Tories on the Brink

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LONDON: Facing the biggest Tory defeat since the fall of Winston Churchill in 1945, Prime Minister John Major pleaded with voters Wednesday to give the Conservatives another chance. "Eighteen years is a long time,” he told one rally, “and it's easy to overlook achievements.” But after years of bitter infighting among Conservatives, he can’t count on an 11th-hour rescue. "Brits don't elect divided parties," says TIME's London bureau chief Barry Hillenbrand. Labour leader Tony Blair was low-key in last minute campaigning. "I ask for your vote because I believe in this country and I know and believe it can be better," Blair told one gathering. Labour enjoys a comfortable 20-point lead in the polls, but the party is leaving nothing to chance, remembering a stunning 1992 loss despite leading in opinion polls in the days before election. London bookies take a more upbeat view: Odds are 1 to 9 for a Labour victory.