London: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Sunday received a shot in the arm with a new survey showing that his ruling Labour party had closed the gap with the opposition Conservatives to just six percentage points, raising the spectre of a hung Parliament.
The Ipsos MORI survey for the Observer, which is likely to cause alarm in Tory ranks and boost Labour`s hope of performing a "great escape", puts the Conservatives on 37 percent, just six points ahead of Labour on 31 percent.
The Liberal Democrats are on 17 percent.
It is the narrowest gap between the two main contenders in any poll since last December and demonstrated that, rather than powering towards a landslide victory, David Cameron`s Conservative party is struggling to capture the number of floating voters it needed to win a decisive mandate.
The poll, which indicated economic optimism at its highest level since 1997, suggested that Labour may be benefiting from a return of a "feel-good" factor as the country heads out of recession.
According to the survey, 43 percent of the public now believe the economy will perform better over the next year, compared to 23 percent who think it will deteriorate and 28
percent who say it will stay the same.