Skip to main content
Where I Live
A-Z Index

BBC News

BBC Election 2005

Watch the BBC Election News
  • Election news alerts
  • Email services
  • Mobiles/PDAs
  • News for your site
Last Updated: Monday, 2 May, 2005, 21:24 GMT 22:24 UK
Leaders in final pitch to voters
Michael and Sandra Howard
The Howards took to the campaign trail in Manchester
The three main party leaders have hit the campaign trail to try to swing undecided voters their way.

With just three days left, Tony Blair warned Labour voters that switching to the Lib Dems would let the Tories in.

Charles Kennedy said that was "utter rubbish" and warned people not to trust Labour or the Tories because of Iraq.

Conservative leader Michael Howard has set out his timetable for government, saying the British people were fed up with "spin and smirk".

I urge the British people not to let Michael Howard in by the front door, the back door, the side door or any door
Gordon Brown,

As the campaign approaches its final 48 hours all the parties want to motivate their supporters to vote, and to win over the 30% of voters which polls suggest remain undecided.

A YouGov poll for the Daily Telegraph, suggests Labour has 36% support, the Tories 33% and the Liberal Democrats on 24%.

Much of Labour campaigning has centred on warnings to Labour supporters that voting Lib Dem could let in a Conservative government.

Mr Kennedy urged people to vote for what they believed in, saying: "If you vote Liberal Democrat you get Liberal Democrats."

Tony Blair and Gordon Brown campaigning in Gillingham
Blair and Brown took time for some refreshment in Gillingham

The Lib Dem leader said the election was more than a battle between the parties on specific policies: at stake was which party could be trusted with stewardship of the country.

"The Labour government told us Iraq had weapons of mass destruction - but those weapons never existed," he said.

"If we couldn't trust Labour over Iraq, how can we trust them over health or education or crime - or anything else?"

"And how can we trust the Conservative Party, which simply went along with the government over Iraq?"

A British soldier was killed in Iraq on Monday. The wife of guardsman Anthony John Wakefield said she blamed Tony Blair for his death.

Ann Toward told the ITV News Channel: "He sent the troops over and he should not have done it. If it was not for that, their dad would have been here today."

Eight Tory priorities
End requirement for police to fill out a form when they stop someone
Making matrons responsible for cleaner hospitals
24-hour border surveillance covering 35 ports of entry
Head teachers to get control over expulsions
Discount of 500 for pensioners' new council tax bills
Abolishing stamp duty on houses costing up to 250,000
Scrapping university tuition fees
UK border control police to tackle illegal immigration

Mr Blair had earlier sent his "profound condolences" to the soldier's family.

On the campaign trail, he joined Chancellor Gordon Brown on a whistle-stop tour of marginal seats in London and the South East.

Mr Blair said: "The Liberal Democrats may be closer to us in values but they are incapable of facing up to the means required to meet the ends."

Mr Brown urged voters "not to let Michael Howard in by the front door, the back door, the side door or any door".

He added: "In marginal constituency after marginal constituency we will say that the only guarantee of not getting a Conservative government is that people vote for Labour, for economic stability, for the health service and for schools and against the risk that other parties would entail."

Actor William Roache - Coronation Street's Ken Barlow - introduced Mr Howard at the Conservative news conference in Manchester

'Spin and smirk'

At a later election rally in London, he set out eight priorities for the early days of a Conservative government, including taking a stand on crime and school discipline.

Charles Kennedy, campaigning in Taunton
Charles Kennedy went on a walkabout in Taunton

"It's not about talking, it's about doing. It's not about promising, it's about delivering.

"People have had enough of spin and smirk. They just want someone who will make things work."

He set out eight dates when a Conservative government would implement key pledges on crime, health, education, immigration and tax.

Mr Howard told BBC News he was sure his party could win the election.

"I'm very bullish, I'm very optimistic, I get wonderful vibes whenever I go round the country," he said. "I believe the country is ready for a change."



Watch Michael Howard's news conference

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites