Boris Johnson is desperately attempting to rally new Tory supporters after coming under fire in the last few days of the election campaign.
With two days to polling day, the prime minister will warn there is a “clear and present” danger of another hung parliament unless voters back Tories on Thursday.
He had come under fire for his apparent lack of empathy for a four-year-old boy left sleeping on a hospital floor because there was no bed available.
On the general election campaign trail in Staffordshire, Johnson will say the opposition parties need to gain just 12 seats to put Jeremy Corbyn in Downing Street.
Tory strategists hope their prospects of securing an overall majority have not been dented by the row which blew up over the treatment of Jack Williment-Barr at Leeds General Infirmary, the PA reports.
The opinion polls have consistently shown the Tories on course for an overall majority, but senior figures – including Johnson’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings – have warned the race is much tighter.
A leaked memo from Tory pollster Michael Brooks to campaign director Isaac Levido seen by The Daily Telegraph said the “major risk” for the party was “the belief that the Conservatives are indeed on course to win a comfortable majority”.
At the same time the Remain United campaign – which opposes Brexit – said polling it had commissioned from Savanta ComRes showed the Tory lead was down to 7%, which it projected would give them a majority of just two in the new parliament.
The prime minister is expected to say on Tuesday that while the Conservatives need just nine more seats to secure a majority, they face “sophisticated” efforts to thwart them.
“The danger of another hung parliament is clear and present. There are sophisticated and well-financed attempts under way to prevent a Conservative majority through tactical voting,” Johnson will say.