LEADERS of Britain’s biggest parties are criss-crossing the country in a whirlwind last-minute bid for votes ahead of General Election day on Thursday.
Daybreak saw Theresa May campaigning for votes in London’s Smithfield meat market, where the Prime Minister posed for photos with butchers wearing bloodied white coats.
Jeremy Corbyn told a rally of cheering supporters in Glasgow that he was hopeful of a “very historic” Labour majority on Friday.
Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said a Tory landslide could only be prevented if people voted tactically to minimise Theresa May’s majority.
As the parties focused on their core messages to ensure supporters turn out to vote, Labour warned that voters had “24 hours to save the NHS”.
And Mrs May trumpeted her readiness to tear up human rights laws to tackle terrorism, declaring the choice of prime minister on June 8 was between “somebody who has protected national security or somebody who’s voted against it.”
The PM faced heckles from a few Smithfield butchers shouting “vote Labour” as she toured the market ahead of a dash around South East and Midlands constituencies with husband Philip by her side.
As shadow home secretary Diane Abbott remained away from the campaign trail due to illness following a series of interview gaffes, Mr Corbyn announced he had asked West Ham MP Lyn Brown to stand in until she is well enough to return.
Mr Corbyn told the Glasgow rally – his 84th of the campaign, with six more to come over the course of Wednesday, ending in his Islington North seat – that Mrs May “underestimated the good sense of ordinary people” when she called a snap election in the expectation of a landslide.
He said Thursday’s vote offered a clear choice between “another five years of a Tory government, underfunding of services all across the UK, including here in Scotland, or a Labour government that invests for all, all across Britain”.
But Mr Farron urged voters in seats where Liberal Democrats are challengers not to see the election as a two-horse race, but to “lend us their vote so that we can get out there and prevent Theresa May taking the country for granted”.
Conservative supporters concerned about Brexit and the so-called “dementia tax” should ditch their traditional loyalties and “vote for someone who will stand up for you and your family instead”, he said.
Mrs May – who later visited a bowls club in Labour-held Southampton Test – is highlighting Conservative plans for £23 billion of investment in housing, roads, rail and ultrafast broadband across the UK.
The Prime Minister claimed that a successful Brexit negotiation would provide opportunities for “more jobs, more homes, better roads and railways, and world-class digital connectivity wherever you live”.
But she warned that the consequences of a failed negotiation would be “dire”.
Mr Corbyn highlighted Labour’s plans to provide £37 billion in additional funding for the NHS over the course of the next parliament, warning the service could not afford another five years of Conservative austerity.
Despite Labour continuing to trail to the Conservatives in the polls – even though the gap has narrowed since the start of the campaign – an upbeat Mr Corbyn insisted they remain on course for victory.
“We can do something very special on Thursday. We can have a future of hope for the many, not the few,” he said in an interview with the Daily Mirror.
“We are going to win.”