Brown's bounce back in polls halted following controversial pre-Budget Report

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London, Dec 20 (ANI): In the wake of the British Government's controversial pre-Budget Report, Prime Minister Gordon Brown's revival in the polls has been halted, according to an opinion poll.

The Conservatives have increased their poll lead over Labour to seven points, the first increase in the party's ratings since the collapse of Lehman Brothers triggered a global banking crisis, The Telegraph reported.

The poll may herald the end of the so-called "Brown bounce" which had, until now, seen resurgence in the Labour party's popularity during the economic downturn.

The Daily Telegraph/You Gov poll has the Conservatives on 42 per cent of the vote with Labour on 35 per cent and the Liberal Democrats on 14 per cent.

More than half of the British citizens are dissatisfied with the Government's record.

Last month, a poll taken in the immediate aftermath of the pre-Budget Report had the Conservatives recording only a four-point lead.

However, as the ramifications of his multi-billion pound "fiscal stimulus" package of public spending and tax cuts has been digested, public opinion is now shifting away from Brown's Government.

Although today's seven-point lead is modest compared to 20 leads recorded by the Conservatives earlier this year, it may indicate that popularity is returning to David Cameron.

It had been rumoured that Gordon Brown was considering a snap election early next year if the poll ratings continued to narrow, the paper said.

The Conservatives had feared that Labour might take the lead in the polls in the New Year. However, today's poll now makes an imminent election more unlikely.

Yesterday, Brown refused to rule out an election next year, but said: "I'm giving no thought to an election."

He also criticised people who had written him off during the summer when he was widely expected to face a leadership challenge following a series of disastrous by-election results. (ANI)

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