17:55 04 May 2010
The three main candidates are preparing for the final showdown for the seat as prime minister, hoping not to put a foot wrong. Gordon Brown already suffered a huge setback in the opinion polls after he called a lady "bigoted" when he didn't realise his microphone was on. But there have been far worse faux pas in the past.
Pope Benedict XVI was made to apologise after incurring the wrath of Muslims around the world for referring to the prophet Mohammed as "evil and inhuman".
The Hungarian Prime Minister, Ferenc Gyurcsany, sparked riots when a recording of a meeting he had with his MPs was leaked to the press. The tape revealed that the government had lied to the public during the election and a rally demanding his resignation quickly followed. But once these slip-ups are out there it is impossible to take them back.
There's not a person in the world who hasn't said something they regret, but when it happens to a world wide audience it can wreck careers, lose fortunes and incite riots.
Donough O'Brien's 'Little Book of Banana Skins' takes a look at the famous folk who came crashing down by sticking a foot firmly in their mouth. Here are some of the best:
In1990, Gerald Ratner was one of the most successful businessmen in Britain, having single-handedly built the world's biggest jewellery chain. But his fortunes were shattered when, in 1991, he addressed the Institute of Directors and told them the sherry decanters he sold were "crap". As a result, 500million was wiped off the firm's stock market value.
McDonalds began the longest court case in British legal history when they sued two environmentalists for libel - and created one of the worst PR disasters ever.
After the two-and-a half-year case, the judge ruled the company exploited children with misleading advertising, was culpably responsible for cruelty to animals, was antipathetic to unionisation and paid its workers low wages.
The man who served as US Vice President from 1989 to 1993 was notorious for his blunders. In the early days of his term he predicted "this President is going to lead us out of this recovery" while he later told reporters on a tour of Latin America: "My only regret is that I didn't study Latin harder in school, so I could converse with these people."
The Hitler diaries
In 1983, German magazine Stern thought it had pulled off the scoop of the century after being offered Adolph Hitler's private diaries.
But after being published around the world, scientists discovered chemicals in the diaries' paper that hadn't been invented during Hitler's lifetime.
When John Lennon told a UK reporter the Beatles were "bigger than Jesus", the comment provoked little reaction. When the article was reprinted in the US in 1966, it provoked a huge anti-Fab Four backlash that even included public burnings of their records. Although Lennon apologised, the group's popularity Stateside never recovered.
When the vacuum cleaner company promised two free flights to Europe for every 100 spent on its products in 1992, it seemed too good to be true. And it was.
After a string of legal claims from customers who'd failed to get their flights, the company had to charter planes to clear the backlog. The board was fired and the UK wing of the company sold off after losing tens of millions of pounds.
When it was launched in 2004, Dasani looked set to be another money-spinner for the Coca-Cola Company.
Unfortunately, it was soon revealed that the bottled water had come not from a pristine spring but from a tap in Sidcup, Kent. After a potentially-carcinogenic chemical was found in the drink, half a million bottles were taken off the shelves leaving a 10million bill.
After bursting onto the music scene with her big hit Baby, One More Time, Britney announced she was a virgin - and would remain that way until she was married.
This made her a heroine for the American True Love Waits pro-chastity movement.
But suspicion was aroused when she disappeared for a three-day getaway in a Rio de Janeiro hotel with childhood friend Justin Timberlake.
And it was Justin who gave the game away saying: "She lost her virginity a while ago - and I should know."
When former US president Bill Clinton was accused of having an extra-marital affair with intern Monica Lewinsky, he denied it, using the now infamous words: "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."
When he was asked to resign, Clinton said: "I would never walk away from the people of this country and the trust they've placed in me."
But an apologetic Clinton later appeared on national TV to admit he had had an "inappropriate relationship" with Monica Lewinsky.
When the Second World War ended in 1945, the Volkswagen manufacturing plant fell into the British Zone of occupation, giving the UK the chance to take over the motoring giant.
Yet the Society of Manufacturers and Traders scuppered the idea, saying the VW Beetle was inefficient.
In 1949, the firm was handed back to the Germans - and five years later, the millionth Beetle rolled off the production line.
In 1986 Tory MP and author Jeffrey Archer was accused by a paper of paying prostitute Monica Coghlan 2,000 for sex.
He resigned as deputy chairman of the Tories to fight the claim, insisting: "I have never, repeat never, met Monica Coghlan, nor have I ever had any association with a prostitute."
But in July 2001 red-faced Archer was jailed for four years for perjury and perverting the course of justice after it emerged he had rigged his 1987 libel case against the newspaper.
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