British PM Brown Third in Election Poll

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With just a week to go before the British elections, Prime Minister Gordon Brown is in trouble.

Polls show him running third after Thursday's final debate. With the country's sky-high deficits, the electorate is not in a good mood.

Britain's Labor Party has led the government for 13 years, but that could change soon. Brown is under fire after he insulted a senior citizen this week who asked him questions about British immigration problems.

After the two spoke, Brown was caught on an open microphone.

"They should have never put me with that woman," Brown said. "She's just a sort of bigoted woman. It's just ridiculous."

Brown later went to the woman's home to apologize, but the damage was done. Many voters saw him as out of touch, and he acknowledged it in Thursday's debate.

"There is a lot to this job and as you saw yesterday, I don't get all of it right," Brown said. "But I do know how to run the economy in good times and in bad."

The United Kingdom faces potential steep cuts in government services because of record deficits. Brown prides himself on his handling of the economy.

But most polls show conservative challenger David Cameron won Thursday's debate against Brown and Liberal Democratic Party leader Nick Clegg -- partly on the issue of immigration.

"People do need to know that the Liberal Democrats propose an amnesty for illegal immigrants," Cameron said. "Now that could mean that some 600,000 people who are here illegally would actually be allowed to stay here and be given full citizenship, access to welfare, access to council housing and could also bring a relative each into our country."

In eight days, British voters will elect a new government. The most likely outcome is a hung parliament with a narrow coalition -- not the kind of stable government Britain might need for the uneasy times ahead.

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John Waage has covered politics and analyzed elections for CBN News since 1980, including primaries, conventions, and general elections. 

He also analyzes the convulsive politics of the Middle East.