Support for Iraq war plummets

A new ICM poll for the Guardian has found that “fewer than half’ of voters now think that the Iraq war to oust Saddam Hussein from power was justified.

The poll found, for the first time, that a majority of Brits are now opposed to the military action.

Support for US-led military action has dropped from 63 per cent, witnessed in the days after the war ended, to 51 per cent in July and now to September’s record low of 38 per cent. 53 per cent of respondents says war was unjustified.

But the Blair administration still holds a five-point lead over the Tories. The Liberal Democrats – building on last week’s Brent East by-election victory – saw their ratings rocket upwards.

Charles Kennedy’s party is up six points on last month, standing at 28 per cent – a mere two points behind the Conservatives. It is the Lib Dems highest in the poll for 14 years.

Support for Labour’s management of the economy has also dwindled. Only 29 per cent of interviewees backed Labour’s handling of the economy in March, down from the 47 per cent in March.

ICM interviewed a random sample of 1,002 adults by telephone between September 19-21.

Yesterday, a MORI poll in the FT found the Lib Dems eating into the Tories’ popularity. Though Labour had a nine per cent lead over the Tories, the Liberal Democrats were gaining on the official opposition. Labour stood solid on 40 per cent, the Tories on 31 per cent and the Lib Dems 21 per cent.