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

News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
News
i100
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

(Senior) IT Support Engineer - 1st-3rd Line Support

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful IT service provider that has bee...

Wind Farm Civil Design Engineer

£55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Principal Marine Mechanical Engineer

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Principle Geotechnical Engineer

£55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup