Sir John Major
The Tory former prime minister issued the warning on the eve of the general electionGetty

Labour will turn the UK into a divided nation in a bid to gain power after the general election, Sir John Major has warned.

The Tory former prime minister issued the intervention with less than 24 hours to go before polling booths open across Britain.

The Conservative grandee painted Ed Miliband and Labour as Machiavellian figures, who would "turn rich against poor; north against south; worker against boss" to win votes.

"After the election, either the Conservatives or Labour will form – or at least lead – the new government," Major wrote in The Telegraph.

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"We need a government that can reach out to every single part of our country. And Labour cannot do that.

"I know Labour. I grew up with them. Labour divides to rule. To win votes they will turn rich against poor; north against south; worker against boss.

"They have done this before and are doing it now. But it is emphatically not what this country needs. Now, more than ever, we need to bring people together, not create chasms to drive them apart."

Major won a shock general election for the Tories in 1992 when he beat Labour's former leader Lord Kinnock.

The Welshman has now warned that the Conservatives could come from behind again to secure victory on the back of so called "shy Tories" – voters who do not reveal their intentions.

"If campaigns win elections, we are doing well. But I do recall that I got the prize for the campaign and still didn't win," Kinnock told The New Statesman.

The latest opinion poll from YouGov, conducted between 4 and 5 May, put the Tories and Labour neck-and-neck at 34%, with Ukip on 12%, the Liberal Democrats on 9% and the Greens on 5%.

The most likely outcome of tomorrow's vote, therefore, is a hung parliament where no party has a majority of seats in the House of Commons.