The continuing row over donations to the Labour Party appears to have had a negative impact on the prime minister's reputation, according to a poll for BBC Newsnight.
Mr Brown's government has been hit by a series of bad stories
Just over twice as many people think Gordon Brown is tainted by sleaze compared with Conservative leader David Cameron, the ICM research suggests.
The poll asked people to put aside their party preferences and, choosing as many or as few as they liked, to say which of the three main party leaders were tainted by sleaze.
Some 57% of respondents thought Gordon Brown was tainted by sleaze, 28% thought David Cameron was, while acting Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable was chosen by 15% of respondents. There were 33% "Don't knows'.
The donation row was prompted by the revelation that property developer David Abrahams had given Labour more than £650,000 since 2003 under four other people's names.
BROWN, CAMERON AND CABLE POLL
Choosing as many or as few as you like, which of the three...
...is tainted by sleaze?
Gordon Brown - 57%
David Cameron - 28%
Vince Cable - 15%
Don't know - 33%
...is cut out to be prime minister?
Gordon Brown - 43%
David Cameron - 41%
Vince Cable - 8%
Don't know - 26%
...is a competent leader?
Gordon Brown - 42%
David Cameron - 43%
Vince Cable - 14%
Don't know - 26%
ICM interviewed a random sample of 1,000 adults aged 18+ by telephone between 30 November and 2 December 2007.
Despite the impact of the donations row the poll suggests the prime minister holds a narrow lead over David Cameron when it comes to being trusted with running the country.
Asked who was cut out to be prime minister, 43% of respondents said Gordon Brown, 41% David Cameron, 8% Vince Cable, and 26% didn't know. Again respondents were allowed to choose as many or as few as they wished from the main party leaders.
But Mr Cameron holds a lead over Mr Brown on the issue of competence, according to the poll results.
Asked which of the three is a competent leader, 43% thought David Cameron, compared to 42% for Gordon Brown and 14% for Vince Cable.