The latest battle of Britain, with sound bites
From Correspondent Margaret Lowrie
LONDON (CNN) -- With little more than 24 hours to go, the British campaign is down to a battle of the sound bites.
The candidates' last formal news conferences and big campaign appearances Tuesday afforded one last chance to slam opponents before voters hit the polls Thursday.
"I want to talk direct to the people of Britain and give them a warning: that they be in no doubt, that if they elect a Labour government, that they would be worse off," said Conservative Prime Minister John Major.
"What I promise I will deliver," said Labour Party leader Tony Blair. "Compare this contract with the broken promises of the Conservatives."
Right up to the last minute, both major parties utilized negative campaigning, despite pledges early on to resist the temptation.
IRA campaigns with disruption
In fact, there has been little positive in this election, either from Britain's political parties or their mutual foe: the Irish Republican Army.
The IRA itself has two campaigns going these days, a political campaign run through its political wing, Sinn Fein, and a campaign of violence and disruption on the British mainland.
Tuesday was no exception, as bomb threats hampered airport operations and left thousands stuck in cars on highways throughout the day.
In keeping with the IRA's stepped-up activity, security will be tight at polling places around the country on election day.
Polls: many undecided
And as the countdown continues, opinion polls continue to put Labour well ahead of the Conservatives.
The polls also show a significant portion of British voters, perhaps as many as a third, don't know yet whom they want to run the country.
"The two main parties have very similar policies, and so it is difficult to tell, really, between them," a middle-aged man said pleasantly.
"I'm still in the deciding stage," said a bright-eyed young woman.
If negativity is a hallmark of Britain's 1997 campaign, it is not confined to the campaigners. But also affects those who will vote for them -- for many who have reached a decision say it is based not so much on what they want as what they don't want.
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