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Last Updated: Friday, 6 May, 2005, 00:31 GMT 01:31 UK
Iraq factor

By Mark Mardell
Chief political correspondent

POSTED: Friday 5 May, 0130BST

Labour strategists are bracing themselves for a very bad night in the South East, but say they think things will be brighter for them in the marginals of the Midlands and the North.

They admit that this is a probably the Iraq factor. It's terrible news for Tony Blair because obviously it's the South where he was considered to have special appeal.

My hunch is that there will be a lot of mobile phone conversations among senior Labour people about what this means for his leadership.

Serve a full term? Blair is damaged goods. I think Labour should return him to sender. Hail Gordon Brown, Chancellor and PM thereafter.
Andy Sithole, Upminster, UK

I commend Tony Blair for standing up to incessant vilification from the Tory Party and the Tory press and not once stooping to the politics of the sub-gutter.
Ken Jones, Stockton on Tees, UK

The poisoned chalice is more than just the referendum on Europe, it is also the economy. I foresee a much bigger shake up than can be imagined over the next two years, with Gordon perhaps a scape goat and not a successor as has been presumed.
R Davies, Cardiff, UK

Not a chance he will see it through. He will pass the poisoned chalice that is the referendum on the European Constitution to Gordon.
Emma, North Shields, UK

If he said he'll serve a full term I believe he'll do just that.
Mark Goodwin, Rochdale, UK

I'm finding it a bit peculiar that hostility to TB is always attributed to the 'Iraq factor', as though that were the only reason conceivable. He's such a darling, is he not.
Ysabel Howard, Richmond (Surrey)

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