British opinion poll backs calls for Brown to step down

September 19th, 2008 - 3:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Gordon Brown London, Sep 19 (DPA) An opinion poll published Friday showed that a majority of supporters of Britain’s ruling Labour Party want Prime Minister Gordon Brown to stand down as leader.The poll, published by The Independent newspaper, found that 54 percent of Labour supporters would prefer someone else to lead them into the next general election, due by 2010.

The findings among rank-and-file Labour Party members are likely to increase the pressure on Brown ahead of Labour’s annual party conference starting this weekend.

A number of junior members of government this week called for the conference to vote on having a leadership contest, but the move was rejected by Labour’s ruling body, the National Executive Committee (NEC).

More than half of those asked - 57 percent - said there should be a vote at the conference on whether Brown should face a leadership election.

Some 45 percent believed that changing the party’s leader before the next election would improve Labour’s prospects, while 28 percent thought it would worsen them.

The poll - conducted by, an online forum for the Labour grassroots - also gave a dismal rating of Brown’s personal performance.

Asked to rate cabinet ministers on a scale of 1 to 10, Labour members and supporters gave Brown an average of 4.3 points.

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