LONDON – LONDON (AP) — Prime Minister Gordon Brown turned to an Elvis Presley impersonator Saturday to add razzmatazz to his lackluster election campaign as opinion polls indicated his governing Labour Party was in third place.
In an unlikely campaign event, the often solemn Scot was serenaded by Presley lookalike Mark Wright — who performed a version of "The Wonder Of You," as Brown sought to kick start his faltering attempt to retain power in Britain's May 6 ballot.
"As you get nearer to election day you are always upping the tempo," Brown told reporters as he arrived in Corby, central England, to make a speech on health care.
Brown's main rivals — Conservative Party chief David Cameron and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg — are widely regarded as having performed better than the prime minister in the country's first televised election debates. The second of three clashes aired Thursday, with a final showdown scheduled next week.
Most polls published late Saturday showed both opposition parties — including the perennially third-ranked Liberal Democrats — ahead of Brown's Labour.
A ComRes poll for The Independent newspaper on Sunday put the main opposition Conservatives at 34 percent, with the Liberal Democrats at 29 percent and Brown's Labour at 28 percent. The survey questioned 1,006 people and had a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.
ICM put Brown's Labour at 26 percent, with the Conservatives at 35 percent and the Liberal Democrats at 31 percent. The poll, with the same margin of error, had questioned 1,020 adults.
A third survey, a BPIX poll for the Mail on Sunday newspaper put the Tories at 34 percent, the Liberal Democrats at 30 percent and Labour at 26 percent. It interviewed 2,139 people, with a margin of error of about plus of minus 2.5 percentage points.
Labour was behind in two other polls released late Saturday, but ranked second in an Ipsos-Mori study for the News of The Word.
George Osborne, Conservative lawmaker and economic spokesman, said the polls showed Brown's appearance with Elvis was timely.
"According to the polls, the public are fast reaching the conclusion that Gordon Brown should leave the building," he said in an e-mail to supporters.
All polls published Saturday, like most recent surveys, indicated Britain is on course for its first hung Parliament since 1974, with no party likely to win the 326 House of Commons seats needed for an outright majority.
It would likely mean either the Conservatives or Labour would need Clegg's support to govern — but he has so far refused to say which rival he'd back.
"We're campaigning to do things differently so that people get a better life for themselves and their family," Clegg said. "We are being very straightforward with people."