Britain's beleaguered Prime Minister Gordon Brown is heading towards winning the next general election as a new survey forecasts his Labour party holding 317 seats in the parliament against 263 of the opposition Tories.
The latest poll carried out by YouGov suggested that the ruling party has narrowed the gap in popularity against the Conservatives and Brown was on course to remain prime minister after the election scheduled to be held in May.
The survey places David Cameron's Conservatives just two points ahead with 37 percent support, as against 35 percent for Labour - the closest gap between the parties in more than two years.
Labour is heading for a total of 317 seats, nine short of an overall majority, with the Tories languishing on just 263 MPs. Such an outcome would mean Brown could stay in office and deny Cameron the keys to the 10 Dowing Street, the Sunday Times reported.
The narrowing of the Conservative lead has been dramatic and rapid. Until January, the Tories held close to a 10-point lead. But a week ago a Sunday Times YouGov poll put the gap at six points, suggesting a hung parliament, with the Tories still on course to become the largest party, the daily said.
Cameron, however, said he was unconcerned about the collapse in Tory support. "The polls move around a lot," he said. "The voters tell us that they want change. They want to know the Conservative party itself has changed".
In Sunday's poll, Labour has risen two points on the previous week, from 33 percent, while the Conservatives have dropped two from 39 percent. The Liberal Democrats are unchanged on 17 percent.
The last time the gap between the two main parties came this close and the Tory support was so low was in autumn 2007. The Conservatives went on to peak in May 2008 with a 26-point lead.