Brown reaches out to women voters

Having made his much anticipated speech in Bournemouth, the prime minister has seen a rise in female support at the polls.
Having made his much anticipated speech in Bournemouth, the prime minister has seen a rise in female support at the polls.

Gordon Brown's appeal to traditional values has won him a large advantage among female voters.

A YouGov poll for Channel 4, taken immediately after Monday's keynote Labour conference speech, found Labour have a 16 point lead over the Tories among women.

Male voters are also backing the prime minister, handing him a six point advantage over David Cameron.

The large swing of support from women has seen Labour's approval rating rise five points in the past week. It now stands at 44 per cent, raising the prospect of a three-figure majority if Mr Brown goes to the polls.


Support for the Conservatives has dipped one point to 33 per cent. They will hope next week's Conservative party conference in Blackpool will raise their profile and poll standing.

Despite pointing to a comfortable victory, the poll reveals the public are not in rush to cast their ballots.

Less than three in ten voters want an election this year. This compares to half who supported a snap general election when Mr Brown first became leader, driven by campaigns by the Conservatives and Lib Dems for a mandate-seeking poll.

Just under two in five of those polled think Mr Brown should wait until next year. Nearly one in five think Mr Brown should work with the 2005 mandate and not call an election before 2009 or 2010.

Last night, former deputy prime minister John Prescott urged Mr Brown to resist calls for an early poll. He warned against repeating the mistakes of Harold Wilson, who saw a poll advantage disappear under a snap election campaign.

Mr Brown returns to the Labour conference stage today to take part in a question and answer session. It is likely he will remain tight-lipped over a possible poll date, with many speculating the prime minister himself has not decided when to call an election.

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