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Wednesday, 12 February, 2003, 09:23 GMT
Poll gloom for Blair on Iraq
Iraqi soldier in front of a Saddam Hussein poster
The prospect of war with Iraq is looming
A poll carried out for the BBC has underlined Tony Blair's view that he has a lot of persuading to do if he is to rally public support for his tough approach to Iraq.

Fewer than one out of every 10 Britons believe it would be right for the country to take part in a war against Iraq without the UN passing a new resolution in favour of it, the survey suggests.

And 45% of people polled said the UK should play no part in a war on Iraq - whatever the UN decides.

Tony Blair
Tony Blair has been repeatedly grilled over Iraq
The poll was commissioned as part of the BBC's Iraq: Britain Decides day, featuring programmes and events reflecting views and opinions on the possible war in the Gulf.

The prime minister has suggested there are circumstances in which he would go to war without the UN.

But only 17% of the Labour voters asked agreed it would be right without a new UN mandate.

Conservative voters are even less inclined to back the prime minister, the ICM poll of 1,000 people suggests - more then half of them say he would do anything US President George W Bush asks.

Three out of every five Britons think the UK and US Governments have failed to prove their case that Iraqi president Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction, the research indicates.

Oil scepticism

And half the people asked agreed with France and Germany that three times the present number of inspectors should be sent to Iraq to look for them.

When the survey asked why Britain and America wanted to attack Iraq, the most popular response was: "To secure oil supplies."

Fewer than one out of every four said it was to eliminate weapons of mass destruction.

And just one out of every five thought it was to prevent another act of international terrorism "like 11 September".

Almost three out of every four Britons believe a war against Saddam would damage relations with Muslims in the UK, according to the poll.

And it indicates that nearly as many (64%) think it would fail to deter other countries from developing weapons of mass destruction.

Iraq: Britain Decides programme will be broadcast on BBC1 at 2030GMT>


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12 Feb 03 | Politics
11 Feb 03 | Europe
11 Feb 03 | Talking Point
15 Jan 01 | Middle East
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