After a round of adventure golf on a dinosaur-themed course in Berkshire on Saturday, Sir Ed said: “If the Conservatives stay in government, that’s a bad result for the country.

“I said when I became leader of the Liberal Democrats, my top priority was defeating as many Conservative MPs as we possibly can (and) some SNP MPs in Scotland, because the Conservatives have got to get out of government and the SNP don’t deserve any representation in Westminster – they’ve governed in Scotland so badly, so that’s the top priority."

In an ITV Tonight programme interview this week, Sir Ed dodged questions about whether he would want to rejoin the European Union and said: “What I’m focusing on is what can be done in the next parliament.”

During Friday’s seven-way General Election debate on BBC One, his deputy Daisy Cooper took a question about the party’s pledge not to raise tuition fees in the coalition years.

Ms Cooper described the broken promise as a “sore subject” and “a very difficult decision”.

The party leader said there are “many reasons why” he would not put a figure on the number of seats he would consider a “bad result”.

He said: “I don’t like putting a ceiling on our ambitions, to be honest.

“The way things are going, we’re finding more and more lifelong Conservatives switching to us. It’s been quite exciting for us, if I’m honest with you."

The Liberal Democrat leader earlier said voters are “just flabbergasted by what the Prime Minister did” – travelling back to the UK from Normandy before D-Day commemorations had ended for a TV interview.

Mr Sunak has already apologised for his decision and wrote on X, formerly Twitter: “The 80th anniversary of D-Day has been a profound moment to honour the brave men and women who put their lives on the line to protect our values, our freedom and our democracy.

“This anniversary should be about those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. The last thing I want is for the commemorations to be overshadowed by politics.”

Addressing Europe, Sir Ed said: “I’m very practical.

“At the moment, the relationship between our country and our European friends and neighbours has been so damaged by the Conservatives, so poisoned by the Conservatives and people like Mr (Nigel) Farage, the chances of us having a quick rapprochement and improving the relationship is unfortunately not going to be likely.”

He added a stronger relationship with EU neighbours could help to tackle crime and human trafficking, and cutting prices through trade deals.

Sir Ed visited two Conservative seats.

In Wokingham, where the Liberal Democrat leader scored two over par on his first go at adventure golf, flanked by a triceratops and a Tyrannosaurus rex, Sir John Redwood has been the MP since 1987.

The leader also visited Newbury, where Laura Farris enjoyed a majority of more than 16,000 in 2019.

He played tennis with local candidate Lee Dillon in a bid to highlight the importance of outdoor activities.