The final day

By Ian Dunt

The race for Downing Street went down to the wire on the final day of campaigning before voters go to the polls.

David Cameron, Gordon Brown and Nick Clegg furiously engaged in last-minute campaigning across the country in order to maintain momentum before polling day.

Mr Cameron comtinued his marathon 24-hour campaigning stint. He started in East Renfrewshire at 18:00 BST yesterday, and ended with a campaign rally in Bristol at the same time this evening.

The Tory leader insisted he was fighting “for every vote”.

“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,” he told GMTV this morning.

Mr Clegg started the day with public rally in Eastbourne, followed by events in Durham and Sheffield.

“It’s now time to make a choice, a choice between the politics or the past, the old politics, or something new and different,” he told voters.

“Just imagine how you’re going to feel if you wake up on Friday morning and you discover the Labour party with Gordon Brown are still in power.

“Imagine how you’re going to feel if you wake up and it’s the Tory party with David Cameron, making promises you kow they will break.

“If that happens nothing will really change at all.”

Mr Brown visited a forge late last night and is making a trip across the North West and Scotland today.

In a passionate speech this morning, the prime minister aimed squarely at his core vote in a last-ditch attempt to prevent disillusioned Labour supporters from staying home on polling day.

“I believe this election is not just a competititon for votes, it’s about the values we hold dear,” he said.

“It’s even deeper than that, it’s about principles, it’s about compassion, it’s about what’s in our soul. You judge the strength of a country not by how it benefits the most wealthy, but by how it treats the weak.”

Overnight polls seemed to confirm the features of the last week’s campaigning with a hung parliament still the most likely outcome of the closest election campaign in recent British history.

A Harris poll for Metro put the Conservatives on 36%, up four, the Liberal Democrats on 28%, down two, and Labour on 26%, up one. Others were down to 10 per cent.

The poll is likely to have underplayed Lib Dem support because it only surveyed those certain to vote.

The daily YouGov/Sun poll sees the Conservatives on 35%, Labour on 30% and the Lib Dems on 24%. If the survey were replicated at the general election Labour could again end up with the most seats in parliament despite coming second in the popular vote.

A ComRes poll for the Independent and ITV News suggests the race is still wide open, with 38% of respondents saying they might change their mind before tomorrow.

The Lib Dem vote seemed most ‘soft’ – a finding that has been replicated in several surveys, with 41% of the party’s support willing to switch. That compares badly with Tory voters, only 32% of which are likely to vote.

The survey also found that 2.4 million people who are certain to vote are still deciding who they will support.

The polls open at 07:00 BST tomorrow and close at 22:00 BST.

The first exit polls will be released when the polls closed, but a clear result is only expected in the early hours of the morning.