The final polls: Cameron retains his lead

By politics.co.uk staff

The final polls of the 2010 general election, released last night, hint at a Tory victory – but still no majority for David Cameron.

The Guardian ICM poll puts the Tories on 36%, up three, Labour unchanged on 28% and the Liberal Democrats down two on 26%.

Forty-three per cent of respondents are expecting a hung parliament, while 36% expect a Tory victory. Just 12% expect a Labour win.

Meanwhile, the Sun tracker poll by YouGov, puts the Tories on 35%, up two since 2005, when the last general election was held. Labour are down eight points since 2005 on 28% and the Lib Dems are in equal second place with the same level of support – up five since 2005.

If the polls turn out to be accurate, David Cameron should be able to lead a minority government by Friday evening, possibly with the help of the DUP.

But a large degree of uncertainty surrounds the polls. A huge number of voters – up to 35% – remain undecided.

It is also unclear how the surge in youth vote registration will pan out. This group overwhelmingly supports Nick Clegg, with 39% of under-25s backing the Lib Dems according to ICM. But it is also the group least likely to vote, injecting an added sense of uncertainty to the contest.