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Over 100 seats up for grabs as the Tories battle to reduce the scale of loss

Labour appears to be on course for a crushing general election victory as people get ready to cast their ballots on Thursday – but 100 or more seats could still be up for grabs according to the latest polls.

Three seat-by-seat surveys found Sir Keir Starmer’s party heading for a majority of at least 200, which would be its best result in history.

i‘s final pre-election poll found a small recovery for the Conservatives but warned it would be “too little, too late” for Rishi Sunak.

Sir Keir insisted he was “ready for government” and had instructed his team to “hit the ground running”, while the Prime Minister said that “millions and millions” of voters had not yet made up their minds which party to support.

A poll by BMG Research for i found that Labour holds a 17-point lead over the Tories, which implies a landslide win in terms of House of Commons seats.

Labour’s vote total has softened slightly over the course of the campaign while the Conservatives have risen by several points in the last fortnight, but still end up lower than they began after a surge from Reform UK.

Three MRP polls which use sophisticated statistical techniques to forecast the result in every constituency in Great Britain found that Labour would win well over 400 seats with the Tories reduced to no more than 126, in what would be an extraordinary turnaround from the last general election which Boris Johnson won with a majority of 80 seats. The projections would leave most Cabinet ministers fearing for their own seats, and give Labour the largest majority for any single party since the advent of mass democracy in the early 19th century.

But all three pollsters – YouGov, Focaldata and More in Common – found that around 100 constituencies were hanging in the balance, with a projected majority for one party of another of less than 5 per cent, suggesting that dozens of seats last-minute decisions and differential turnout are likely to determine the result.

Speaking on the plane as he travelled to his final campaign event, a Labour rally in Redditch, Worcestershire, Sir Keir said he was “ready for government” and added: “Nothing is going to be easy, almost everything is in a pretty poor state, but we have to be ready for it and I’m confident we will be. So while we have not been getting ahead of ourselves, genuinely, we have been preparing hard on the basis that this needs to be hitting the ground running on day one which is what we intend to do.”

He continued: “I’m really pleased that we’ve run such a positive campaign, I’m really pleased that four and a half years of work is being vindicated because this has not been an easy gig.

“When I took over as leader of the Labour party, the optimists said it will take 10 years to fix this party and get it back, the pessimists said you’re never going to fix this party, it’s never going to be in government again. We had a three-part strategy, we’ve stuck to it and here we are the day before the election in a reasonably good position.”

Mr Sunak said: “There’s lots of people who have not made up their minds, millions and millions. And as they go to the ballot box tomorrow I would just ask everyone, to separate the frustrations which they understandably have about me or with party in the past, with what a Labour government would mean for their families specifically.”

Nigel Farage, the leader of Reform, insisted that “British politics will break up in the next five years” and said he would be a “bridgehead” for the right-wing movement if he becomes MP for Clacton.

And SNP chief John Swinney said: “The result of the general election in England is a foregone conclusion. The Tories are beaten – and rightly so. Labour will win and Keir Starmer will be Prime Minister. The only story left in this election is in Scotland, where seats across the country are on a knife-edge.”

Polls open at 7am and close at 10pm, with an exit poll to be published immediately afterwards. The result should become clear by around 4am tomorrow on Friday with the party leaders speaking in the early hours.

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