by RAY FLEMING
FOUL weather friends! That's the only possible description of the great British public as represented by the one thousand or so who took part in the latest Populus/The Times poll - and said that they liked Gordon Brown as prime minister (and Alistair Darling as Chancellor) to get the country through the current economic crisis but would prefer David Cameron to lead Britain “after the next general election”! The figures were 52 per cent for Brown and only 32 per cent for Cameron now -- but a reversed 42-35 for Cameron when the election comes along. This switch is apparently explained by the public seeing Cameron as an “agent for change” (like Barack Obama, presumably). Can the British people really be so superficial -- not to say ungrateful - in their approach to politics, that they think everything is going to be fine weather and plain sailing in the UK's and the global economy by early 2010? The more conventional results in this poll, taken at the end of last week after the interest rate cut and the Glenrothes election result, showed Labour gaining five points and the Conservatives losing four compared to one month earlier. The current relative strengths of the parties if replicated at a general election would therefore result in a hung parliament with the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats struggling to hold a majority in the House of Commons - if they could ever agree to vote in the same lobby, of course.

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