LONDON - Voters in constituencies that could determine the outcome of Britain's election want a change of prime minister - but many are unconvinced opposition leader David Cameron has what it takes, according to a poll commissioned by Reuters.
The latest Reuters-Ipsos MORI poll of marginal seats - constituencies narrowly held by the ruling Labour Party - shows that voters rate Labour leader Gordon Brown more highly than Cameron on almost all leadership measures.
But the poll also shows nearly 60 percent of voters want a leader who represents change.
It is a dilemma that helps explain why the country is still on course for a so-called hung parliament in which the Conservatives are the largest party but fall short of an overall majority in the 650-seat House of Commons.
"Many voters in these key marginals do think that the Conservatives are ready to govern and that Cameron is ready to be prime minister, but a significant minority still have their doubts," said Ipsos MORI's Helen Coombs.
Ipsos MORI polled 1 008 adults between March 30 and April 5 in key marginals: seats the Conservatives must win if they are to secure an outright win in the May 6 election.
It found 37 percent of those polled believed Gordon Brown best understood the problems facing Britain compared with 30 percent who said Cameron. Forty-one percent thought Brown would be best in a crisis compared to 30 percent who said Cameron.
Brown was seen as having a better understanding of world problems and a better grasp of detail than his Conservative opponent, and was ahead on questions of who was the most capable leader. In national polls, Cameron is seen as the most capable. - Reuters