Conservatives keep poll lead
LONDON (Reuters) - The Conservative Party maintained a 12 percentage points lead over Labour in a new opinion poll on Wednesday, but the survey gave some hope to Prime Minister Gordon Brown for the next election.
A Guardian/ICM poll published in the newspaper said the Conservatives had a rating of 42 percent but that the Labour Party could still win over wavering supporters if the economy showed signs of improvement.
According to the poll, 9 percent of Conservative voters and 22 percent of those who normally vote for the Liberal Democrats say they would be more likely to consider voting Labour if the economy showed clear signs of recovery.
The Guardian said that meant around 8 percent of those voters presently planning to vote Conservative or Liberal Democrat could vote Labour.
Brown, who must hold an election by June 2010, appears to have made some headway in recent weeks in convincing voters that his plans to lift Britain out of recession will work.
An Ipsos MORI poll released on Tuesday showed Labour had cut the Conservatives' poll lead by 10 points over last weekend, when the government hosted a G20 finance ministers' meeting.
The Guardian poll showed Brown still had a tough fight ahead.
The Conservatives held a 12 point lead for the third month in a row, with Labour on 30 percent and the Liberal Democrats up 2 percent on 20 percent.
Cameron's personal lead over Brown was even bigger, with 45 percent of those polled saying he would make the best prime minister compared with 24 percent for Brown. Almost 70 percent of those polled said it was time for a change.
ICM polled 1,004 adults between March 13 and 15.
(Reporting by Kate Holton)
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