Page last updated at 16:22 GMT, Wednesday, 5 May 2010 17:22 UK

Election: Brown says Labour's vote share important

Gordon Brown and wife Sarah visiting Yorkshire Produce Market on Wednesday morning
Mr Brown is campaigning in the north of England and Scotland

Gordon Brown has said it is important that Labour gets as many votes as possible, and not just seats.

"People will judge us also on the number of votes we have as well as the number of seats," the prime minister told BBC Radio 5 Live.

His comments came after a caller from Cheltenham asked if Labour supporters in the Liberal Democrats/Conservative marginal should vote for the Lib Dems.

Mr Brown said Labour voters in the town should stick with his party.

Mr Brown's continuing calls for voters to back Labour in all constituencies is in contrast to the number of Labour ministers.

Colleagues including Schools Secretary Ed Balls have suggested the party's supporters should vote for the Liberal Democrats in seats that are a two-way race between the Conservatives and the Lib Dems.

Pressed on whether he would be in a moral position to continue as prime minister if he had most seats - but fewer votes - Mr Brown said he would not "anticipate what happens after the people have voted".

"People have got to make up their minds and we have got to deal with the consequences," he added.

'Clouded debate'

Answering a wide range of listeners' questions, Mr Brown also told Radio 5 Live the general election campaign had not focused enough on polices.

This isn't an election to be decided by celebrities or media people. It's the people's election
Gordon Brown

"I think we needed a bigger policy debate, the novelty of the television debates clouded the need for policy to be debated," he said.

Questioned again on the incident in which he called a voter, Gillian Duffy, a "bigoted woman", Mr Brown said he always admitted his mistakes.

"I have said I take responsibility, I have always said when I have made a mistake that I have made a mistake," he said.

"You have got to learn from your mistakes, that is the most important thing, I think I have learnt from my mistakes."

Mr Brown was also asked for his reaction to the news that celebrity TV supremo Simon Cowell was backing the Conservatives and thought the prime ministers was tired.

"I'm not tired, I'm energised," said Mr Brown.

"Simon's a great guy doing his charity work as well as work in his own business," he said.

"But this isn't an election to be decided by celebrities or media people. It's the people's election."

Speaking later to an audience at Bradford University, Mr Brown said the economic recovery would be at risk under a Conservative government.

"Everybody knows that the wrong cuts, at the wrong places, in the wrong time, will risk our recovery, and everybody I believe understands that. Everybody except the Conservative Party," he said.

Mr Brown, who is touring constituencies in the north of England and Scotland on the final day of campaigning, seems to be full of energy, says BBC political correspondent Iain Watson.

"It is like the prime minister is running on heavy duty batteries that have just been recharged," said our correspondent.

Mr Brown said Labour could still win the election, saying there are "still thousands of people who have still got to make up their minds".

'Election wide open'

Home Secretary Alan Johnson earlier told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the prime minister "isn't everybody's cup of tea, but nor is any leader".

Despite Labour trailing in the polls, he said "there's all to play for".

"The important thing for every political party, especially for us, is to get the vote out tomorrow," said Mr Johnson.

"There's all to play for with so many people undecided and so many big issues."

He added: "The message I would give for people who are worried about what happens on Friday is vote Labour on Thursday."

Mr Johnson said he remained "absolutely convinced" Labour could still win a majority of seats and "continue the work we have been doing for the last 13 years".

'Grumbling ineptitude'

As the prime minister carries out the last day of campaigning, Labour's candidate in Great Grimsby, party veteran Austin Mitchell, said it was "time to forget Gordon's grumbling ineptitude and obvious exhaustion" because the Tories were "far worse".

Mr Mitchell's comments come a day after Labour's candidate in North West Norfolk, Manish Sood, said Mr Brown was "the worst prime minister we have had in this country".

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%.



Print Sponsor



MOST POPULAR ELECTION STORIES NOW
ELECTION FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
But now comes the difficult part - making it work
Why has Eton College produced 18 British PMs?
Frantic talks on who will form the next government

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific