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ELECTION 2010: LEADERS BEGIN FINAL PUSH FOR VOTES

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Gordon Brown told steelworkers the election was about the future.

Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg are beginning a final push for votes, with the election campaign entering its final day.

After campaigning through the night Mr Cameron said the election was “close” and he was fighting “for every vote”.

Mr Brown has been visiting market workers in Leeds and will campaign in England and Scotland.

Nick Clegg will make a last dash for votes across England in Eastbourne, Durham and Sheffield.

They are trying to win over undecided voters ahead of what is expected to be the closest contest in years.

'Close election'
Mr Cameron campaigned overnight, talking to bakers, fishermen and ambulance drivers in Cumbria, Lancashire, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

He told GMTV it was the “most important election in a generation” and he had campaigned through the night because he “didn't want to waste any hours on the last day and a bit”.

The BBC's Chris Buckler is on board the Cameron battlebus

He said he thought the Conservatives were winning the big arguments but added: “I don't want to take anything for granted, it's a very important election, it's a close election and I'm fighting for every vote right down to the wire.”

Asked why his poll lead had dropped since the start of the campaign, Mr Cameron said: “I never believed this election was going to be easy. Elections are meant to be a challenge. The British people don't hand you the government of the country on a plate, quite rightly they are making us work for it.”

But Labour's Alan Johnson told the BBC: “I'm absolutely convinced we can come through tomorrow with a majority and we can continue the work we have been doing for the last 13 years.”

'Slow puncture'
Lib Dem leader Mr Clegg has been visiting seats he would have considered unwinnable a month ago and will head to Durham later – where two seats were won with large Labour majorities in 2005.

But Mr Johnson told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the Lib Dem surge – which some polls had suggested pushed Labour into third place in terms of overall votes – was fading and their policies on immigration were “utter madness”.

“The Lib Dems are on a slow puncture and the air is coming out of the tyre. Whether enough of it will come out by Thursday, I don't know, but people like what they saw with Nick Clegg three weeks ago and ever since then he's been a bit grating.”

Addressing supporters in Manchester on Tuesday evening, Mr Brown urged people to “stick with me” as the man who “will secure your future”.

Nick Clegg: “Glasgow does not belong to the Labour party”

Mr Brown said his opponents posed “too big a risk” to the economic recovery and to the future of public services.

He accused the Conservatives of “living a lie”, saying their plans to cut spending this year was incompatible with safeguarding schools, the health service and police services.

'Politics as usual'
Mr Brown, who visited steelworkers on a night shift in Sheffield, has vowed to fight “every inch” of the way until the end of the campaign. Mr Cameron has accused Labour of the most “negative campaign anyone has fought in the history of modern British politics”.

Meanwhile Nick Clegg is due to appear at a rally in Eastbourne, before heading north to Durham then Sheffield.

He has been asking disaffected Labour supporters to come over to him, saying they had been taken “for granted” and his party was the only progressive alternative.

Later he will urge voters: “We cannot let politics as usual triumph.”

ANALYSIS
By Mark Simpson, BBC News
The closer the polls, the closer the spotlight will be on the relationship between David Cameron's Conservatives and Peter Robinson's Democratic Unionists (DUP).

Earlier this year, the parties were involved in private talks.

The shadow Northern Ireland Secretary, Owen Paterson, hosted the discussions, along with the Tories' sister party, the Ulster Unionists, at one of England's stately homes, Hatfield House.

The Conservatives insisted afterwards a hung parliament was not mentioned. The meeting was to discuss problems within the Stormont Assembly, they said.

If nothing else, the talks proved the existence of lines of communication.

If the parliamentary arithmetic is close on Friday, Peter Robinson will be disappointed if he doesn't get a call.

“If change is what you want, don't let anything or anyone stand in your way.”

Amid continuing speculation about what will happen in the event of an inconclusive result, the Daily Telegraph reported that the Democratic Unionists might be willing to back the Tories if they emerge as the largest party, enabling them to form a government.

But a Conservative Party spokesman dismissed any suggestion of a deal with the Democratic Unionists as “tiresome and rubbish”.

“It is clear that these briefings are coming from the DUP to try to de-stabilise our relationship with the Ulster Unionists.”

Opinion polls continue to give the Tories a lead over the other parties.

However, one poll published on Tuesday suggests that Labour have made ground at the expense of the Liberal Democrats in recent days.

A YouGov daily tracker poll for the Sun, conducted on 3 and 4 May, puts the Conservatives unchanged on 35%, Labour up two points at 30% and the Lib Dems down four at 24%.

A Comres poll for ITV News and the Independent suggests there has been no change since its last survey on Monday. The survey has the Conservatives on 37%, Labour on 29% and the Lib Dems on 26%.