Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Election 2010: Leaders into final push for votes

Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg are into their final day push for votes ahead of the UK election

After campaigning through the night Mr Cameron, the Conservative leader, said the election was "close" and he was fighting "for every vote".
Mr Brown, Labour leader, visited market workers in Leeds and said he wants as many Labour votes as possible - rather than backing anti-Tory tactical voting.
Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg is visiting Eastbourne, Durham and Sheffield.

In other election developments on Wednesday:

1. In Scotland, the SNP, Lib Dems, Labour and Tories seek to rally supporters and win over voters
2. In Wales Plaid Cymru leader Ieuan Wyn Jones, Welsh Lib Dem leader Kirsty Williams, Welsh Secretary Peter Hain and Tory leader David Cameron are all visiting target seats
3. Other parties seeking votes and hoping to make a breakthrough on the last day of campaigning are the Green Party, , UKIP and the BNP .

Mr Cameron campaigned overnight, talking to shift workers in Cumbria, Lancashire, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

He told GMTV it was the "most important election in a generation" and he had campaigned through the night because he "didn't want to waste any hours on the last day and a bit".

"Elections are meant to be a challenge. The British people don't hand you the government of the country on a plate, quite rightly they are making us work for it" David Cameron

He said he thought the Conservatives were winning the big arguments but added: "I don't want to take anything for granted, it's a very important election, it's a close election and I'm fighting for every vote right down to the wire."

Asked why his poll lead had dropped since the start of the campaign, Mr Cameron said: "I never believed this election was going to be easy. Elections are meant to be a challenge. The British people don't hand you the government of the country on a plate, quite rightly they are making us work for it."

After a day in which cabinet ministers Ed Balls and Peter Hain urged tactical voting to keep the Tories out - Mr Brown, the prime minister, told a phone-in on BBC Radio 5live that he wanted all Labour supporters to vote Labour.

'A fighter'

Some polls have suggested that Labour could come third in terms of overall votes - yet still get enough seats to form a government, something that has been criticised by the Lib Dems.

Mr Brown acknowledged that in some areas the Lib Dems and Tories were battling it out for first place, but said: "People will judge us also on the number of votes we have got, as well as the number of seats."

"People will judge us also on the number of votes we have got, as well as the number of seats" - Gordon Brown

He said it was a "big election" and he thought the election campaign should have focused more on policy: "I'm hardly surprised that many people are undecided [how to vote] because they want to make a judgement I think, on what's the best thing for the economy, for the future."

After dealing with a range of listeners' questions on topics including immigration, welfare, mental health funding and problems exporting to Europe he told the programme: "I'm a fighter, I don't give up. I'm fighting for Britain's future in my view, I'm fighting because I believe in what I'm doing."

Meanwhile Nick Clegg, who is hoping his party can make the breakthrough from their traditional third place, is at a rally in Eastbourne, before heading north to Durham then Sheffield.

'Politics as usual'

He has been visiting seats he would have considered unwinnable a month ago - in Durham two seats were won with large Labour majorities in 2005 - and is urging disaffected Labour supporters to come over to him.

He said they had been taken "for granted" and his party was the only progressive alternative.

He urged voters: "We cannot let politics as usual triumph."

"If change is what you want, don't let anything or anyone stand in your way."

Opinion polls continue to give the Tories a lead over the other parties.

However, one poll published on Tuesday suggests that Labour have made ground at the expense of the Liberal Democrats in recent days.

A YouGov daily tracker poll for the Sun, conducted on 3 and 4 May, puts the Conservatives unchanged on 35%, Labour up two points at 30% and the Lib Dems down four at 24%.

A Comres poll for ITV News and the Independent suggests there has been no change since its last survey on Monday. The survey has the Conservatives on 37%, Labour on 29% and the Lib Dems on 26%.

Source: BBC

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