THE leader of the Liberal Democrats has said they could be "the surprise of the election" as he met supporters in Hampshire less than 24 hours before polls open.

Sir Ed Davey greeted the crowds in Abbey Gardens today (Wednesday, July 3), alongside the candidate for Winchester, Danny Chambers.

Sir Ed thanked the attendees for their help in campaigning ahead of the election, saying that there is more work to be done and that they would not rest until the polls close tomorrow.

Sir End Davey addressing supporters in WinchesterSir End Davey addressing supporters in Winchester (Image: Chris Atkinson)

Speaking to the Echo's sister paper, the Hampshire Chronicle, Sir Ed said: “I was amazed by how many people came out today, it was a really huge crowd. I’ve been to Winchester many times over the years, and that was the largest crowd I’ve ever seen.

“I think it’s partly because there’s a lot of enthusiasm for the Liberal Democrats here in Winchester – we have a fantastic candidate in Danny Chambers, he really is very strong. People know him as a vet – Danny the vet – but they also know him because he has been campaigning so hard on health and care and things like sewage.

“And I think a lot of people who have previously voted Conservative are now thinking of joining us.”

When asked how he felt about the Lib Dems chances in Winchester, Sir Ed indicated that he wants to rebuild the “Golden Triangle” of Winchester, Romsey and Eastleigh, saying: “Winchester has always been a seat we think we can win from the Conservatives, but we’re not going to take anything for granted. We will work till 10pm, and there are other places in Hampshire which look quite exciting for us.

SEE ALSO: Winchester candidates answer our final questions ahead of election day

Danny Chambers (left) and Sir Ed Davey with supporters in WinchesterDanny Chambers (left) and Sir Ed Davey with supporters in Winchester (Image: Chris Atkinson)

“I’m not going to predict them as we’ve got quite large majorities to overturn, but Eastleigh is looking quite interesting, I think Romsey and North Southampton is looking interesting, and maybe other parts.

“There is a real chance that what I call ‘The Blue Wall’ in places like Hampshire and Hertfordshire, Surrey, Sussex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxford and Cambridge, they could fall down and the Liberal Democrats could be the surprise of the election.”

Alongside Danny Chambers, other candidates for Winchester include Flick Drummond (Conservative), Hannah Dawson (Labour), Lorraine Estelle (Green Party), Sean Whelan (Reform UK), Kevin D'Cruze (Independent), Chris Barfoot (Independent), Andy Liming (Hampshire Independents) and Andrew Davis (Social Democratic).