General Election timeline

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April 2

Leaders of seven political parties take part in live election debate on ITV at 8pm. Line up includes Ukip leader Nigel Farage and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon as well as the main political party leaders.

April 9

Deadline for candidate nominations.

April 16

Debate between five opposition party leaders. Nick Clegg and David Cameron do not take part.

April 20

Voter registration deadline.

April 21

Deadline to register for postal vote.

April 30

BBC Question Time leaders programme. David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband all appear separately.

May 7

General Election. Polling booths open between 7am and 10pm. Local elections also taking place.

May 8

Vote counting starts on Thursday night and continues into Friday.

May 18

Newly elected MPs summoned to Parliament for election of Speaker and swearing in. This is not the same as a deadline for a Government to form in the event of a hung parliament.

May 27

State opening of Parliament and Queen’s Speech. A minority Government could fall on this date if it has not secured enough votes to pass its outline programme. There would then be two weeks for a new Government to form or a second General Election would have to take place.

August 5

Government runs out of money on or close to this date if a supply Bill is not passed sometime in July. Government’s routinely secure around 40 per cent their annual funds in February and the remainder in the summer.