Rishi Sunak 'absolutely not' given up on winning despite Labour 'supermajority' warnings

Rishi Sunak insisted he has "absolutely not" given up on winning the election despite repeated warnings of a Labour "supermajority".

The embattled Tory leader said he is "fighting hard for every vote" and doesn't "take a single place or person for granted".

Election latest: No 10 'aware of concerns' around postal ballots

With just three days to go before the nation heads to the polls, the PM has been in Staffordshire today - an area that has historically always been Conservative.

Asked if he has given up trying to win, given he is visiting a safe seat to warn about a Labour supermajority, he said: "No, absolutely not. I'm fighting hard for every vote. I don't take a single place or person for granted.

"But I don't want Britain to sleepwalk into the danger of what an unchecked Labour government with a supermajority would mean."

This is a more optimistic tone than some of his colleagues, who have joked about needing a new job and indicated they are already considering leadership bids.

Sunak slip

In a possible slip of the tongue, the prime minister went on to refer to Angela Rayner as the deputy prime minister.

When asked about his security attacks on Sir Keir, and if he really thinks Russian President Vladimir Putin wants the Labour leader to win, he said: "Yeah, I worry about our nation's security under Keir Starmer and the Labour government.

"We are investing more in our defence, leading in NATO and in Europe. Keir Starmer is not going to do that. He's going to cut those plans."

He added: "That sends an awful signal not just to our allies, but to our adversaries, that we are not strong enough to invest in our own defence. And beyond that, his deputy prime minister and his foreign secretary both voted against our nuclear deterrent, the ultimate guarantee of all security."

Mr Sunak was referring to Ms Rayner and David Lammy having previously voted against against maintaining the UK's nuclear weapons system eight years ago.

As Labour is still in opposition they are officially known as his shadow deputy leader and shadow foreign secretary.

Ms Rayner is expected to become deputy prime minister on Friday if Labour win the election, though Mr Lammy's position in a future Labour government is more tenuous and there is speculation he could be demoted to a more junior role during a reshuffle.

Tories seeking dividing lines

Sir Keir Starmer is in favour of trident and has recently insisted his shadow cabinet are behind him.

But the Tories are ramping up their attacks on Labour as they seek to avoid an implosion come polling day, trying to draw dividing lines on issues like tax, spending and defence.

Multiple polls predict Labour are on course for a historic majority in excess of 200, while in a worst case scenario the Conservatives could be reduced to fewer than 100 MPs, with many big beasts at risk of being unseated.

The Tories are trying to claw back support from undecided voters by saying that a large Labour majority would hand the party a "blank cheque", leave them in power for a decade and mean they cannot be properly scrutinised.

The Conservatives face threats not only from Labour but the Lib Dems and Reform UK.

While the Lib Dems have targeted their campaign in the southern "Blue Wall", with Sir Ed Davey today doing a bungee jump to encourage voters to "take the plunge" and back him, Reform leader Nigel Farage is seeking to overtake the Tories and make his party the official Opposition.

Cleverly: Labour will 'gerrymander'

Earlier on Monday Home Secretary James Cleverly told Sky News there was "no credible analysis" to suggest that wish would come true.

In a sign of the increasingly bitter attacks on Labour he added: "The best case scenario is predicted that Reform might get a small handful of MPs but in doing so, give Labour a huge majority, which they would use to bring in votes at 16, votes for prisoners, votes for foreign nationals."

He accused the party of seeking to "gerrymander the system to get a permanent Labour government", adding: "I don't think that's what Conservative voters or potential Reform voters want."

Labour, for their part, have repeatedly insisted they are not complacent no matter how positive the polls look.

They launched their own new attack on the Tories today, as they handed out pillows to journalists printed with the words "Don't wake up to 5 more years of the Tories".

Questioned about his own popularity ratings, Sir Keir asked voters to judge him in five years' time against improved public services, economy and living standards.

Starmer: Judge me on my record in five years

"My track record as a leader is clear," he said, in reference to how he has brought the party back from the brink in 2019.

"What we're asking now is for the opportunity to do the same for our country.

"And yes, we face the same challenge, which is a version of: 'Look, the country is broken, almost nothing is working better than it was when the Tories started. Is it possible to bring around the change that we offer?'

"Yes, it is. We have that determination, that intention. And in five years' time, we will be able to look back and say: 'You are truly better off, your public services are working properly and the economy is working for everyone.'

"I'll be very, very happy to be judged on that record."