Boris Johnson’s chances of winning Thursday’s crunch election are balanced on a knife-edge, according to Conservative strategists who fear Labour do not need to gain a single seat to turf the Prime Minister out of Downing Street.
Tory private polling reveals a swing of just 12 constituencies to the SNP and Lib Dems could deprive them of a majority and allow Jeremy Corbyn to springboard himself into Number 10 with the support of minor parties.
To fend off a last-gasp Labour surge, the Conservatives are blitzing voters with their ‘Get Brexit Done’ slogans in the final campaign sprint before polling day.
And desperate to dispel complacency among Tory supporters who may not bother to cast their ballots, Mr Johnson is cranking up his fight ‘for every vote’ and warning the election is tighter than most people think.
This two-pronged strategy ran through the party’s final election broadcast, where the PM recreated a famous scene from Love Actually and used a slideshow of billboards to hammer out his core messages.
Urging viewers to ‘vote Conservative actually’ in the clip that aired Monday night, Mr Johnson flips over the cards that read: ‘Your vote has never been more important. The other guy could win.’
‘So you have a choice to make. ‘Between a working majority. ‘Or another gridlocked hung parliament.’
Labour has this week started to eat into Mr Johnson’s once comfortable poll lead, narrowing the gap to just six points.
Despite this, campaign gurus in Conservative HQ have said Mr Corbyn’s prospects of becoming prime minister have been ‘seriously underestimated’.
A Conservative election broadcast which aired in Wales tonight starred the Prime Minister as one of the movie’s hopeless romantics who uses a slideshow of placards to tell a woman he loves her
One by one he turned over the cards – which each only had a few words on – addressed to a woman he was trying to woo from across the threshold
The Tory two-pronged strategy ran through the party’s final election broadcast, where the PM recreated a famous scene from Love Actually and used a slideshow of billboards to hammer out his messages
In the 2003 rom-com Andrew Lincoln tells Keira Knightly he loves her over the threshold of her home while her boyfriend is inside
A leaked memo between Tory pollster Michael Brooks and chief strategist Isaac Levido seen by the
Mr Brooks goes on to caution that complacency a Conservative victory is in the bag poses a ‘major risk’ to the party maintaining its grip on government.
Although Mr Corbyn’s chances of clinching a majority himself are wafer-thin, it is feated a coordinated and highly-effective tactical voting operation could deprive Mr Johnson of his majority and lead to a coalition of Remain parties coalescing around the Labour leader.
Pro-EU campaigners have wargamed that a mere 40,000 voters scattered across roughly 30 marginal seats could decide the outcome of the election and throw Britain into hung parliament territory, paving the way for a Prime Minister Corbyn
Polling suggests that more voters than ever before are prepared to vote tactically in this election, which the Conservatives worry could claim some large party scalps such as ex-leader Iain Duncan Smith and one-time Mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith, whose chief rivals have been bolstered by Remain candidates standing aside.
In a bid to counter ‘TnT’ – tactical voting and turnout complacency concerns – Mr Johnson’s Love Actually-themed broadcast underscored the possibility of a Labour election upset.
Clutching a pile of billboards and a stereo playing carols, he emulated the famous scene between Andrew Lincoln and Keira Knightly.
One by one he turned over the cards – which each only had a few words on – addressed to a woman he was trying to woo from across the threshold.
They read: ‘With any luck, by next year. We’ll have Brexit done. If Parliament doesn’t block it again. And we can move on.
Boris Johnson poses holding a cod during a general election campagin visit to Grimsby Fish Market as he cranks up his campaigning
A new ICM Research poll has put the Tories on 42 per cent and Labour on 36 per cent – a lead of six points
Tory private polling reveals a swing of just 12 constituencies to the SNP and Lib Dems could deprive them of a majority and allow Jeremy Corbyn (pictured in Bristol on Monday) to springboard himself into Number 10 with the support of minor parties
The PM (pictured during a visit to Gardiner Bros in Hardwicke) will say on Tuesday will warn there is a ‘clear and present’ danger of another hung parliament if voters do not back the Conservatives
‘But for now let me say. Your vote has never been more important. The other guy could win.’
‘So you have a choice to make. ‘Between a working majority. ‘Or another gridlocked hung parliament. ‘Arguing about Brexit. ‘Until I look like this.’
He then showed a picture of a scruffy blonde sheepdog which prompted a snort of laughter from the redhead woman.
Mr Johnson continued: ‘It’s closer than you think. We only need nine more seats to get an election. And on 12th December. Your vote will make all the difference. Merry Christmas.’
Love Actually is widely regarded as one of the nation’s favourite Christmas films and is often re-watched by families on December 25.
