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Last Updated: Monday, 4 October, 2004, 12:24 GMT 13:24 UK
Should Blair serve a third term if elected?
Tony Blair
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair underwent successful heart surgery on Friday and returned home following a surprise vow to serve a third term.

A spokesman for the London hospital where the operation was carried out said it had been a success and the heart problem was unlikely to bother the prime minister again.

Blair's declaration of intention to serve a third term sparked frenzied talk of how long he can go on.

BBC political editor Andrew Marr described Blairīs announcement as "quite extraordinary".

Do you think Tony Blair should have stated his intentions? Is this a political move or a mistake? Will this help Labour's re-election campaign? Are you concerned about his health?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

Ultimately it is up to him, but, depending on the outcome of the next election, his assessment is the right one in serving a third term before quitting before a fourth general election. It should not harm Gordon Brown who has been an exceptionally brilliant Chancellor. Most Prime Minister's who have been fantastic, which Gordon Brown would be if elected, have taken office at a mature age. Baldwin, Churchill, and Macmillan among them.
Paul Burgin, Baldock, UK

The only reason he could possibly win the next election is because there is no credible alternative
Afolabi Anthony, London, England

Mr Blair does not deserve another term with the British electorate. He's a leader whose judgement raises some unpalatable questions in areas such as style of government, war against terrorism etc. In my view, Mr Blair has lost no credibility with the leaders of the world, and indeed, with the British people. The only reason he could possibly win the next election is because there is no credible alternative. He should resign and handover power to the more credible Gordon Brown.
Afolabi Anthony, London, England

As always, I wish Tony Blair well. I firmly believe that it takes time for a political vision to be fully realised, and that those with such a vision, with our country's welfare at heart, should be given the time to see it through. Only then we will be able to judge Blair's true impact on history. I am sure it will not have been a negative one.
Kim Forster, Solihull, England

I trust him more for being honest and stating his intentions.
Willow, London
Tony Blair has a young family, has just bought a new house and is right to be thinking ahead to plan for his family's future. He is in very good health, is young for a two term PM and is being open and honest with the public. Political party views aside, I trust him more for being honest and stating his intentions.
Willow, London

Ultimately, its up to his party if he serves a third term. We, the UK public only have a say in which party gets elected. Personally speaking I would hope he doesn't, if only to attempt to bring credibility and allow labour to be trusted again under Gordon Brown
Philip Parker, UK

Blair is no longer physically fit to serve another term - It may well kill him - He has a heart condition! He has also not looked well since about 2001. You can't vote for a sick man - let him retire gracefully.
John Rutherford, Cobham England

Interesting strategy that Tony Blair rules out a fourth term. By declaring his intention of stepping down, maybe he will be one of the rare politicians that contradict the old adage that 'all political careers end in failure'!
Paul Chapman, Leeds

Change is good - Blair would be the first to agree with that statement. He should now move aside as I and a great majority no longer trust him. I also feel there is nothing he could say that would win back the confidence I once had in him - I feel very much betrayed by him. A truly great British Prime Minister who lost his way and will be remembered for his most grave error of judgement - the illegal war in Iraq!
Anonymous, Southport, England

Why all the fuss?
John Clements, Cheltenham, England
Of course he should serve a full term. He seems damned if he tells the truth and damned if he keeps things secret! The operation was a minor procedure - doctors say he will be fine - he says he intends to serve a full term if elected - why all the fuss? Just more media speculation if you ask me!
John Clements, Cheltenham, England

I think its premature of Tony Blair to make such a statement. Yes it is likely that the Labour party will win the next election, but I doubt they will retain their overall majority and then Blair will be seen as the liability that many voters already see.
Anon, Cardiff

Blair will remain in power if his party continue to support him. The nation does not select the leader of the party, only the party itself can do that. Public opinion influences this decision but will not determine his position.
Joe, St Andrews

Blair should hand leadership to Brown, not after a third term, but as soon as is practical, post-election. Labour leadership needs less dictatorial new blood and the public require a leader with an agenda we can see.
Vivienne Cohen, London

Thatcher was elected for a third term, and intended serving throughout that time (and beyond). Look what happened to her in the end...
Jon Taylor, Bridgend, Wales

