Jeremy Corbyn today declined to rule out striking a deal after the election to keep Theresa May from power.
The Labour leader was twice questioned on his strategy after a shock poll suggested the Tories could win the most seats – but fall short of a majority.
Mr Corbyn has already publicly ruled out entering a coalition with the SNP , Westminster’s third largest party, like the Tories did with the Lib Dems in 2010.
But he appeared to leave open the possibility of a more informal “confidence and supply” arrangement, where parties agree to vote the same way on key issues, if Mrs May loses her grip on No10.
A journalist asked him: “Will you rule out a confidence and supply arrangement or any kind of deal to keep the Tories out?”
Mr Corbyn replied: “I think you spend too much time in Westminster. If I may say so, you should get out a bit more.
“I really believe that because what you would see outside is a very different story – the enthusiasm, the step-change, and the whole ambition of people to win this election for Labour, to elect a Labour government with a majority to carry out what will be an agenda that will radically improve the lives of so many people.”
He added: “I invite you to join us when we celebrate victory.”
Hours later, Mr Corbyn was asked again if he would cut a “deal” by ITV political editor Robert Peston.
Mr Peston first asked: “Would you try to put together a coalition?” Mr Corbyn replied: “We’re doing no deals, no coalitions, we’re fighting to win this election.”
Mr Peston pressed on: “But you don’t have to do a deal now, it’s what you might do after the election.”
Mr Corbyn replied: “Then you’d better ask me on June 9.”
Asked to clarify the comments, a source close to the Labour leader said “no deals”, but would not be drawn on the specific question of whether one could happen after polling day.
A spokesman for the Labour leader said only: “We are in the election to win and gain support for our manifesto.”
Tory chairman Patrick McLoughlin seized on the comments to claim Mr Corbyn would be “propped up by the Lib Dems and SNP in a coalition of chaos,” despite the Labour leader ruling out a formal coalition.
YouGov revealed its first seat-by-seat estimate of the 2017 general election last night based on 50,000 interviews over a week.
It predicted the Conservatives could lose 20 seats to win 310 in total, 16 short of an overall majority and creating a hung parliament.
The poll included wide a margin for error and said the Tory seat numbers could vary between 274 on a bad night and 345 on a good night, The Times reported.
Under the model Labour would gain 28 seats to win 257, while the SNP would win 50 and the Lib Dems 10.
The model was met with scepticism by many.
Former Labour leader Ed Miliband, who was neck-and-neck with the Tories in the polls before the 2015 election, wrote: “The pollsters have been off my Christmas card list since 2015. Just saying.”
Appearing alongside Mr Corbyn today, shadow education secretary Angela Rayner dismissed the research and said Labour is “in it to win it”.
“I don’t trust polls. I think anyone that trusts polls at the moment is naive to say the least,” she said.