Gordon Brown shines amid economic gloom


London : Beleaguered British premier Gordon Brown Friday narrowed the ratings gap with his political opponent David Cameron following what is being seen as his deft handling of the aftermath of the financial crisis.

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After months of record poll deficits, a Daily Telegraph/YouGov survey published Friday showed Brown cutting down Cameron’s lead from 24 points in May to only nine points.

The poll, which puts Cameron’s Conservative Party on 42 points, down three, ruling Labour on 33, up two, and the Liberal Democrats on 15, would translate to a parliamentary majority of only 22 for the Conservatives.

“The former chancellor (finance minister) has appeared more relaxed when dealing with the financial meltdown than at any other time in the last year, and he also carried out a Cabinet reshuffle which has restored party unity after months of division and threats of a leadership challenge,” said The Daily Telegraph, a pro-Conservative newspaper.

The poll found Labour was more trusted of Britain’s political parties to look after the interests of ordinary people during the economic crisis by a margin of 33 per cent to 28 per cent.

Gordon Brown was also ahead – by one point – when people were asked which leader would navigate Britain better through the current financial problems.

However, three quarters of people say Brown must bear much or some responsibility for allowing bank lending and personal borrowing to get out of hand in the first place.

“The last time the Tories’ lead was in single figures was eight months ago. However, the growth of the financial crisis over the last two months seems, politically at least, to have worked in Mr Brown’s favour,” the paper said.

The British media have dubbed the trend ‘Brown bounce’.