As a person who will be allowed to vote in the upcoming general election for the first time I will most certainly - despite criticism - vote Labour. Tony Blair has been through several external forces which were beyond his control; such as foot and mouth, the attacks on America, and the growing concerns of Iraq and Afghanistan. If you were a PM would you be any better? A massive decision about going to war could only be made by one intelligent PM - he did the right choice. Despite no weapons of mass destruction, Saddam would have still lead a brutal regime - and several thousands more would have been killed. Go Tony Blair! Fight for a third term.
John Elfed Hughes, Llanrwst, Conwy, UK

As a matter of principle, I don't think anyone in the role of Prime Minister should serve more than two terms. I think the Americans got it right by limiting their president to 8 years, and the sooner we do the same, the better. It's time we brought an end to "career politics" and started looking at government as a civic duty, rather than a career opportunity.
Thomas Daniel, Newcastle, England

Blair is the most courageous, intelligent and smartest world leader we have today
Upul Chad , Toronto, Canada
British people should be so proud of their leader Tony Blair, as even the hardest critics of his policies accept the fact that Blair is the most courageous, intelligent and smartest world leader we have today. In this world there are no 100% perfect leaders who could please everyone on earth. He may or may not win the next election as a politician but in our hearts and minds he will remain as one of the strongest leaders who took unpopular and difficult decisions for the betterment of mankind and only future will decide whether he was a true statesman or not!
Upul Chad , Toronto, Canada

With their current leader the Lib-Dems do not have any credibility but could so easily win the support of the professional middle class. The Conservative Party is now for those who, while sharing the views of the BNP, don't have the bottle to vote for them at general election time. That leaves Blair. Could we do better with the country's Prime Minister? Yes, but name the person. There isn't one.
Mike Abbott, Kew, UK

I do not think that Mr. Blair should continue as PM either after the next election. I feel that we have been told for so long that Mr. Brown will take over from Mr. Blair as the next PM that I sincerely hope that he does not! I instinctively feel that it is rather arrogant for anyone to tell us the electors who will be PM - it may be within the law, but it is distasteful. The best course of action would be for the Labour Party to chose a new leader before the General Election and let us vote on that basis.
Andrew-Bede Allsop, Blidworth, UK

Misconceived class warfare
Peter Hill, Bognor Regis UK
Tony Blair is the best PM labour have ever had. Many voters fear Gordon Brown would put up taxation even more than now. I am angry over the government wanting to abolish foxhunting as a sop to their back benchers. Misconcieved class warfare again.
Peter Hill, Bognor Regis UK

I don't see why not. Whatever the hiccups, he is still in control and the majority of the people in the country like him more than anybody else at the present. The shape of the economy is the most important point to consider, and there is no trouble with that. I will not be bothered the least how the media bends it!
James Barnor, Brentford, UK

If you value honesty, integrity and peace above war (except as a last resort), then there are probably finer choices than to vote for Blair. Blair is fortunate that British casualties in Iraq have been relatively light compared to the US. That's probably cold comfort to the families of the 68 servicemen killed so far, or thousands injured, or civilians caught in the middle, like Ken Bigley.
Steve, Canada

He would have been among the best world leaders in history.
Doug, Scotland
If Tony Blair had been the person he'd set out to be and kept to the promises he made before election, he would have been among the best world leaders in history. Instead he has turned in an arrogant pseudo dictator who put his importance and that of his cabinet before the UK. At least when Margaret Thatcher was in power we knew the enemy.
Doug, Scotland

If he does he will knock Maggie off the podium as the longest serving PM in recent history. For that alone, go for it Tony.
Andy C, UK

I live in New York City and therefore looking from this distance now for 4 years I am sad am not living in a country with such a fine leader. He not only has outshone any PM we have ever had but brought in many great social welfare policies that most of you so called socialists seem to ignore. You don't know what you've got until you've lost it, so give this man the chance to carry on the job as you wont get a better PM for years.
Chris New York City, New York City

He should hand over to Gordon Brown
Ekim Bireroglu, London

We have one of the best economies in the world. Low unemployment, low interest rates etc. As one who remembers with horror the times of the 80's and the divided Britain I say good on you Tony. Only disappointment is the lack of a fourth term!
Mike, Rotherham. UK

Tony Blair said he is going for a 3rd term and if the public want him they will vote for him. He did not say he would win, so he is not being arrogant in stating the facts. The Labour government have done a lot for the working families in this country; have had a stable economy and continuing low unemployment. I say good luck to him and his party.
Brian Welsh, Aberdeen Grampian

