Election 2015 Wales

Election 2015: PM 'no regrets' over NHS 'death' line comment

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Media captionDavid Cameron urged Labour to 'stop cutting the NHS in Wales'

David Cameron has said he does not regret a controversial comment he made on Labour's running of the Welsh NHS.

Last year, he called Offa's Dyke a dividing line between "life and death".

Campaigning in Powys on Wednesday, the prime minister told the BBC: "The Welsh Labour Party has got to stop cutting the NHS - they're hurting people."

Labour said it was "disgraceful" of Mr Cameron to "reinforce his attack" on Welsh public services the day before the election.

Visiting Powys as part of a 36-hour final campaign tour of Britain, the Conservative leader said Wales was better off than it was five years ago, as politicians made one last push for votes before the election on Thursday.

He visited a farm at Talgarth, near Brecon, early on Wednesday, where he discussed rural issues such as bovine TB and broadband access with residents.

The prime minister said the election was "obviously a close contest" that would go "down to the wire".

"Things are undoubtedly better (in Wales) than five years ago - the economy is growing," he said, adding that he wanted to "get people off welfare and into work".

Asked if he regretted his previous comment about the Welsh NHS, Mr Cameron said: "I don't regret it at all because, of course, the consequence of Labour's cuts to the NHS here in Wales is longer waiting lists, longer waiting times, people dying on waiting lists, no cancer drugs fund in Wales where we have a cancer drugs fund in England."

Image caption David Cameron discussed rural issues on his visit to Powys

Opinion poll

Meanwhile the last opinion poll of the campaign - published by ITV Cymru Wales on Wednesday - suggested that Labour could gain two seats - Cardiff North from the Tories and Lib Dem-held Cardiff Central - taking them to a total of 28 of the 40 seats in Wales.

The Conservatives could stay on eight seats by taking Brecon and Radnorshire from the Lib Dems, who may just be left with one seat, Ceredigion.

Plaid Cymru would remain unchanged on three seats, according to analysis by Prof Roger Scully of Cardiff University of the YouGov survey.

UKIP is predicted to beat the Lib Dems to come fourth in share of the vote in Wales but without winning any seats.

'False accusations'

Following Mr Cameron's visit, Labour's Shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith accused him of "reeling off the same false accusations and talking down our country".

"This election is a straightforward choice between a Labour government that will work with the Welsh Labour government to stand up for Wales and another Tory government that will slash Wales' budget and double spending cuts," he said.

"Labour's message today is one of hope. We are reaching out to people across Wales, across political divides to secure a Labour government that will deliver for Wales."

The call comes as First Minister Carwyn Jones led Labour's last campaigning efforts in the Vale of Glamorgan, one of the party's target seats that is currently held by the Conservatives.

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Media captionCarwyn Jones is accusing David Cameron of not being prime minister for the whole of the UK

Elsewhere, with opinion polls indicating no single party will win a majority of seats at Westminster, Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood visited Carmarthen, where her party won its first seat nearly 50 years ago.

Ms Wood told activists the "stranglehold of the old parties" was now at an end.

"I want the strongest possible team of Plaid Cymru MPs so that I can get the strongest possible deal for Wales," she said.

"Friends, the old way is on its way, let's make sure Wales is part of the change that is coming."

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Media captionLeanne Wood says Plaid Cymru is 'best placed' to fight for Wales
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Media captionWelsh Lib Dem peer Baroness Randerson said her party would 'anchor' the new UK government in the centre

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams travelled across mid Wales to drum up support for her party.

She called for a vote for "unity, stability and decency" in a hung parliament with the Lib Dems.

"Speaking to people, it is clear that they are worried about the influence the SNP will have over Labour - this will lead to more borrowing and debt," she said.

"Others are worried that UKIP will soon be dictating terms to the Tories - cutting our vital public services. For those people, our message is clear: the only party that will ensure stability is the Liberal Democrats."

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Media captionUKIP candidate Sam Gould says the party can beat Labour in its 'heartland' in Wales

Meanwhile UKIP Wales leader Nathan Gill said his party's "message of hope" was "resonating".

But a party spokesman claimed: "All over Wales people tell us in private they are supporting UKIP, but feel unable to say this openly because of the fear of losing their job if they work in the public sector or losing government contracts in the case of those who run their own businesses.

"But the point is this: in the polling booth people can feel secure to vote with their heart and we have no doubt that many millions will vote UKIP and help the party confound expectations."

Wales Green Party leader Pippa Bartolotti said her party offered a way to "change politics fast".

"We stand for new jobs, fair taxation, a clear signal to industry to invest in clean energy, closing tax loopholes and greater equality," she said.

Welsh Political Barometer Poll - 6 May 2015

  • Labour - 39% (+3 compared to 2010 result)
  • Conservatives - 25% (-1)
  • Plaid Cymru - 13% (+2)
  • UKIP - 12% (+9)
  • Liberal Democrats - 8% (-12)
  • Greens - 2% (+2)
  • Others - 2%

Source: ITV Wales/YouGov

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