Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn make final pleas to voters after hard-fought election campaign
Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn have made their last-ditch pleas to voters before polls open in the general election tomorrow.
The Conservative leader insisted she has the “will, the plan and the vision” to take Britain through Brexit and beyond.
The Labour leader meanwhile argued he had forged “the new centre” ground in British politics with his radical manifesto outlining major spending and renationalisation plans.
At a last hurrah campaign rally in Solihull flanked by members of her Cabinet, the Prime Minister urged voters to ditch Labour and give her a ticket back into No10.
Activists roared in approval despite what has been widely regarded as a lacklustre campaign for Mrs May, plagued by a major policy blunder on social care and questions over her record as Home Secretary.
When she called the election with a 24-point poll lead it was predicted she would claim a landslide victory, but Labour has seen a huge boost in popularity.
Mrs May still heads into the polling day confident of an outright majority tomorrow - with two polls tonight giving the party comfortable leads.
An ICM poll gave the Tories a 12-point advantage, while a ComRes survey for The Independent put them 10 points in front.
At the event in the West Midlands tonight – where the Conservatives were buoyed by Andy Street being elected may last month, Mrs May set out her plans if she is re-elected.
She pledged to stamp out terrorism, build more houses, improve the range of education, get a solid Brexit deal and nail down trade agreements around the globe.
“This is our vision for building a fairer, stronger, independent, more prosperous Britain for us all,” the Prime Minister told supporters at the National Convention Centre.
“This is the vision that we as Conservatives have. We have the will, we have the plan and we have the vision to take this country not just through those Brexit negotiations but beyond into a brighter future.”
Earlier at a rally in Norwich Mrs May said she wanted to “reignite the British spirit” and build a country “that feels more confident in itself”.
She urged Labour voters – who she described as “fiercely patriotic” – to put aside their previous allegiance and back her party when polls open tomorrow.
'THE NEW MAINSTREAM'
Meanwhile Labour leader Mr Corbyn rallied supporters at Union Chapel near his home in Islington.
“Labour’s campaign has already changed the face of British politics,” the Labour leader said after almost two years battling senior figures in his party to let him fight a general election at its helm.
“As we prepare for government, we have already changed the debate and given people hope. Hope that it doesn’t have to be like this; that inequality can be tackled; that austerity can be ended; that you can stand up to the elites and the cynics.
“This is the new centre ground. The place where most people actually are. The policies the majority actually want, not what the establishment and its media mouthpieces insist they should want.
“This is the new mainstream, and we have staked it out and made it our own - together.”
Mrs May announced last night she would introduce tougher controls for suspected terrorists in the wake of the three terror attacks in Britain over the past three months.
She said she wanted to restrict the movement of terror suspects and make it easier to deport them – as well as imprison convicted terrorists for longer periods.
In Norwich today she dismissed accusations her announcement was a knee jerk reaction and a U-turn after she scrapped control orders – which offered similar powers – in 2011.
“We are seeing the terrorist threat changing we are seeing it evolve and we need to respond to that,” Mrs May explained.
“It’s right that we look again at what powers are needed in order to be able to ensure police and security services have the powers they need.”
In the last days of the campaign Labour condemned Mrs May’s six-year record as home secretary – in particular the 20,000 police officers who were cut under her watch.
Mr Corbyn tonight recalled the three terror attacks that have shocked Britain in the past few weeks – one in Manchester and two in London – which left dozens dead and more than 200 injured.
“In the course of this campaign people have lost their lives in Manchester and here in London - citizens of a free and democratic country,” he said.
“We can honour the victims of these atrocities tomorrow by voting. By showing democracy that will never be cowed by terror and that hope can triumph over fear.”