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Brown Sets May 6 Vote as Polls Show Hung Parliament

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Robert Hutton and Kitty Donaldson
April 6, 2010

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called an election for May 6, setting up his first nationwide test as U.K. leader in a ballot that may fail to result in a governing majority.

The 59-year-old premier announced the election date at his 10 Downing St. residence in London today after traveling to Buckingham Palace to ask Queen Elizabeth II to dissolve Parliament April 12.

The pound weakened 1 percent against the dollar as an ICM Ltd. poll showed Brown’s Labour Party trailing by 4 percentage points, enough to make it the biggest in the House of Commons. That contrasted with a YouGov Plc survey that had Conservative leader David Cameron’s lead over Labour, which he’s held since late 2007, widening to 10 points from 2 points last month.

“I’m struggling to think of a modern election when we’ve had this degree of uncertainty,” said Stephen Driver, who teaches politics at Roehampton University in London. “It’s going to seesaw backward and forward far more than previous elections. People want a change but they’re anxious about change as well.”

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This article was posted: Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at 4:25 am

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