BORIS Johnson last night issued an eve-of-poll plea for the country’s backing to finish the job of Brexit and to build a “great future” for Britain.
Ahead of today’s general election, the Prime Minister urged voters to give him the Commons majority needed to smash the “gridlock” at Westminster so the verdict of the 2016 EU referendum can be honoured at last. “Enough is enough – let’s get it done,” the Prime Minister said. And appealing to traditional Labour voters to back the Tories for the first time, he said: “Even if you have never voted Conservative before, this is your chance to be heard and I promise I will not let you down.”
He vowed to again defy the “doomsters and gloom-mongers” by passing his EU Withdrawal Agreement and securing a trade deal with Brussels to give the UK a prosperous future.
“Give me a majority and I will finish what we started – what you instructed us to do – three and a half years ago. A great future is there within our grasp, but I need your vote,” he said.
But with the opinion polls still leaving the threat of another hung parliament looming over the country, the Prime Minister warned of a nightmare Christmas should Jeremy Corbyn get the chance to enter Downing Street with the support of SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon.
“Today is our chance to unite as a country and put the uncertainty to bed so people can get on with their lives.
“Just imagine how wonderful it will be to settle down to a turkey dinner this Christmas with Brexit decided – and how awful it would be if Corbyn and Sturgeon were in Downing Street advancing their plans for two more referendums,” he said.
Polling Stations are due to open their doors at 7am today with voting to continue until 10pm tonight.
Senior Tories are facing a nerve-jangling wait until the early hours with the final polls the campaign leaving the result finely poised.
Under Westminster’s first-past-the-post electoral system, Mr Johnson’s party could still fall short of a Commons majority despite winning the popular vote.
Opinium’s final poll of the five-week campaign showed Labour had risen in recent days although the Conservatives retained a comfortable 12-point lead.
The survey of 3,000 voters gave the Tories a 45 percent share of support, unchanged from a week ago, while Labour was up two points to 33 percent and the Lib Dems were down one to 12 percent.
In his eve-of-poll message, the Prime Minister acknowledged that the result was hanging in the balance.
“This election is our chance to end the gridlock but the result is on a knife-edge,” he said.
“We could have another hung parliament with more of the same – more dither, more delay, more uncertainty.
“Jeremy Corbyn and Nicola Sturgeon are already stitching up deals to block Brexit in their coalition negotiations.
“They’d inflict on this country the chaos of two referendums next year, on Brexit and on Scottish independence.
“And, if that wasn’t enough, they’re plans would wreck our economy, with more borrowing and higher taxes.
“Or we could have a Conservative majority government which will get Brexit done and unleash Britain’s potential.”
Mr Johnson urged voters to recall how he was forced to reluctantly trigger the election because MPs repeatedly blocked his attempt to deliver Brexit.
“As we reach the end of this election campaign, let’s pause to remember why it’s happening in the first place,” he said.
“When I became your Prime Minister, I set out to strike a new deal with the European Union that would honour the referendum by taking back control of our laws, borders, money and trade.
“There were many doomsters and gloom-mongers who said it couldn’t be done, but they were wrong. We got a fantastic new deal which finally delivers the change people voted for three and a half years ago.
“MPs had the chance to vote that deal through Parliament and honour the promises they made to deliver Brexit. But instead they ignored the will of 17.4 million people and voted for more dither and delay.
“The last Parliament was so obsessed with arguing about Brexit, they were even arguing about arguing. They were not focusing on what you, the people, want. Enough is enough.”
Setting out the Conservative case for the final time before polls open, he said: “If we can smash through the parliamentary gridlock, the Government will be able to concentrate on changing the country for the better – strengthening the NHS with £34 billion extra funding and 50,000 extra nurses, supporting schools with £150 million extra every week, keeping people safe with 20,000 more police officers on the streets.
“There’s a wave of investment just waiting to pour into this country, but only if we end the Brexit uncertainty.”
He added: “I want us to get Brexit done. I want to focus on your priorities. I want to unleash this country’s potential. Above all I want to end the division and bring this country back together again. Whether you voted Leave or Remain, you matter and your voice matters.”
Mr Johnson said electing a Tory majority government was the only way to stop more deadlock and endless arguing at Westminster.
“Let’s stop the chaos and stop the referendums. We can secure a majority Conservative government if we win just nine more seats.
“To every one of you who is fed up with the endless arguments and wants to move on, every one of you who wants us to respect the referendum result and deliver the change people voted for, every one of you who wants us to focus on a positive, united future, every one of you who worries about the chaos of a Corbyn-Sturgeon alliance in a hung parliament, my message is simple.”
He added: “So vote today to break the gridlock; vote to get Brexit done.”