LONDON (Reuters) - More than two-thirds of people in Britain think troops should not be fighting in Afghanistan, and only 1.5 per cent of those polled think Prime Minister Gordon Brown is handling the war 'very well. The poll of 2,000 adults for the Mail on Sunday, conducted on the Internet on August 20 and 21, showed that three-quarters of those questioned did not think fighting in Afghanistan was making British people safer from terrorism. That appeared to undermine a central plank of the governments argument for the war, with Brown and senior ministers repeating in the past few weeks that the conflict is part of efforts to keep Britains streets safer from attack. Britain has about 9,000 troops deployed in Afghanistan, most of them fighting in the south, where the Taliban remain strong. July and August have been two of the deadliest months for Britain since the conflict began in 2001, with more than three dozen troops killed in the past seven weeks. The total death toll now stands at 206, nearly 30 more than were killed in the five years Britain was engaged in Iraq. Asked if British troops should be fighting a war in Afghanistan, only 31 per cent said yes, while 69 per cent said no. Asked how Brown was handling the war, 1.5 per cent said very well and 26 per cent said fairly well. More worryingly for the government, which has struggled to justify the conflict, 40 per cent said fairly badly and 32 per cent said very badly. The poll, conducted by BPIX, also showed that if an election were held today, the opposition Conservatives would win 36 per cent of the vote, with the governing Labour party on 24 per cent and the Liberal Democrats on 17 per cent. The next parliamentary election must be held by June next year, with Labour, in power for more than 12 years, widely expected to lose to the Conservatives.