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Prime Minister David Cameron has urged people to focus on local rather than national issues when they vote in Thursday’s council elections, in case his party gets next to no votes at all.

He told ITV News that local Conservative candidates would “look after your area” and “provide value for money” as opposed to the national ones who don’t give a f**k.

The party gained more than 200 seats four years ago, but is expected to make losses after what it called a “tough couple of months” when the electorate suddenly seemed to wake up to the fact that the country was being run by a bunch of bungling dim-witted clowns.

Mr Cameron – who launched the party’s election campaign last month – has urged local activists to be “proud” of their record in office and to promote it on the doorstep in order to distract voters from the party’s ludicrously abysmal record at national level.

In an interview in the Downing Street garden, Mr Cameron said:

I recognise it’s a difficult time for families, it’s a tough time for families, when you’ve got a national government as incompetent as we are.

But I just hope that people will look at these elections and recognise it’s about electing your local council – it’s about who is going to keep the council tax down, who’s going to provide value for money, who’s going to look after your area, and not about a group of out-of-touch posh boys like me who are making such a mess of the country at national level.

A party spokesman played down any chance of repeating the successes of 2008, telling the BBC:

We have had a tough couple of months, but we were never expecting to do well in these elections, mainly because everyone’s finally realised how absolutely useless we are at running anything. However, this election is a test for Ed Miliband’s leadership. Labour should gain around 800 seats in these mid-term local elections – if they don’t it would be a bloody miracle considering the woeful mess we’ve been making of the economy and just about everything else.

But a Labour source said the number of seats the party was expected to gain were being overestimated:

This figure has been wildly inflated. Although the present government is particularly feckless, everyone knows we were pretty useless too the last time we were in power so we probably won’t gain as many seats as people think we will.

The Liberal Democrats were in confident mood last night, and expect to do much better than is predicted by experts. A spokesperson from the party explained the reason for the optimism:

 We think we’re going to beat expectations, because we’re expecting a good turn out from our core voters – our immediate family members mainly. Our councillors are also going to try to persuade some of their friends to vote for them too and we think we might succeed in that strategy – which considering we sold out all our principles to the Tories for the sake of a taste of power would be pretty amazing really. We’re expecting to get around 15 – 20 in the elections tomorrow.

When asked if that was a little optimistic considering opinion polls were regularly putting the party on as little as 8-9%, the spokesperson said:

Oh no – that’s 15-20 seats not percentage.

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