He doesn't deserve a third term.
R.N.Sigamany, Markham, Canada
Tony Blair is the number one culprit who gave wrong information about Iraq's military to President Bush. He doesn't deserve a third term. Ditch this American puppet!
R.N.Sigamany, Markham, Canada

Tony Blair is the best Prime Minister for many years. He is an easy escape goat for critics of the war. Although I don't think he has done much for the working classes which is why the majority of working class people vote labour.
Andy, Lancashire

In my opinion, he should step down now. No one has any faith in what he says. If someone else takes his place now, the Labour party would have a good chance of securing the votes.
Yvonne Hill-Charlwood, Esher, Surrey

No Tony Blair should not serve another term he has totally destroyed this country in the last 8 years. The NHS and other areas are lacking in finances but it is OK to put us into a war that is costing us millions of pounds and losing countless lives and after all he did get it wrong as to why we went to war. We the people should decide by referendum if we are to be dragged into a war that another country wanted. We the are also becoming a nation that we the British born and bred citizens are the minority now. This country is an appalling place to live and if I could leave I would. I could go on about crime levels, laws that are in force that now protect the criminal and not the victim. Get rid of him!.
Sue Stacey, Hemel Hempstead, Herts

No. We can't trust Tony Blair after the Iraq war. He should stand down and let Gordon Brown take over
Neil Shearer, Norwich

The question answers itself - if elected, yes.
Tom, London UK

Absolutely, compared to both Howard and Kennedy he is the best man for the job
Simon, Nottingham

Mr. Blair should not even be an MP, never mind in charge of the country. No one trusts him. If he is elected again then god help us.
Steve Bull, Mansfield UK

The fact that Mr. Blair chose to state his intentions strengthens my view that he is an honest and decent man.
Susan Robinson, London
The fact that Mr. Blair chose to state his intentions strengthens my view that he is an honest and decent man. I think he is a great leader and hope he carries on with ideas for the UK and globally. I don't understand why he is criticised so harshly over Iraq - someone had to deal with that situation (he didn't choose it to arise during his premiership) and the outcome may have been the same or even worse! I think he is taking good care of his health by having the proper treatment now. I shall certainly be voting for him at the next election.
Susan Robinson, London

A brilliant Prime Minister and a truly remarkable leader
William, Blackburn, UK
A brilliant Prime Minister and a truly remarkable leader. He has turned this country around. Record levels of investment in our public services. Lowest levels of unemployment in living memory. A strong stable economy. A minimum wage for the lower paid. Better living standards and greater prosperity for all. Why should the Captain of a winning team be denied another season. I say carry on Tony Blair, good luck and good health.
William, Blackburn, UK

He shouldn't seek a third term as Prime Minister. Someone different even from the Labour Party would make a better Prime Minister for Britain. After ten years in office it will be about time for someone new at the helm to lead Britain forward in a new style of politics.
A Sciberras, St Paul's Bay Malta

Having lived under the Tories for a long time, I would say why not? The alternative looks worse.
Anon, Germany, ex UK

For the sake of his party - and his personal health - he should go now
Terry, Epsom, Surrey, England
For the sake of his party - and his personal health - he should go now. Nobody believes what he say's anymore.
Terry, Epsom, Surrey, England

I don't like him, but if he is elected he should server his term. To stand down in favour of someone else is wrong. If that person (OK Gordon Brown!) wants to be PM he should fight an election as Labour leader and not get in by the back door. Callaghan should have done it - (people forget we didn't elect him as PM we elected Wilson), Major should have done it before 1992.
John, UK

Tony Blair has improved the image of the Labour Party
Ann Docherty, Birmingham
Tony Blair has improved the image of the Labour Party and ensured huge changes in public services. The NHS and Education has had money poured into their services and are vastly improved. Older people have had considerable increases in benefits. Tony Blair should stand for a third term, he is the only one who really made a difference.
Ann Docherty, Birmingham

I support Tony Blair, not Labour. If Tony wasn't there, or if I knew he would give up his seat, after election, I may support Conservative again, or no-one at all. I would be disappointed if Tony gave up his seat, after re-elected. Tony does not look down his nose at us, from a place of comfort; Instead, he has his sleeves rolled up, getting grubby with us, trying to help us help ourselves. Like us, he is not perfect, but is the only candidate, and he is a great communicator. Tony does not resort to calling people names, he remains the gentleman, and tireless explains his point, whilst listening, which is rare in a debate. I wish him, and his family, the best...
Ralph, Chelmsford, England

