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Last Updated: Friday, 18 November 2005, 19:22 GMT
Party faithful query Blair future
Tony Blair in the House of Commons
Tony Blair suffered his first Commons defeat as prime minister
Prime Minister Tony Blair has received a mixed reaction in a BBC survey of Labour Party constituency chairs.

One in four want him to resign as leader within the next year, although two thirds of the 150 people questioned said he was an asset to the party.

Mr Blair has repeatedly restated his intention to serve a full third term.

The BBC's Reeta Chakrabarti says this result is significant because constituency party chairmen and women are among the most loyal.

The survey for BBC Radio Five Live follows Mr Blair's first House of Commons defeat as prime minister last week over terror laws.

The study by the BBC's Political Research Unit found 37 of those questioned, or just under a quarter, wanted Mr Blair to resign within a year.

When asked whether Mr Blair was an asset to the Labour Party, two-thirds of constituency chairmen and women were able to say that he was.

Twenty of those surveyed said Mr Blair was a liability, while 27 declined to answer the question.

Increased pressure

The BBC's Reeta Chakrabarti said the party chairmen and women are traditionally among the last to desert a sitting prime minister.

The prime minister has said he will serve a full third term and then stand down before the next general election, due at any time up to May 2010.

However, his government's defeat over plans to allow police to detain terror suspects for up to 90 days without charge is seen as almost inevitably increasing pressure for his departure to come sooner rather than later.

Mr Blair has said he is not prepared to back down over planned public service reforms despite opposition from some Labour MPs.


SEE ALSO:
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Blair defeat MPs: Heroes or villains?
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10 Nov 05 |  UK Politics
Blair says MPs are out of touch
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