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Britain's Brown trims opposition lead - poll

BRITAIN'S Conservatives have lost ground to Prime Minister Gordon Brown's ruling Labour Party with an election less than a year way and voters are unconvinced by their leader David Cameron, a poll showed today.

The YouGov survey for the Daily Telegraph newspaper gave the the main opposition party a 13 point lead over Labour, down two points from Aug. 31.

It had the Conservatives on 40 percent, down two points, with Labour up one on 27 percent and the Liberal Democrats, Britain's third party, unchanged on 18 percent.

Brown, who addressed a meeting of G20 finance ministers in London over the weekend, must call an election by next June, by which time he expects the British economy to have emerged from the recession.

After replacing Tony Blair as prime minister in June 2007, Brown enjoyed several months of poll leads before slipping behind Cameron's Conservatives.

Brown narrowed the gap late last year after winning praise for his handling of the economic recovery, before falling back again following a string of setbacks, including the resignation of a key aide over email smears and a row over lawmakers' expenses.

The latest YouGov poll offered some cheer for Brown, with the suggestion that voters are unsure about Cameron, a youthful former public relations executive who has attempted to recast the Conservatives as a progressive, reforming party.

Nearly two-thirds of those polled agreed with the statement "David Cameron talks a good line, but it is hard to know whether there is any substance behind the words".

More than half said it was hard to know what the centre-right Conservatives stand for, while 17 percent thought the party had abandoned too many of its traditional policies.

YouGov polled 1,537 adults online between Sept. 4-6.


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