Blair is a great and competent leader; however people have lost sight of this due to the overshadowing media coverage of Iraq. I think he deserves to serve this third term in order to re-confirm to the public the brilliant man that he is.
Katie, Canterbury, Kent

Tony Blair has to be the worst post war prime minister this country has had. Going to war for no valid reasons, cutting back on defence and higher tax on fuel. People's memories are to short, he has made so many mistakes in his terms as prime minister. Luckily for our family we will not have to vote in the next election as we emigrate to Australia in January. It is sad to say but we will not miss what Mr Blair and the Labour party have done to this country.
Darren Page, Warrington, UK

He should serve a third term and why not a fourth if he feels like it?
David, Blackpool, UK
He should serve a third term and why not a fourth if he feels like it? I disagree with him on a lot of things but he is still the best prime minister in my life time and I can't see anyone better who could replace him
David, Blackpool, UK

I think Tony Blair should remain prime minister he has served this country to the best of his ability and was correct to go to war
Peter Graham, Birkenhead England

I wish him no ill will, but I feel he has turned from a "pretty straight forward kind of guy" (his words) into one of the least trustworthy politicians in Westminster...which is saying something. For the good of the country he should step down.
John R Smith, UK

Tony Blair has made some mistakes over the last 7 years. I don't agree with his views on Iraq, and he's not tackled public transport, but I still think he deserves a third term. Why? Well, how about lower crime (despite what the tabloids would have us believe), high employment, low inflation and interest rates, improvements to the Health Service and Education... I'm one of those people who own a business, and could easily up sticks and go somewhere else, as advocated by some in this forum, but I've worked in over 40 countries in the world and I can't honestly say that there is anywhere else that offers a better combination of reasonable taxation, encouragement for business and quality of life. Well done Mr. Blair (oh, and I hope you recover your health soon).
John, England

He is the best Prime Minister we have ever had. The country as a whole recognises it (just look at his election record) even if the diatribes of the hard-left so beloved of the media don't.
Pamela Armstrong, Newcastle

If he has said he will serve and is re-elected then he should serve the full term until just before the next election then a new leader can seek a new mandate and hopefully become the shortest serving Labour PM in history.
Richard Balfe, Cambridge England

I don't think it is good for democracy for the same person to be in power for decades on end.
Al, London, UK
I don't think it is good for democracy for the same person to be in power for decades on end. I think the PM's maximum time in office should be two terms like the US presidency.
Al, London, UK

I think Blair is correct to state his intentions, and I feel that the majority of the arguments here are very one-sided. Maybe Blair has done one or two things that are not quite to our liking, but what about the things he has done right? Nobody seems to mention these.
Jamie, Leicester, UK.

Why shouldn't Blair state his intentions? How can you criticise him on the one hand for not being honest and then criticise him on the other hand for being precisely that. He is setting out exactly what's on offer to the electorate and we should be glad he has done so. Whether his health will allow him to continue is another question altogether. How could any man or woman continue in the role without collapsing under the strain of killing hours of work, non stop hate and abuse and general media contempt? Whether anyone can hold this position without some mental or physical collapse is probably a better question.
Hugh, London

Although I didn't agree with a lot of Margaret Thatcher's policies at the time I still admired her as a strong leader and time has shown her to be the most respected and strongest Tory leader since the war. I believe that the same applies to Tony Blair and to those who are quick to attack his judgments and or his motives will I believe with hindsight come to realise just what a strong leader and statesman he has proved to be. I wish him a speedy recovery and a third term
S Marlborough, London

Get well soon Tony, this country needs you more than ever.
Bill Coley, France
Get well soon Tony, this country needs you more than ever. The incompetents on the right would only lead us where they always do - into the abyss. Now you've given us a light at the end of the tunnel please don't let them fill it in once more.
Bill Coley, France

Tony Blair is one of the truly great men of our times, it is only those who are not great who cannot understand this.
Mark, Maidstone Kent

