Three leaders dash on final charm spree

THE THREE party leaders entered a final day of frantic campaigning yesterday as opinion polls suggested Britain was on course for its first hung parliament since 1974.

Starting his day in Grimsby after working through the night, David Cameron used what may be his last 24 hours in opposition to target key swing seats in northern England and Wales. And he visited Morley and Outwood, where schools secretary Ed Balls is defending a slender majority.

Cameron made a pitch to Labour’s core vote, saying: “We will take everyone with us: the frail, the elderly, the vulnerable, the poorest – we know they need protection.”

He pledged to create a “fairer, stronger country” and warned that a cross on the ballot paper for the Liberal Democrats would mean “five more years of Gordon Brown”.

The Prime Minister also toured the north before crossing the border into Scotland. Amid desperate hopes from Labour strategists that unprecedented voter volatility could yet swing the election their way, Brown told an audience at Bradford University: “This is not a Conservative moment. Everybody knows the wrong cuts in the wrong places at the wrong time will risk our recovery – everybody except the Conservatives.”

Nick Clegg fought off a last-ditch squeeze from the larger parties by addressing an audience outside the Liberal Democrats’ usual territory in Eastbourne. Clegg stuck to his main themes of the election campaign, telling voters “nothing will really change” under Labour or the Tories and urging young people to “make your voices heard”.

A YouGov poll for today’s Sun puts the Tories unchanged on 35 per cent with a seven point lead, a four point boost for the Lib Dems on 28 per cent and a two point drop for Labour on 28 per cent.