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A general election on the cards

David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg have opted for starkly different styles for their final festive cards before the general election battle.

The Prime Minister has signalled his intent with a statesmanlike photograph outside 10 Downing Street. A besuited Tory leader is shown standing alongside wife Samantha, and flanked by Chelsea Pensioners.

Mr Miliband, meanwhile, has opted for a more personal touch. The Labour leader - who has faced criticism for struggling to connect with ordinary voters - sits at a table at his London home with wife Justine and their sons, five-year-old Daniel and Samuel, four.

Mr Miliband, dressed casually in shirt and jumper, is helping the children make their own cards.

But Liberal Democrat leader Mr Clegg and wife Miriam have gone off-beat - joining the trend for "photoboothing".

The couple are shown in a series of passport-style shots, with the Deputy Prime Minister donning a Santa hat before holding up a sign saying "Merry Christmas!".

The potential pitfalls of seasonal missives for politicians have been illustrated by the reaction to the latest offering from Tony and Cherie Blair.

The image, which shows the former prime minister and his wife standing together and smiling slightly awkwardly, was described by one commentator as more "threat" than greeting.

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