British PM gets poll boost after EU spat

18th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

British Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party has opened up a wider lead on the opposition in the wake of the stormy EU summit, a poll out Sunday showed.

The ICM survey for The Sunday Telegraph newspaper put Cameron's centre-right Tories up two points since the summit on 40 percent -- its highest score since the May 2010 general election.

The opposition centre-left Labour Party was down two points at 34 percent, while the centrist Liberal Democrats, the junior partners in Britain's coalition government, were unchanged on 14 percent.

A seat projection put the Conservatives at 322, four short of an overall majority, based on the current 650-seat lower House of Commons.

Last week Britain and France engaged in a cross-Channel row after a dramatic European Union summit when Cameron refused to join members of the eurozone currency bloc in a new fiscal pact.

The survey found that 41 percent of voters thought the splits over Europe between the more eurosceptic Conservatives and the europhile Lib Dems would break up the coalition, with 45 percent saying the alliance would survive.

The survey also found that 35 percent wanted a referendum on leaving the EU within one year, a further 16 percent before the end of this parliament and a further eight percent by the end of the next parliament.

Some 25 percent said no, with 16 percent in the don't know camp.

ICM Research interviewed a random sample of 1,008 adults by telephone on Wednesday and Thursday.

© 2011 AFP

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