DAVID CAMERON actively encouraged supporters of rival parties to vote tactically to keep him in power before stopping in West Yorkshire on a frantic day of campaign activity.
The Prime Minister was in Addingham to take in the final stage of the Tour de Yorkshire as the race passed through the village. He spoke to race volunteers over a cup of tea and shook hands with spectators during his brief visit.
With the final countdown to Thursday’s election now underway, Mr Cameron had, earlier in the day, urged people to vote for their “preferred Prime Minister” and he made a direct appeal for Ukip and Liberal Democrat supporters to cast their ballots tactically, claiming he was the “only option” for avoiding a “calamitous” and “chilling” tie-up between Ed Miliband and the SNP.
The plea, in a speech to activists at Ambleside Sports Club in Nuneaton, came with the polls still showing the Conservatives and Labour effectively deadlocked.
According to the Press Association’s poll of polls, the Tories have held on to a slender lead with Mr Cameron’s party on 33.9 per cent, Labour on 33.5 and Ukip on 13.4.
The Liberal Democrats are fourth on 8.4 per cent and the Greens are fifth on five.
Mr Cameron pleaded for voters to use the long Bank Holiday weekend to “stop and think” about the danger they face.
“It’s no exaggeration to say Britain will be making an historic choice,” he said. “Ed Miliband wants us to take a sharp turn to the left. He sincerely believes more borrowing and more taxes will help you and your family. He is sincerely wrong.
“Worse - because he will lose so many seats to the SNP in Scotland - he cannot form a majority Government on his own.
“He keeps trying to deny it - but it is a fact that he can only become prime minister with SNP support.
“Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond will extract a heavy price for that support, vote-by-vote in the House of Commons. That price is even more borrowing and taxes to pay for more welfare.”
But the continuous denials that Labour would accept a coalition with the SNP were repeated by shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper, who said: “We cannot do coalitions, deals or pacts with the SNP - there is a reason for that. It will be up to other parties to decide how they vote on a Labour programme, that is for them to decide.”
Labour’s deputy leader Harriet Harman insisted her party was not discussing possible coalitions with any rival parties. She told Sky News: “We are not talking to other parties, we are talking to the British people and saying ‘If you vote for us, you will get a cut in tuition fees, you will get a mansion tax which puts more money into the NHS, you will have protection for tax credits’.”
Meanwhile, Nick Clegg, who was campaigning in London and Kent, said measures to spare public sector workers further pay cuts and efforts to protect the environment are non-negotiable issues when it comes to forming a coalition.
Mr Clegg said: “Liberal Democrats will not enter a coalition with a party not prepared to back pay rises for people working in the public sector. They have paid more than their fair share, and now enough is enough.”