Poll shows Tories leading but no majority

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Britain's three main party leaders fanned out across the country today to campaign in target districts, as a new poll suggested the Conservatives were leading, but unlikely to win a majority.

With just days to go before the May 6 vote, the poll in Monday's Guardian newspaper showed David Cameron's Conservative Party ahead by five percentage points, but the newspaper said the support was insufficient to take a majority of seats in Britain's House of Commons. To secure a majority, a party must win at least 326 seats out of 650.

The ICM/Guardian poll put the Conservatives at 33 per cent. The Labour Party, led by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and the Liberal Democrats, led by Nick Clegg, were tied with 28 per cent each.

The survey questioned 1,026 adults by telephone from April 20 to May 2. No margin of error was given, but in samples that size it is plus or minus 3 per cent.

The three candidates are to separately address a citizens' forum in London later today.

Polls throughout the campaign have suggested no party will take a majority of seats, a situation that could make Clegg and his party the kingmakers. They could barter with both the Conservatives and Labour, pushing the issues that are most important to them, such as changing Britain's electoral system, in exchange for their support.

Over the weekend, Brown acknowledged that his party — which currently holds 345 seats in the Commons — is the underdog. "But," he said, "we're fighting with every inch of our being."