Tories lead over Labour slips to six points
Boris Johnson and the Tories’ lead over Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party has narrowed to just six points with the general election three days away.
The Prime Minister has consistently been polling double digits ahead of Mr Corbyn but a new ICM Research survey suggests the race for Number 10 is tightening.
The poll, conducted between December 6-9, puts the Tories on 42 per cent – the same rating as the company’s last survey published at the start of the month.
But Labour has gained one point and is now on 36 per cent overall, boosting the party’s hopes of depriving Mr Johnson of a majority.
A six point lead for the Tories if replicated at the ballot box on Thursday would likely put the UK on the brink of another hung parliament.
The survey will spark alarm bells at Conservative Party headquarters and while it will be welcomed by Labour it suggests the party may have left it too late to overhaul the Tory lead and win a majority of its own.
But the star of the 2003 rom-com, Hugh Grant, who plays the prime minister, is an active Remain activist and has been leafleting with pro-EU Lib Dem and Labour candidates.
This latest Conservative broadcast asking people to ‘vote Conservative actually’ comes after Mr Johnson deployed another film reference to steer people away from Labour.
He said voters should swing behind the Tories to avoid waking up in Friday the 13th to see the ‘Nightmare on Downing Street’ – Prime Minister Corbyn.
Although a Labour surge is closing the gap, Mr Johnson is still the frontrunner which the Conservatives hope does not lure their supporters into a false sense of security that he is certain to win.
And in the first December ballot since 1923, they are pinning their hopes on their elderly voters flocking to polling stations in what may be grim weather.
The PM will double down his anti-complacency messaging on Tuesday on a campaign trip to Staffordshire.
Reiterating the memo’s concerns that opposition parties only need 12 seats to put Mr Corbyn in power, he will warn there is a ‘clear and present’ danger of another hung parliament if voters do not back the Conservatives.
He will tell supporters: ‘The danger of another hung parliament is clear and present. There are sophisticated and well-financed attempts underway to prevent a Conservative majority through tactical voting.
‘Jeremy Corbyn and his Lib Dem, nationalist and Green allies need only 12 more seats than last time to make Jeremy Corbyn prime minister and continue the chaos of a hung parliament.
‘A vote for any of these parties is a vote for further indecision and two more referendums, on Brexit and Scottish independence. We’ll be stuck in this limbo, this first circle of hell, for the foreseeable future.
‘On the other hand, the Conservatives need only nine more seats for a majority. We could finally get Brexit done, end the uncertainty and move on.’
Cringe Actually! Twitter mocks Boris Johnson’s Love Actually party election broadcast with hilarious memes
Social media was flooded Monday night with hilarious reaction to Boris Johnson’s recreation of a famous scene from Love Actually.
Viewers were mixed in their responses to the Conservative party election broadcast, with some hailing the good-humoured stunt while others deplored it as toe-curling cringe.
Predictably, Twitter users leaped upon the name of the film and referenced it in their remarks, which ranged from ‘cringe, actually’ to ‘now that is really good, actually!’
The Prime Minister himself tweeted the video with the caption ‘Brexit, actually’, which quickly racked up thousands of likes and half a million views.
Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, the Labour candidate for Tooting, accused the PM of copying her after she too emulated the 2003 Christmas rom-com.
Inevitably, lots of people found it easy to superimpose their own messages on the white placards Mr Johnson was holding in the video
Viewers were mixed in their responses to the Conservative party election broadcast, with some hailing the good-humoured stunt while others deplored it as toe-curling cringe
She edited a screenshot of Mr Johnson’s placards so they instead read: ‘I have no original ideas so copied Rosena’s video.’
Many people praised the Tory leader for injecting a little fun into an otherwise divisive election campaign.
One person wrote: ‘Laughter is the best medicine. Like the PM or not, that’s the best political ad ever.’ Another said: ‘Finally a political broadcast that’s quite amusing.’
But some tore into Mr Johnson for taking a sledgehammer to their favourite festive film which they said they would struggle to watch again after watching the PM star in one of the most famous scenes.
A tweeter wrote: ‘A great Christmas film ruined, as if selling off the NHS isn’t bad enough.’
Inevitably, lots of people found it easy to superimpose their own messages on the white placards Mr Johnson was holding in the video.
One person wrote conjured up a meme of the PM holding a billboard reading: ‘No Brexit plan just going to keep saying nonsense until we all die.’
Another simply stated: ‘Hugh Grant wore it better.’
One person wrote conjured up a meme of the PM holding a billboard reading: ‘No Brexit plan just going to keep saying nonsense until we all die’
Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, the Labour candidate for Tooting, accused the PM of copying her after she too emulated the 2003 Christmas rom-com