JO Swinson has insisted that after polling day she will continue to “look at every avenue” to stop Brexit, refusing to concede a Johnson majority Government would have a clear mandate to take Britain out of the EU.

As the hours tick down to Thursday’s ballot, the Liberal Democrat leader denied a promise to revoke Brexit was the single biggest mistake of her party’s election campaign, expressed confidence that she would hold onto her East Dunbartonshire seat and the Lib Dems would make gains north and south of the border and was hoping for a “where you still up for Raab” moment in which her party took the Surrey seat of the Foreign Secretary.

In an interview with The Herald as she campaigned in the West Country, the party leader was asked if the decision to put revoking Article 50 at the heart of the Lib Dems’ campaign was clearly her biggest campaign mistake.

“No,”declared Ms Swinson. “We want to stop Brexit and whether that is through revoking Article 50 or a People’s Vote to give the people a final say on the Brexit deal, our aim is remaining in the EU.”

When it was suggested that she had taken the voters for fools by suggesting the Lib Dems could jump from 20 seats to more than 320 to form a majority government, the leader referred back to how the political landscape looked in September.

“Over the summer we had four parties that were all on or around 20 per cent in the opinion polls and we know in our First-Past-The-Post system when you have a split among parties like that, that is a very unpredictable set of circumstances and seismic change is possible and our polling certainly backed that up.

“I’m not going to apologise in those circumstances for being ambitious that we could set out that way of stopping Brexit because of what is at stake for the future of our country,” she declared. The party is now polling around 12 per cent.

But the 39-year-old Scot suggested the key moment of the campaign came with the “stitch-up between Farage and Johnson,” which she described as “very, very significant”.

In effect, it means several seats the pro-Remain Lib Dems were hoping to gain will go to a consolidated pro-Brexit front in the form of the Conservatives.

Asked if this move meant Boris Johnson could get over the line with a Commons majority, Ms Swinson admitted: “Well, yeah, it absolutely could.”

So, what would happen in such a circumstance, where the Prime Minister was returned to power with a working majority. The Lib Dem leader was asked if she believed he would then have a mandate to take Britain out of the European Union.

She replied: “Well, I accept that he will use his votes in Parliament to try to deliver that and I will have been elected, as will Liberal Democrat MPs, with a mandate to try to stop Brexit and we will continue to look at every avenue to try to do that and try to secure that People’s Vote because that’s what we will have been elected to do.”

Asked again if she accepted Mr Johnson would have the public authority to secure Brexit if his party got a majority of MPs on Thursday, Ms Swinson repeated the same response.

Despite the Lib Dems falling in the polls, their leader expressed optimism they could make gains, north and south of the border, warning that Ian Blackford in Charles Kennedy’s old seat of Ross, Skye and Lochaber should be worried and Stephen Gethins in Ming Campbell’s old seat of North East Fife, defending a majority of just two, should be even more worried.

Insisting she was “confident but not complacent” of holding onto her own Scottish seat, Ms Swinson again displayed ambition by pointing to the prospect of taking Dominic Raab’s seat of Esher and Walton.

“One of the places I’m going back to tomorrow is where I started the campaign; people looked at me as if I was insane. But the moment I want to leave in this campaign is the Raab moment; where you still up for Raab? That will depend on a few votes.”

Indeed, it would; given the Foreign Secretary is defending a not inconsiderable majority of 23,298.

Ms Swinson insisted she was “excited” at the prospect of Thursday night’s results. If the opinion snapshots thus far are to be believed, she may have to tinge her excitement with a deal of disappointment.