The starting pistol is fired for Britain's knife-edge general election with Prime Minister David Cameron meeting the Queen following the dissolution of parliament. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Campaigning in Britain's closest national election in decades started on Monday (March 30) after Prime Minister David Cameron met Queen Elizabeth following parliament's dissolution, teeing up an unusually fraught battle to govern the $2.8 trillion economy. In a ritual steeped in tradition, Cameron was driven to Buckingham Palace for an audience with the monarch ahead of a May 7 ballot, a formality marking the symbolic end of five years of coalition government between Cameron's Conservatives and the center-left Liberal Democrats. He later addressed reporters in front of his residence at 10 Downing Street. Hours later, Cameron, who says he wants another term in office "to finish the job", was expected to lead an election rally in rural England, after warning voters they face "a stark choice" between economic competence and chaos. The contest is freighted with irony. Even though the economy has bounced back from its deepest downturn since World war Two to become one of the fastest-growing in the industrialized world, many Britons say they haven't felt the benefit or that they feel dissatisfied for other reasons. Britain's continued membership of the European Union also hangs on the outcome, as does the future of the increasingly frayed balance of power between the United Kingdom and its most assertive constituent part: Scotland.