In our final special report on the General Election before polls open tomorrow, Local Democracy Reporter JOSEPH TIMAN spoke to voters, activists and candidates about what the hot topics have been during six weeks of campaigning.

BREXIT and leadership have been the biggest issues for voters at this election, campaigners have said.

But the results could be tighter than ever before in Bolton where two constituencies are marginal “bellwether” seats and the other could end up with Labour’s comfortable majority slashed.

Speaking early on in the campaign, Sir David Crausby, who has been the MP in Bolton North East since 1997, said that parties can no longer take any areas for granted.

He said: “You used to be able to go out on the council estates and expect people to vote Labour and go on the private estates and expect people to vote Tory, but that’s completely disappeared.”

The Labour candidate has had to fight to hold on to his seat for which he had a majority of less than 4,000 two years ago – but campaigners say that it will be much closer this time.

Canvassing in the Brocksby Chase estate earlier this week, one Labour activist conceded that Jeremy Corbyn is not popular with working class voters.

But he was hopeful that most Labour voters who were put off by the leader would have voted differently in 2017, limiting the impact in this election.

Labour are also hoping to gain a seat from the Conservatives in Bolton West, one of the tightest seats in the country.

The Bolton News joined Labour candidate Julie Hilling while she was canvassing in Heaton where she found some support on a more affluent estate.

But Chris Green, who took Bolton West for the Tories in 2015, said that leadership has been a hot topic on the doorstep.

He said: “Right around Bolton West, people are saying that the most important issue is leadership and whether they want Jeremy Corbyn or Boris Johnson to be Prime Minister. It’s also a question of respecting democracy and delivering on the Brexit decision.”

Labour have always won in Bolton South East but this year candidate Yasmin Qureshi faces a threat to her majority of more than 13,000 from the Tories.

Mark Cunningham, the Brexit Party candidate, is hoping he will win over voters in the constituency where 63 per cent voted to leave the EU at the 2016 referendum.

He may also benefit from the absence of UKIP at this election who are not fielding candidates in Bolton for the first time since 2001.

When asked how he tries to win over voters who disagree with him on Brexit, he said that he does not.

He said: “At this stage, most people have made their mind up whether they’re Leave or Remain. It’s probably fruitless trying to argue with somebody or persuade somebody to swap their position.

“If they want to ask questions I’m always happy to discuss things with them but I don’t go out of my way to make them change their mind. Everyone has their right to their opinion.”

Rebecca Forrest, the Lib Dem candidate in Bolton West took a similar view. Her party wants to revoke Article 50 and remain in the European Union – something which she admitted would not “bring the country together”.

She said: “The discussion with Brexiteers, I fully accept that people who want Brexit will not agree with our policy on that and in this Brexit election, they will not vote for us. I more than respect their opinion on the matter, while I still disagree with it, and I move on to the next person.

Paris Hayes, the Green Party candidate in Bolton West said that even he is bored of talking about Brexit. He said: “People hate discussing Brexit. It’s almost become boring. I think we’ve wasted far too much time discussing Brexit. We’ve ignored real issues.”