Last efforts to grasp poll victory

Published: Wednesday 6th May 2015 by The News Editor

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One of the most keenly-contested General Election campaigns in decades enters its final full day with politicians engaged in desperate eleventh-hour efforts to seize a decisive advantage.

The nation will go to the ballot boxes tomorrow with no sign of any party breaking the opinion poll deadlock – the three latest show a narrow view for the Tories and Labour and a dead heat respectively.

As they continued whistle-stop tours of target seats, party leaders were combining positive messages with stark warnings of the consequences of opponents running the country for the next five years.

David Cameron, who was meeting shift workers and others on a through-the-night battle bus trip, will say a Tory vote would keep the country on “the road to a brighter future” and warn backing the Liberal Democrats or Ukip would allow Labour in through the “back door”.

“Tomorrow, the British people make their most important decision for a generation: me as your prime minister continuing the plan that’s put the country on the right track. Or risking it all with Ed Miliband, held to ransom by Nicola Sturgeon, Alex Salmond and the SNP,” he will say.

“If Britain delivers a Conservative government, I make this promise: Britain will continue on the road to a brighter future. Our policies will deliver more childcare and jobs, help people buy their homes, cut taxes and give people the retirement they deserve.

“But I warn you: a vote for Ukip or the Lib Dems opens the back door to a Labour government: it will result in Ed Miliband as prime minister, unable to survive without SNP support. And that support will cost you money.”

A Survation poll for the Mirror had Labour on 34% and the Conservatives 33% – both unchanged, while ComRes poll for ITV News and the Daily Mail had the Tories in a three point lead – gaining two to reach 35% while Labour dipped a point to 32% – and YouGov for The Sun showing both parties on 34%.

The Tories received the endorsement of The Times – in coalition with the Liberal Democrats if Mr Cameron failed to secure an overall majority, and Labour faced a number of hostile front pages in the morning papers.

The Prime Minister said Mr Miliband was a “very dangerous person” using a “con trick” to get into Downing Street.

In an interview with the Press Association, Mr Cameron said there would be a “real question of credibility” if Mr Miliband entered Number 10 without being leader of the largest party in the Commons.

But Opposition leader Ed Miliband told voters it was another Tory/LibDem power-sharing deal that posed a “huge risk” to working families.

He said he stood “ready” to do “my duty to change this country for working people” as he stepped up warnings that the Tories would “wreck” the NHS and highlighted his pledge to scrap the “non dom” tax rule as one “red line” he would insist on in any post-poll negotiations.

“We can’t carry on as a country where there is one rule for a few and another rule for everyone else,” he will say.

“There is huge risk to working families from a second-term Tory government, including one propped up by the Lib Dems.

“They will raid your family budget, they will cut your NHS, but they will continue to protect the privileged few.”

He rejected Institute for Fiscal Studies analysis that debt would be £90 billion higher by 2020 under Labour than the Tories.

Asked if he accepted his party would borrow far more than the Conservatives he said: “I don’t believe we would. I deny it on the basis of their record. Their record shows they don’t meet their borrowing plans and I don’t believe they will meet them this time.”

LIb Dem leader Nick Clegg said unless his party wielded sufficient influence to form a coalition with either main party that commanded a Commons majority, the country could be forced back to the ballot box by Christmas.

He told PA as he prepared for the second half of a marathon final 1,000-mile push from Land’s End to John O’Groats that he would not form a coalition with either the Tories or Labour that would not guarantee a majority in the Commons.

And he predicted that his party would “expand and grow” after the election, despite the “dents and bruises” of being in office.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage cancelled a planned visit on the penultimate evening of campaigning as his party faced more questions about candidates’ extreme views as it suspended one and issued an apology by another.

A video of Robert Blay telling Mirror investigators he would “put a bullet” in his Conservative opponent Ranil Jayawardena if he became the UK’s first Asian prime minister was published by the newspaper.

“His family have only been here since the 70s. You are not British enough to be in our parliament,” he went on to say, accusing the would-be MP for North East Hampshire’s Sri Lankan father of having “ponced off” the UK state.

A Ukip spokesman said Mr Blay had been suspended as soon as the “abhorrent” remarks came to light – and offered an apology to Mr Jayawardena.

It also pointed to Mr Blay’s “long career” as a Conservative as evidence such views were not confined to its ranks.

Another of the Eurosceptic party’s candidates, John Leathley, said he was “appalled and deeply ashamed” about lewd and offensive comments he made on social media about a leading journalist.

The Durham University student, who is standing in Sedgefield, issued an apology to liberal newspaper columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown for the string of comments she said were sexist, racist and violent.

Published: Wednesday 6th May 2015 by The News Editor

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