From our political correspondent Neil Bymouth:
All three political parties began their election campaigns today, and with ten days to the most eagerly anticipated election ever, each party were working hard to try and gain the public's votes.
Conservative leader Andrew Strauss used his position as England captain to launch his campaign at Lord's today, with his election manifesto guaranteeing two drawn test matches at HQ every year. Strauss claimed that "test matches at Lord's are the most special around, and are the biggest money spinner for the ECB. Therefore it is imperative that we hold two tests here every year, and that the pitch is prepared in a way that makes a three or four day result impossible". Strauss also called for less Twenty20 games, as "my talents are not suited to that format".
Andrew Strauss launched the Conservative election campaign at Lord's
However, the first signs of fracture between the two main political parties was seen when Labour leader Paul Collingwood attempted to gain access to the pavilion for his press conference as "I'm England captain and all". Things soon degenerated into a slanging match, when junior Conservative member Ian Bell shouted "you're only Twenty20 captain nowadays Colly". Luckily, before any further attacks, Collingwood was ushered out of the pavilion as he was not wearing a correct MCC regulation tie. After finding solace in the Middlesex office, Collingwood made clear that defence was his priority, and argued "we wouldn't be in a mess overseas if we had adopted my defensive stance much earlier".
In a much quieter press conference at Chelmsford, Alastair Cook began the Liberal Democrats campaign with the bold promise that he has "no intentions" of taking the Prime Ministership at this stage, as it is "currently not my position". When presented with an earlier quote where he claimed that he was "desparate" to become leader, Cook diplomatically said that "I was happy to lead in Bangladesh, but ultimately I have had to hand power back over. It is something I want to do in the past, but not at this stage".
The three main parties have all launched their elections, and will tomorrow begin on the campaign trail trying to garner votes. With the election in only 10 days time, there isn't long for Collingwood, Strauss and Cook to gain public support, and their task will be made harder with tomorrow's launch of the UKIP and Green campaigns.
Neil Bymouth reporting for the Short Third Man.