Global Policy Forum

Opposition to Iraq War at New High

November 9, 2004

The public's opposition to the war in Iraq has reached a record high, according to an opinion poll in the Times. The survey published on Tuesday found 57 percent thought taking military action to oust former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was wrong, compared to 31 percent who supported it.

The same poll in April, 2003, a month after the U.S.-led invasion, found nearly two-thirds of Britons supported the war, compared to 24 percent who thought it was wrong. Populus questioned 1,504 people over the weekend after three British soldiers died in a suicide bomb attack at a checkpoint near the Sunni Muslim rebel stronghold of Falluja.

Despite opposition to the war in Iraq, the poll found Blair's Labour Party is on course for a third general election win. It put Labour on 34 percent, just ahead of the opposition Conservatives on 33 percent, a five point rise since early October.

Blair, who swept to power in 1997 with a huge majority, has seen his once sky-high poll ratings eroded over his staunch support for the United States in Iraq. He faced renewed criticism in parliament last month after agreeing to dispatch 850 British troops from their relatively quiet sector in southern Iraq to volatile areas near the Iraqi capital. Analysts say Iraq is Blair and his party's most vulnerable link in their bid to win a third term at an election expected in May or June next year.

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