New Labour support for Brown slumps to its lowest since polling began

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London, May 30 : New Labour support for British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has slumped to its lowest level since polling began, according to a Telegraph survey.

Three quarters of people are now dissatisfied with the Government and Gordon Brown's personal rating among voters is now the same as John Major's at his lowest point.

In the first poll since last week's Crewe and Nantwich by-election, the YouGov survey puts Labour on 23 points and the Conservatives on 47 - a Tory lead of 24 points.

In the last month Labour has fallen three points, despite handing out a tax cut to 22 million people in a bid to calm public anger over the abolition of the 10p tax band. The Conservatives have risen three points. The Liberal Democrats are on 18 points.

It is the lowest level of support for Labour since pollsters Gallup first asked people to declare their voting intention in 1943, a few months before the Battle of El Alamein.

Brown is already reeling from poor local election results and the loss of a safe Labour seat in a by election in Crewe last week.

Brown and Chancellor Alistair Darling are now under pressure to postpone October's planned 2p increase in fuel duty and to look again at plans to increase car tax.

When asked who would make the best Prime Minister, 39 per cent of the people polled said David Cameron, a rise of seven per cent on last month. 17 per cent opted for Mr Brown, down two per cent from April.

Three quarters of people are now dissatisfied with the Government and only 15 per cent are satisfied with Mr Brown. That is the same figure that John Major polled during his darkest days as Conservative Prime Minister in the early 1990s.

The YouGov poll also shows a collapse, since the last election, in the public's perception of Labour's economic competence. Only 22 per cent believe Labour is likely to run the economy well, down 27 per cent since 2005. While 39 per cent believe the Tories would do a good job, up 12 per cent.

Brown still faces a number of challenges, including trying to persuade Labour rebels not to vote against his plan to allow police to detain terror suspects for 42 days.

Brown's troubles have led to speculation that he could be unseated as Labour leader before the next election. A third of voters asked in the YouGov survey said that Labour would have a better chance of winning that election with a new leader - a figure that rises to 40 per cent amngst Labour supporters.

Brown will address Labour backbenchers on Monday when they return to the Commons after a week's holiday. His supporters are determined to halt talk of anyone challenging him.

The only slim possibility of Brown standing down is if a delegation of senior Labour figures approached him to explain for the good of the party he should stand aside. If he did, then young Cabinet ministers like David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary and Andy Burnham, the Culture Secretary, would consider standing.

ANI

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