General elections are now based on the leader of the party, than the party itself. The General election is now Presidential and government today is Presidential in style. It is time we recognised this fact. I agree that members of a political party still see the party as more important than the person leading it. It is time for reform of our constitution and the recognition that today's PM whoever he is has Presidential powers and the party has limited say on events. This is the reality time the politicians grasped it.
J Stobbs , Tyneside UK

I would welcome a return to an absolute monarchy
John Atkins, Bridgwater, England
The way things are with the political processes and parties at this point in time, I would welcome a return to an absolute monarchy. The last person I want in power is somebody who actually wants it as badly as Blair and his cronies!
John Atkins, Bridgwater, England

God Bless Tony Blair! This man thinks he is a great statesman for his nation and a great friend of the U.S.A. He should seek a third term!
Anne Samoylo, New York, U.S.A.

Surely the fact that if he was elected would answer the question. People vote for who they want to run the country. If he can obtain the votes he should run the term...
Ryan , Cardiff, UK

I personally think Tony is a great leader and should be elected for a third term.
Patricia A.Nimoh, London

God help us all. We have no credible opposition, an increasingly Orwellian government that rides rough-shod over the wishes of the electorate and the prospect of tax-em-till-they-bleed Gordon Brown leading this country is a prospect too dreadful to contemplate! If this lot get back into power next time, then its time to emigrate to somewhere with a future for me and my family. Oh, and a speedy recovery Mr. Blair...
Tony, Solihull, UK

Yes, he should have stated his intentions.
Ian, A Brit abroad, USA for now
Yes, he should have stated his intentions. Yes, it was a political move. Yes, it will help Labour's campaign, and it will help Blair within the Labour Party. His opponents will feel they can better spend their time planning and plotting over who will follow him as party leader. And no, I'm not worried about his health.
Ian, A Brit abroad, USA for now

I have voted conservative all my life, but at the next elections I will be voting for Tony Blair. I admire him for his determination and strength of character. Keep up the good work Tony, you will have my vote.
Jackie, Oxford

It's time Blair went and handed over to Brown who deserves to take up the mantle. It needs to happen before the election though, middle England needs a bit of time to fully understand how Brown will un pick everything positive that Blair has achieved by returning us to 70s style socialism. Brown is unelectable and this is probably the only way the Tories are going to win. Come on Gordon, keep pushing!
James Sanderson, London, UK

He has no business to stand at all unless he intends to see it through to the end. For my part, he has put me off Labour for ever.
Graham Shelton, Oxford England

An intelligent, friendly, well spoken family man that wants to work to guide our country to a better future
Andrew Willis, St.Albans
I think that Tony is always sincere, and proved it once again yesterday. He has constantly been asked questions about his position, so he had the courage and honesty to come out and tell the truth, even though no Prime Minister in modern politics had done so before. I liked him 7 years ago, I still like him now, and for the same reasons. An intelligent, friendly, well spoken family man that wants to work to guide our country to a better future. I hope you get better soon Tony.
Andrew Willis, St.Albans

If his party still want him, why not? It's their call, isn't it?
LJS, Stockport, UK

Blair is a clever enough politician to win the next election and go at a time of his own choosing. He is making sure that Brown is bypassed and that his successor is from his own wing of the party.
Phil Woodford, London, UK

From his oily and insincere services to the undermining of the already slight trust in politicians....
Phil Weatherley, Bournemouth UK
From his oily and insincere services to the undermining of the already slight trust in politicians and for leading the nation into war, he is eligible for prompt retirement. His lawyers love of substituting "forms of words" and spin for simple truth, his religious posturing and humbug all tend to qualify him for the exit. He would be better suited to TV work, in a soap opera perhaps, where his excruciating acting skills would be more appropriate.
Phil Weatherley, Bournemouth UK

Quite simply we have a stable economy, better schools and hospitals and lower crime. All this in no small part due to Blair. I'm glad he intends to serve a full third term when re-elected.
Stephen Corke, Sheffield, UK

He might state his intentions but I want him gone. He has long passed his sell by date! If we must have Labour in for a third term and I certainly don't want the Tories back, let's have Gordon Brown as PM. We might have some sanity restored.
Malcolm, York, UK

The best PM of my lifetime. All the people who criticise TB appear to have forgotten pre 1997. He is the only person who can keep Bush under control; let's hope the people who want him out don't get their wish.
Simon Fox, Doncaster/ South Yorks

