Brown suffers new opinion poll blow
LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Gordon Brown's political fortunes suffered a new blow as an opinion poll showed support for his Labour Party sliding seven points to 25 percent.
The ComRes poll for the Independent on Sunday gives the main opposition Conservative Party a 16-point lead with their rating at an unchanged 41 percent.
Labour also is only three points ahead of the much smaller Liberal Democrats.
Brown, who must call an election by 2010, appeared to be making headway against his rival in recent polls, as voters approved of the steps the government was taking to tackle the financial crisis.
With Britain now officially in recession, job losses on the rise and billions of pounds of taxpayers' cash being pumped into banks, what has been dubbed as the "Brown bounce" may be over.
However, voters remain unconvinced that Conservative leader David Cameron has what it takes to solve Britain's economic problems.
Only 35 percent of those polled said he had the answers to pull Britain out of recession with 45 percent saying he did not.
The level of anger at the big bonus culture in the financial sector was also reflected in the poll, with 84 percent of those surveyed saying there should be a legal limit on pay in banks which have been bailed out with public money.
Another 82 percent said senior executives in the same institutions should be forced to give back bonuses they have received.
A second poll, by YouGov for the Sunday Times, gave Brown small comfort in that there was no nosedive in his popularity, but still had the Conservatives 12 points ahead on 44 percent.
ComRes interviewed 1,006 adults for the Independent on Sunday on February 11 and 12. YouGov interviewed 1,711 adults across Britain online for the Sunday Times on February 12 and 13.
(Reporting by Frank Prenesti; Editing by Michael Roddy.)
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