General Election 2010

The campaign's over – but the Tories are still not there yet

David Cameron is on course to become Prime Minister but will not win an overall majority, according to the final poll before today's election for
The Independent and ITV News.

The ComRes survey, completed last night, shows that the Conservatives have extended their lead from eight to nine points, while the Liberal Democrats have drawn level with Labour in a last-minute boost for Nick Clegg.

The three main party leaders made their final pitch for votes last night after the most dramatic and close election for decades was electrified by their television debates, which propelled the Liberal Democrats into a three-way contest.

According to ComRes, the Tories are on 37 per cent (unchanged), Labour on 28 per cent (down one point on the previous day's poll), the Liberal Democrats on 28 per cent (up two points) and other parties on 7 per cent (down one point).

If repeated when the nation votes today, these figures would result in a hung parliament in which the Tories would have 299 seats, Labour 233, the Liberal Democrats 87 and other parties 13. Although Mr Cameron would be 27 seats short of an overall majority, he would almost certainly claim victory in these circumstances.

But Gordon Brown might try to hang on to power by forming an alliance with the Liberal Democrats – a scenario that some senior Labour figures think possible if the Tories win less than 300 seats. But the ComRes survey suggests that Mr Brown would lack public support for such a move – especially if Labour comes third in the share of the vote.

Eight out of 10 people (81 per cent) believe the leader of the party which wins most votes should become Prime Minister, while only 15 per cent disagree. This view is shared by 88 per cent of Tory supporters, 81 per cent of Labour supporters and 79 per cent of Liberal Democrat supporters.

In contrast, 51 per cent think the leader of the party which emerges with most seats should become Prime Minister, while 41 per cent disagree.

There is more bad news for Labour in the poll. A majority of people expect Mr Cameron to be installed in Downing Street and almost two in three people do not want to see Mr Brown as Prime Minister in the event of a hung parliament. More people (48 per cent) would prefer the Tory leader to take the nation's reins in a hung parliament than Mr Brown (33 per cent).

Yet there is remarkably little enthusiasm for any of the leaders. Asked who they would most like to become Prime Minister, 33 per cent say Mr Cameron, 23 per cent Mr Brown and 18 per cent Mr Clegg.

Tory supporters are the most enthusiastic about their party's leader, with 86 per cent saying they want to see him in Number 10, while fewer than three-quarters (73 per cent) say the same about Mr Brown. Only 61 per cent of Liberal Democrat supporters want to see Mr Clegg become Prime Minister. A majority of people expects to see the Tory leader cross the Downing Street threshold. Some 56 per cent think Mr Cameron is most likely to become Prime Minister, while only 19 per cent say Mr Brown and 4 per cent Mr Clegg.

Worryingly for Mr Brown, the same percentage of Labour supporters believe Mr Cameron is most likely to be Prime Minister as think Mr Brown will be (39 per cent). Six out of 10 Liberal Democrat supporters think the Tory leader will move into Number 10.

According to ComRes, 70 per cent of people will vote today – up from 61 per cent last time. But many voters are still making up their minds: 2.1 million who are "absolutely certain" to vote are undecided. The Tories end the campaign ahead among men, while Labour and the Liberal Democrats lead among women. Labour has retained the support of only 63 per cent of those who backed it in 2005, while the Liberal Democrats have kept 80 per cent and the Tories 87 per cent.

In his final campaign rally in Bristol, Mr Cameron said: "A Conservative government can get our economy moving again, can tackle our social problems, can make politics accountable. We will take everyone with us. To the old, the frail, the vulnerable: we will always look after you."

As Labour insisted the contest was still too close to call, Mr Brown said: "I am on the side of not just some but all hard-working families... I also have the judgement and the values to make the big decisions that matter." Mr Clegg told voters: "If you give us a chance, if you trust us with your vote, I in return promise to do everything I can to deliver the fairer, better Britain we all want and to change things for good."

ComRes telephoned a random sample of 1,025 adults

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine