British leaders woo voters in final hours

British leaders woo voters in final hours

 Nick Clegg and wife Miriam Gonzalez meet supporters in Eastbourne on Wednesday. APOne poll indicated that Labour, in power since 1997 but battered by recession and anger over a parliamentary expenses scandal that has tainted all parties, could still win the greatest number of seats.

Conservative leader David Cameron campaigned through the night and Prime Minister Gordon Brown made an early visit on Wednesday to market workers in England to court the one-third of voters said still to be undecided. “This is the most important election in a generation and I didn’t want to waste any hours in the last day and a bit to get out there and persuade people of the need for change,” Cameron said.

A YouGov poll for the Sun newspaper suggested the centre-right Conservatives’ momentum had stalled, putting them unchanged on 35 per cent, while centre-left Labour rose to 30 per cent.

The Liberal Democrats, who had been enjoying a strong rise in support on the back of a higher profile for their telegenic leader Nick Clegg, fell four points to 24 per cent.

The quirks of the British electoral system, in which voters elect a member of parliament from their local constituency, mean that these figures would allow Labour to remain the biggest party, but short of a majority in parliament.

Britain has not had an inconclusive election of this kind since 1974 and is not used to the kind of coalition-building familiar to many countries in continental Europe.

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