Blair Support Falls to 34{cd9ac3671b356cd86fdb96f1eda7eb3bb1367f54cff58cc36abbd73c33c82e1d} in UK Poll

Tampa Bay Tribune

London, United Kindgom (AP) – Prime Minister Tony Blair’s popularity has slumped amid concern over the Iraq crisis, according to an opinion poll published Monday.

The British prime minister was rated as satisfactory by only 35 percent of respondents to an ICM Survey for The Guardian newspaper. The figure was down from 49 percent a month earlier.

Fifty-five percent said they were dissatisfied, up 12 points from January. The other 10 percent expressed no opinion.

Blair is staking his political future on backing the United States against Iraq, despite considerable opposition from Britons to war without United Nations backing.

An estimated 750,000 peace demonstrators marched in London on Saturday as part of a global anti-war protest. Politicians, trade unionists and some British newspapers said Sunday that Blair will risk his political future if he ignores the protests.

According to the poll, 52 percent of respondents oppose a war with Iraq, up five percentage points from last month. The poll did not indicate if that opposition depended on U.N. backing for military action. Twenty-nine percent said they would support military action, down one point.

Support for Blair’s governing Labor Party fell from 43 percent to 39 percent, according to the survey. Support for the main opposition Conservative Party, however, rose only one percentage point to 31 percent, as it did for the Liberal Democrats, which stood at 22 percent.

ICM interviewed a random sample of 1,003 adults by telephone on Feb. 14-16. The margin of error was plus or minus three percentage points.

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