The only full leaders’ debate of this year’s election is fast approaching, and given that we’ll be trying to get our heads round seven different politicians talking one after the other it’s probably time to work out exactly who’s who – and what they have to offer.
Here’s a quick guide to our magnificent seven, featuring stats, stories and videos of them in action.
Find out who’s made a new friend in Joey Essex and which of the seven was impertinent enough to call the Queen “Mrs Windsor”…
Natalie Bennett – Green Party
A toe-curling radio interview on LBC means that expectations around Bennett for most voters are rock bottom. But, to be alongside the three main parties should be manna from heaven for the Greens. Would they rather have Caroline Lucas up on that podium? We couldn’t possibly comment…
Age: 49 Years as an MP: 0 Twitter followers: 54,800 Time as party leader: 2 years 7 months
“I Agree with Nick” feels like a long time ago. Last time round there was no expectation and the TV debates were as easy as A B-rown C-ameron. This year all the colours of the rainbow are involved, and Clegg looks like old news.
Still, his radio phone-in show has kept him fighting fit, and if you can teach Joey Essex to get your party’s name right, that’s progress.
Age: 48 Years as an MP: 10 Twitter followers: 218,000 Time as party leader: 7 years 3 months
Nigel Farage – Ukip
Is he on again? Farage bustled into last week’s Battle for Number 10 looking like he hoped he could have a cheeky one-to-one with Jeremy Paxman too. Perhaps for his sake, it was best he watched that encounter from the sidelines.
The only party leader not to hold a seat in a national parliament or assembly, Farage has instead spent years slogging it out in the European Parliament in Brussels. He says he won’t miss it.
Age: 50 Years as an MP: 0 (16 years as MEP) Twitter followers: 199,000 Time as party leader: 8 years 7 months
Ed Miliband – Labour
All the usual jibes were thrown at Miliband ahead of the start of the election campaign, from bacon sandwich to brotherly love. Did he flap nonsensically in front of Paxo, or was there a hint that he might actually be tough enough? This is his only chance to go head-to-head with Cameron in front of the cameras – and prove he is PM material.
Age: 45 Years as an MP: 10 Twitter followers: 403,000 Time as party leader: 4 years 6 months
Nicola Sturgeon – SNP
No, Alex Salmond is not still in charge, and no he won’t have Ed Miliband in his pocket (which idiot introduced Westminster to PhotoShop?). Sturgeon is actually the longest-serving parliamentarian in this year’s line-up; it’s time people south of the border heard what she has to say.
Age: 44 Years as an MSP: 16 Twitter followers: 136,000 Time as party leader: 0 years 5 months
Leanne Wood – Plaid Cymru
The focus might have been on Scotland during the Referendum, but Wales has its own devolution/independence agenda. Wood’s appearance means three out of the seven people up on the stage will be women, a refreshing change to the regular PMQs battleground (along with ITV newsreader Julie Etchingham calling the shots).
Wood, Plaid’s first female leader, still hasn’t quite topped her headline-grabbing move in 2004, when she called the Queen “Mrs Windsor” in the Welsh Assembly…
Age: 43 Years as an AM: 11 Twitter followers: 15,200 Time as party leader: 3 years 1 month