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News ::
Support for war falls to new low (english)
21 Jan 2003
Support among British voters for military action against Iraq has slumped six points in the last month
Alan Travis, home affairs editor
Tuesday January 21, 2003
The Guardian

Support among British voters for military action against Iraq has slumped six points in the last month to its lowest level since pollsters ICM began regularly tracking opinion on the question for the Guardian last summer.

This month's Guardian/ICM survey shows that outright opposition to the war has risen to 47%, the highest level on any poll since last August.

The survey results also show that an overwhelming 81% of British voters now agree with the international development secretary, Clare Short, that a fresh United Nations mandate is essential before a military attack is launched on Saddam Hussein.

The ICM poll shows that Britain's citizens are not yet gripped by fear that they or their immediate family are likely to be a victim of a terrorist attack.

However, about half the population say they are personally anxious about the prospect, with most saying they are "fairly worried" rather than "very worried".

The poll data shows that those most anxious about the terrorist threat in Britain tend to be women who are older and poorer.

The results of the tracker question on an Iraq war shows that opposition to a war has risen steadily from 37% in October to 47% now. Over the same period support for military action has fallen from a peak of 42% to only 30% now.

Among Labour voters opposition to the war has strengthened to 43%, with 38% in favour. Even among Conservative voters, more oppose the war than support it, at 41% against and 38% for.

The ICM poll also strongly vindicates Charles Kennedy's decision to come out with a strong anti-war position as 62% of Liberal Democrat voters say they oppose military action and only 19% are in favour.

The results continue to show a gender split with a majority of women, 52%, now opposed to war compared with 41% of men.

The war tracker poll sends a clear message to Tony Blair that the overwhelming majority of British voters - 81% - now believe that a fresh UN resolution is essential before a military attack is launched, and not just "preferable" as the prime minister has said.

Even two-thirds of those who support military action say they believe a fresh UN mandate is necessary, and only 10% of those polled believe that the war should start regardless of whether or not it has explicit new backing from the UN security council.
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