Election 2015: Starters for ten... the gaffes, the quotes and the stunts of the election campaign

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The end of this long election campaign is finally in sight as the nation takes to the polling booths to decide their next government.

Here we look at some of the highs, and the lows, of the past month... the gaffes, the quotations and the PR stunts which made us sit up and take notice.

Weeks of campaigning finally came to an end today.

Weeks of campaigning finally came to an end today.

Gaffe of the campaign

Calder Valley Tory Craig Whittaker used a Jimmy Savile analogy to set out his lack of trust for Labour. He has declined to comment on the uproar it caused. (May 5)

David Cameron likes trumpeting the Big Society but shunned an event staged by community charity Citizens UK attended by Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg. (May 4)

“This is a career defining election.” So said David Cameron, before realising that might be a tiny bit selfish, and adding “er, country defining”. (May 1)

Confusion reigned in Buckinghamshire when the district council went back in time, listing candidates from four years ago in voter information on its website. (April 30)

Ukip MEP David Coburn spent so much effort trying to correct his Wikipedia page – 69 edits in six days – that he has been banned, turning it into a news story. (April 29)

Would-be Devon Tory MP Peter Heaton-Jones once derided the countryside as populated by “straw-sucking yokels” in a ‘shock jock’ article he has now disowned. (April 28)

A letter of support from small businesses for David Cameron was put together at Tory HQ, leading some to claim it was too stunted to count as genuine support. (April 27)

Someone needs to explain the word “spoiler” to the PM. David Cameron ruined Game of Thrones series 4 for those playing catch up with a key plot give away. Shhhh. (April 26)

Ed Miliband was a little too relaxed on a train, as a picture appearing to show him picking his nose suggested. (April 14)

On a trip to Devon, David Cameron suggested the local cream tea tradition was to put jam on the scone before the cream which is the Cornish method. (April 10)

The best weird and wonderful sights from polling day

Best and worst quotes

“People are looking at Ed Miliband and they’re getting bad visuals of him popping out of Alex Salmond’s sporran like a baffled baby kangaroo.” – Boris Johnson. (May 5)

We had Robert Kilroy-Silk a few years back and were rather bitten by that. – Ukip leader Nigel Farage on the perils of “celebrity” endorsement. (May 4)

“Screw up your eyes, take a deep breath and do the right thing for this country” - Boris Johnson urges Ukip voters to return to the Tory party. (May 1)

“We should be making sure that everybody on the plane feels they’re getting a G&T at the right time.” – Boris Johnson on inequality. (April 30)

“I went to work yesterday and my boss knew better than I did where David was.” Samantha Cameron reveals she loses track of her husband during the campaign. (April 29)

”It’s great to have a trained butcher in the House of Commons. I think that’s what the House of Commons needs.”- Ed Miliband backs candidate Chris Elmore. (April 28)

“Like having a manager of a football team you don’t rate, but you still support the team.” – Paul Gilbert urges voters to back Labour even if they don’t like Ed. (April 27)

“Labour saying they have no plans for additional borrowing is like an alcoholic on a bottle of vodka a day saying they have no plans to drink more vodka.” Nick Clegg’s take on party spending. (April 13)

“Harold Wilson punched me in the stomach” – John Simpson talks about the response when he asked the then Prime Minister when he would call the 1970 election. (April 12)

“I think if I had my time again, I wouldn’t eat a bacon sandwich live on TV. But the election is not a bacon sandwich-eating competition.” - Ed Miliband. (April 9)

Best and worst PR stunts

Nigel Farage was due to take over as a bingo caller in South Thanet but failed to show

up. He might still make it, insiders say. (May 5)

Fearing his days of wearing high-visibility jackets are coming to an end, David Cameron made the most of a visit to a road building scheme in Sussex (May 4)

Nicola Sturgeon enjoyed the fun of the fair in Motherwell, posing for photographs on a carousel horse, eating candy floss and having a selfie with a youngster. (May 3)

Nick Clegg went to see nursing students administer a vaccine to a dummy patient called David. Lib Dem event planners clearly enjoying the campaign. (May 1)

Nicola Sturgeon showed how she has taken to being the centre of attention. She has her own helicopter branded with a picture of herself. (April 30)

Ed Balls missed his train after taking a little too long reading The Tiger who Came to Tea to children in Brighton. (April 29)

Nigel Farage went to a call centre in Hartlepool. “How do you deal with the rejection?” was the curious question from Mr Farage. (April 28)

George Osborne continued his macho guide to the election. Instead of a building site he had a go with a paint mixing machine. Blue paint, obviously. (April 27)

Scottish Labour Party leader Jim Murphy went to a school and played basketball with people half his height for the benefit of the cameras. (April 26)

David Cameron decided now is the time to convince voters he is interested in 10-foot tall industrial size extractor fans as he posed for pictures at a factory. (April 24)

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