British Prime Minister Gordon Brown appears to have narrowed the gap with the opposition Tories, boosting his chances to remain in 10, Downing Street, thanks to signs of economic recovery largely credited to his deft policies.
According to the latest YouGov survey conducted for the Sunday Times, Mr. Brown’s Labour party, that was lagging behind David Cameron’s Conservatives by a 10-point gap till January, is now just two points behind the Tories.
The results are a boost to the electoral prospects of Mr. Brown ahead of the June 3 general election this year.
The YouGov survey placed the Conservatives at 37 per cent, as against 35 per cent for Labour — the closest gap between the parties in more than two years.
In terms of electoral prospects, it means Labour is heading for a total of 317 seats, nine short of an overall majority, with the Tories languishing on a total 263 MPs.
Such an outcome would mean Mr. Brown could stay in office and deny Mr. Cameron the keys to 10, Downing Street. The narrowing of the Conservative lead has been dramatic and rapid. Until January the Tories held close to a 10-point lead.
But a week ago a YouGov poll put the gap at six points, suggesting a hung parliament, with the Tories still on course to become the largest party.
The poll result presents the Conservative leader with one of the greatest challenges of his leadership on Sunday as he makes the keynote speech to his party’s spring forum.
In an interview with the Sunday Times, Mr. Cameron defied his right-wing critics who believe the party’s modernisation has gone too far.
He said: “Some people say to me, ‘Play things safe; try to win by default — the government is in a mess.’ I say No“.
This is the Conservative party that is offering radical change. I’m doubling up on change“.
Ahead of the upcoming election, Mr. Cameron will seek to reconnect with voters through a series of pledges, including a plan to restore discipline in schools.
In the last election, in 2005, support for the parties generally held steady in the run-up to polling day.
The YouGov polling showed Labour leads of between two and five points from January through to the June election.
Labour’s margin of victory was three points.
In Sunday’s poll, Labour has risen two points on the previous week, from 33 per cent, while the Conservatives have dropped two from 39 per cent. The Liberal Democrats are unchanged on 17 per cent.