run up to the big day. The election could therefore prove to be one of the closest seen in the UK for many years.  

Labour 'would consider Liberal Democrat coalition'

The Labour Party would consider forming a minority coalition with the Liberal Democrats, should such a move prove necessary, the BBC reports. Senior figures in the Labour Party have identified the joining up of the two parties as a possibility, as it would help to collectively secure more seats than the Conservatives and would add legitimacy to a Labour government should it not win, on its own,  as many seats as the Conservatives.

UKIP, SNP and the Greens step up campaigning

UKIP, the SNP and the Green Party have all stepped up their campaigning efforts ahead of election day on Thursday. UKIP has launched its Scottish manifesto in Falkirk, with David Coburn MEP stating the party wants to hold a constitutional convention so that the future of the UK can be comprehensively debated. The party reiterated its primary objective of leading the UK out of the European Union, while it also wants to review the way Scotland is funded.

The Green Party, meanwhile, has weighed into the immigration debate, with the party's leader Natalie Bennett saying the Greens are taking a stand against those who are seeking to "demonise" migrants to the UK. Ms Bennett, who was born in Australia but is a British citizen, said her party aims to never "blame migrants for failures of government policy, or the greed and fraud of the bankers".

Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the SNP, has also been speaking ahead of the election, telling the party's following that the prospect of a hung parliament represents a great opportunity for people in Scotland to elect more SNP MPs.