Blair should be falling honourably on his sword
Richard Cooper, London UK
Blair's announcement is typical of his arrogance and lack of connection with the will of the country. If he had an ounce of humility and respect for the Labour party and the electorate at large, he would have long realised that he has been discredited, that he is a liability and that he has more than had his day. Far from announcing that he will go on and on, Blair should be falling honourably on his sword and allowing a democratic vote for a more sympathetic successor who will bring a fresh approach (but hopefully not fresh blood) to the government, the UK and the rest of the world.
Richard Cooper, London UK

I'm amazed by the support that Tony Blair is receiving from readers. What else does he have to do wrong before he's kicked out?
David, London

I think people have forgotten what high unemployment and acts of terrorism on our streets is like. Tony Blair does care and deserves a Third Term. If he did nothing about the terrorists he would be accused of being negligible, if he does he is a war-mongerer. He is an inspirational politician and when he is gone people will realise what an asset to the country he is and has been
David Power, Manchester UK

He is a determined strong leader and has the respect of leaders through out the world
Victoria, UK
I for one am glad that Tony has come out and made this statement. He has done things for this country that people just seem to forget about, he is a determined strong leader and has the respect of leaders through out the world. As much as people grumble about him I don't think they can honestly say that there is anyone from any opposition party that could do a better job. I know where I will be putting my cross on polling day and its Labour all the way.
Victoria, UK

What difference does it make. Our system of government is flawed anyway. Any system where a party can govern the country with less than 50% of the votes is flawed. It's about time we got Proportional Representation or something that at least tries to represent a majority of the population.
George Garratt, Wickford, UK

One has to question the wisdom of making the next election into a referendum on whether we want Blair for another five years - with his unpopularity and habit of exaggeration and making misleading statements he may just have lost Labour an election they would otherwise have won.
Tom, London

Blair should pass the baton to Gordon Brown, he's one of only a handful of Labour politicians with the integrity for the job.
Gary Mullins, Leicester

Alignment with the US is in Britain's best strategic interest
Andy Hardy, Chesham, Bucks
Tony Blair is the greatest post-war leader Britain has had. Under his and Gordon Browns combined leadership we have seen Britain do comparatively better than our neighbours through challenging economic times, whilst services have improved and are continuing to do so. He took us into the war in Iraq based on honest motives and has been brave enough also to be honest also about the problems with information used to make the decision. I believe the strategy of alignment with the US is in Britain's best strategic interest. Of course Tony Blair should stay! - and I wish him well with his medical problems.
Andy Hardy, Chesham, Bucks

The poor guy needs a break to regain his health. I don't think Blair has been fit to lead this country in the last few years. I am not a medic but I can see worrying symptoms of selective memory loss and blind sightedness. Lets hope we can find a hospital bed for him to recover in where he won't be at risk from the super bug.
A Siddiqui, London, UK

If they are elected and he resigns then that out-and-out socialist Gordon Brown will ruin us all in his quest for 'fairness'. Someone has to explain to him that he should be trying to lift those at the bottom of the wealth ladder, not trying to bring down those at the top.
Sanjeev, London, UK

Surely we vote for a party and its MPs? We know that parties can change their leaders mid-term. Mr Blair's concern that the electorate should know it is voting for him to serve a full term seems a little presidential.
Pete, London

Is it any wonder English people are upping sticks and fleeing the country
Claire Wiles, London
No he should not. I'm only 28 years but even I can see how this country has deteriorated over the past few years. More crime, dirty hospitals, hidden taxes. Is it any wonder English people are upping sticks and fleeing the country to a better life elsewhere in the world.
Claire Wiles, London

Claire Wiles should high-tail it off to La Belle France and see what life is like there. Unemployment has averaged 10% in France for more than 20 years. Happy with that Claire? Also a significant part of the French electorate voted for a Neo-Fascist candidate for president - Le Pen received 12% of the vote. Happy with that Claire? As for dirty hospitals, unlike the majority of the UK population I have had recent experience of both hospital systems. The bathroom at UCH London was absolutely immaculate. My mingy washing area in a hospital in Dijon was cleaned by one person: me, still tied to a drip. Those who drone on about how wonderful life is elsewhere should try it elsewhere. Not on holiday, but full-time, working, paying taxes and participating in domestic politics.
Deirdre Toomey, London/Cork

