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Last Updated: Monday, 3 September 2007, 16:25 GMT 17:25 UK
Majority believe Iraq war 'lost'
Convoy of British military vehicles leaving Basra city
British troops have withdrawn from Basra palace
More than two-thirds of the British public think UK troops are losing the war in Iraq, a survey suggests.

The poll, conducted for BBC Two's Newsnight programme, indicated that 52% believe victory is impossible.

A further 17% of the 1,001 people questioned thought British troops were losing - but could eventually win.

The survey comes as 550 British troops completed their withdrawal from the palace in the south Iraqi city of Basra to join 5,000 troops at Basra airport.

Asked "On balance, do you think British troops are winning the war in Iraq or not?" only 12% thought British troops were winning.

The poll indicated support for an immediate withdrawal of forces - with 42% saying Gordon Brown should take all of Britain's troops out of Iraq as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, 27% of those surveyed believed British troops should remain for as long as the Iraqi authorities wanted them.

About 22% said some troops should be withdrawn before the end of this year, with the remaining troops the following year.

On the issue of security, 20% thought British forces were making the situation better, 33% said they were making it worse and 37% believed they made no difference.

The poll was carried out between 31 August and 2 September by polling agency ORB.




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