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Leaders issue final rallying cries on eve of General Election

The gap between Labour and the Tories has narrowed in the last week of the campaign.

Boris Johnson during a visit to the Copper Box Arena in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Boris Johnson during a visit to the Copper Box Arena in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

By Harriet Line, PA Deputy Political Editor

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn have issued their final rallying cries to voters, as the country prepares to go to the polls on Thursday.

With just hours to go until election day, the two leaders have criss-crossed the UK in last-ditch attempts to win over waverers and encourage people to get out to vote.

Prime Minister Mr Johnson told supporters at a rally in east London that Tory members had a duty to find “every vote we can to save our country from disaster” in the next 24 hours.

And Labour leader Mr Corbyn said his party would invest in the country, end austerity and redistribute wealth and power, as he addressed supporters in north-east London.

The gap between Labour and the Tories has narrowed in the last week of the campaign.

A poll by the Telegraph and Savanta ComRes, published on Wednesday night, placed the Conservatives five points ahead of Mr Corbyn’s party – indicating potential for a Tory majority or a hung parliament.

It put Mr Johnson’s party on 41%, with Labour on 36% and the Liberal Democrats on 12%.

However, a separate poll by Kantar put the Tories on 44%, Labour on 32% and the Lib Dems on 13%.

Meanwhile, on the campaign trail, Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson was concentrating her efforts on the area around London and Surrey, where the party is hoping to pick up seats.

They include Esher and Walton, where polls have suggested Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab may be vulnerable, despite a majority of more than 23,000 at the 2017 general election.

Ms Swinson said the polls showed it was still “absolutely possible” to deny the Tories an overall majority through tactical voting.

“We know from past elections that, very often, voters who vote tactically come to that conclusion in the final hours before they cast their vote,” she said.

Her call came as the Lib Dem candidate in South Stockton urged voters to back his Labour rival, who is defending a wafer-thin 888 majority over the Tories.

A Lib Dem spokeswoman said Brendan Devlin was acting “independently and locally”.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was out with SNP candidates in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling and Dunbartonshire, while Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage was in South Yorkshire.

Speaking in Doncaster, Mr Farage said he was hoping for “very, very heavy rain” in the town on Thursday, in the belief that it would depress the votes of the other parties.

“I know that people who are going to vote for us will turn out, because they absolutely believe in our message, they believe in their hearts as well as in their heads,” he said.

PA

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