I think Tony Blair should stay as Prime Minister if re-elected. He would have to accept and sort out the shamble mess he and his party have created at home and abroad without being able to blame someone else. Could be interesting.
Mark Baillie, Southampton, England

I think Tony Blair has done the right thing to state his intentions. We will only know after the general election if he made a mistake or good move. His health is some concern, but the media blow it out of all proportion to what it is in reality.
Jenny Rothwell, Burgess Hill, UK

I think Mr Blair's comments were entirely correct. He hasn't said he's going to go on forever, but he's made it clear that if we vote for labour at the general election then he will be the leader for the next 5 years. This is much better than saying there will be a leadership election half way through, and we have no idea who will be leading the country for the remainder of the term.
Mark Woodward, Stoke-on-Trent, England

Retire Blair and let us have our country back and ran properly
Helen , Aberdeen Scotland
This is the epitome of arrogance on his part to assume he will get a chance at a third term. Heaven help us if this unstable guy is in charge of our country for another term. It will take an age to sort the wrongs he has inflicted on us already never mind the damage he can do with a further term of office. I find him gung-ho and lacking in professionalism. A Prime Minister who does not look before he leaps and is economical with the truth bodes for an extremely dangerous form of government. Where to next I shudder to think Bush and Blair may have Iran in their sights. Retire Blair and let us have our country back and ran properly! Tony Blair appears to be incapable of feeling shame which makes me wonder about his state of mind never mind his heart.
Helen , Aberdeen Scotland

Of course he should stay as Prime Minister. While he performs the thankless tasks off his office, under constant media vilification and harassment, it allows Gordon Brown to get on with running the country.
Colin, UK

Great Britain should be Centre stage in Europe and the World, there is only one man and party that have the passions of old strong leadership for us and that is Mr Blair and Labour.
Steve E, Ipswich UK

I find his statement both premature and arrogant
Andy, Cheshire, UK
Mr Blair is showing his true colours now, and I find his statement both premature and arrogant. As far as he's concerned, everything seems to evolve around him and his bubble reputation. More fool us, if we vote this power-hungry man in again.
Andy, Cheshire, UK

It is up to the Labour party to choose it's leader and to the general public to choose a Prime Minister, so we shall see come the General Election.
Lee Stenson, Doncaster, South Yorkshire

Maybe I am just a sceptic but could all this be an effort to undermine and take away attention from the Conservative Party conference?
Ruth, Telford UK

I expect whoever gets elected to serve a full term. If you don't want the job, you shouldn't stand in the first place.
Mark, Plymouth, UK

I don't believe that any democratically elected leader who goes to war the way he did in Iraq should be re-elected
Gary Edwards, Birmingham, UK
If he said that he wouldn't serve a third term then I would, without a doubt, vote Labour. I don't believe that any democratically elected leader who goes to war the way he did in Iraq should be re-elected. It's a shame because otherwise I think that both he and his cabinet have done a good job.
Gary Edwards, Birmingham, UK

I'm still hoping he'll be impeached for lying to Parliament and following the US into a war that has cost thousands of lives and bred a new generation of terrorists.
Nestor, Luton, UK

No. He is showing signs of the arrogant and non-listening attitude that characterised the last years of Mrs Thatcher's leadership. We all know how well that went for both the government and the country! Maybe the Americans understand something about human nature we don't by limiting their leaders to two terms only.
Helen, UK

I believe Blair is right to set out his future plans. He is seeking a mandate to be bold with reforms after the next election by stating the next term will be his last. This will greatly improve Labours chances at the election but then again it might send a signal to Gordon Brown that he may never be Prime Minister and prompt some dissent within his camp.
Tony Omotayo, London UK

Better for him to bow out now before a general election and let Brown take the reins
Chris, Portsmouth
Tony Blair will have the shadow of Iraq over his head for years to come. Even if the unlikely happens and its deemed a success, questions will always be asked. Better for him to bow out now before a general election and let Brown take the rains. This health scare gives him a good opportunity to do it without loosing face.
Chris, Portsmouth

If he does stand down after serving another term, and George Bush wins the presidential election, then I think it is rather fitting that both men would leave office around the same time. Somehow it would seem rather cruel to leave one of them standing alone!
John Walmsley, Liverpool, United Kingdom

