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51% of Britons think PM Brown 'damaging'

A LITTLE over half of Britons think Prime Minister Gordon Brown is damaging the country by staying in power, according to a survey published yesterday.

In the YouGov poll for the Sunday Times newspaper, 51 percent of 1,900 people sampled said they agreed with the statement: "Gordon Brown's continued presence as prime minister is damaging the country." Twenty-seven percent said they disagreed.

In terms of party support, 40 percent of those polled favored the opposition Conservatives, against 24 percent for Labour.

The poll, conducted last Thursday and Friday, came after European and local elections at which Brown's Labour party, in power for 12 years, suffered substantial setbacks.

It also followed a parliamentary expenses scandal that has affected all parties but damaged the incumbents more, provoking popular anger.

The YouGov survey also showed increasing support for an early election, although that prospect looks less likely now that Brown has fought off a challenge to his authority and reshuffled his Cabinet.

The next election does not have to be held until June 2010.

Nearly half (49 percent) of those polled said they thought there should be an immediate election; 24 percent said it should be held in the autumn.


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