London: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Labour Party trails the opposition Conservatives by the largest margin in more than 15 years, an opinion poll conducted by the Sunday Times newspaper showed.
The poll by YouGov put Labour on 32 points, 13% points behind the Conservatives on 45. Brown’s personal rating has also slumped since he took over from Tony Blair in June.
Still, Brown does not have to call an election until May 2010 and his advisers hope recent crisis will pass, the economy will rebound and confidence in Brown will be restored before voters judge him at the ballot box.
Brown was riding high in the polls after taking office. But the first run on a bank in more than century, the loss of half of the country’s personal data in the post, allegations of sleaze and a downturn in house prices have all hit Labour.
Perceptions that Brown dithered over when to call a national election and whether to attend the signing of a new EU treaty, coupled with growing fears among voters of an economic recession have also undermined the former finance minister’s showing.
Brown’s personal rating -- the difference between those saying he was doing a good job and those saying he was doing badly -- has plummeted from plus 48 in August to minus 26 four months later.