I am delighted that Tony Blair will serve a full third term. It is my opinion that he is the greatest Prime Minister that this country has ever seen. Long live PM Tony!
Jo, London

At least this declaration sends a clear message to the electorate that they are voting for a Blair government at the next election rather than having the uncertainty of regime change mid-term. Whether this proves to be a wise move by Blair will only be confirmed after the polls close on election day!
Dan, Wokingham UK

Unlike many in this country, I trust Tony Blair more than any of the other lot in parliament to do the job of PM the best. Given the choice of him, Howard or Kennedy I know who I'd want.
Michael, London, UK

This statement will increase the anti-Blair opposition and make Labour's defeat at the next election more likely
John M, Lyne Meads, UK
If elected, he has every right to serve a full term but don't expect that to be the final whistle. He hasn't said he will step down only that he "intends to". However, this statement will increase the anti-Blair opposition and make Labour's defeat at the next election more likely. Many people may have voted Labour on the understanding that we might be rid of Blair shortly after the election.
John M, Lyne Meads, UK

It's another short-term tactic from Tony Blair, but its effect is to ensure that he'll be gone by the middle of the next parliament- if not before.
Steve, Edinburgh, Scotland

Of course Tony Blair should go on for a third term. He dwarfs all the other figures in British politics. The only other person is Brown, who by his scheming and his attempts to distance himself from unpopular government policy (something difficult to do as prime minister) has shown himself to be unfit for the office.
Ian, Oxford, UK

Absolutely. He is the best PM we've had for decades and I support him 100%. He was right to support (and restrain) President Bush in the war against terrorism, and his domestic policies have done much to achieve a fairer and more just society. In spite of inevitable accusations of 'spin', he now needs to do more to present his government's achievements in the positive light they deserve as we approach the next general election.
Jerry Hart, Leicester, UK

More self-satisfied presumptions from the self-styled "president"
Andy D, Oxford UK
More self-satisfied presumptions from the self-styled "president"! Has he forgotten (a) his party has to win an election or two and (b) maybe his party will decide he is an electoral liability on grounds of ill health or poor voter appeal? Hope he comes down to earth with a bump!
Andy D, Oxford UK

Perhaps Andy D from Oxford should have listened to Mr Blair more closely instead of relying on media sound bites. He stressed several times that his serving a third term was dependent on the wishes of the electorate and the party.
Andy, Reading, UK

Yes of course if the Labour party still want him as leader and if the British people elect him. Don't know why he would want to carry on though because it is a thankless job.
Hugh, UK

It's just spin, nobody believes a word he says anyway.
Stan, Canterbury, UK

I believe this is all being made public to enable Blair to have an opt out. If he loses the next election he can retire and claim ill health.
T Newman, Bournemouth UK

If Labour win a third term then the people will have decided that they want a further 4 years of Blair. Any other debate on this issue is waffle. He's made his position totally clear - no one can say they voted for Labour because they expected Blair to instantly hand over to Brown. Its a refreshingly "unspun" statement for once.
Peter, Nottingham UK

We could not hope - at the time being at least - for a more committed and passionate PM
David, Surrey, UK
I believe he should serve a third full term in office. He is a charismatic and extremely talented leader, and despite recent developments he remains strong and well-respected on the world stage. Is this important? Of course. He has done many great things for this country, and I believe we could not hope - at the time being at least - for a more committed and passionate PM.
David, Surrey, UK

The only term that Blair should be serving is a Prison Term for his illegal war in Iraq.
Peter Howe, Milton Keynes, England

Tony Blair has no domestic competition from the Tories or Lib Dems. Blair can rule on as he wishes and despite the well publicised criticism ask yourself - would Michael Howard have tackled these global issues any better? Probably not.
Matthew Higgins, Reading, UK

If elected of course he should, but I would prefer he stand aside before the next election.
Ian, UK

I vote for a leader, not just a party
Greg Gorrill, London
I vote for a leader, not just a party - naive perhaps, but I want to have a strong head of our country and I would not vote for a party if the leader was going to change soon.
Greg Gorrill, London

May I start by saying that I wish Mr. Blair a successful heart procedure today. It is too late for the Labour Party to change leadership now. I rather suspect that he will leave office about two years after the Labour Party secures a third term, irrespective of what he said yesterday. Sadly, there is no effective opposition to the Labour Party.
Kehinde Oduyemi, Dundee, Scotland



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