London : British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s woes deepened Wednesday as it emerged a majority of Labour supporters feel the party would be better off if he stood down.
As the fallout from the 10 pence tax row continued to dog the Prime Minister, he was today under pressure to make way for a younger, more charismatic leader, according to a survey in The Times newspaper.
The belief that he should quit, among 55 percent of Labour voters, was revealed in the poll as he faced tough criticism from a former Cabinet colleague.
Former Home Secretary Charles Clarke attacked Brown for using the wrong tactics and complained that short-term errors were “eroding confidence in Labour’s competence.” “We should finish with language such as British jobs for British workers’, which flatter some of the most chauvinistic and backward-looking parts of British society,” Clarke said.
Brown is also still under intense pressure to do more to reassure voters that they will not lose out from the abolition of the 10 pence income tax rate.
Today’s “Populus” poll for The Times showed that support for Labour had plunged four points to 29 percent in the last month.
The main opposition Conservatives were up on 40 percent, giving leader David Cameron the biggest Conservative lead in the five years of the Populus series of polls. The smaller opposition Liberal Democrats were up two points on 19 percent.
But it is the findings on the leaders that will alarm Number 10 more, with Brown’s leadership rating on the slide among all voters and running behind those of Cameron and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, commentators said.
Some 55 percent of Labour voters say the party would be more likely to beat the Conservatives at the next General Election if Brown resigned “to make way for a younger, fresher, more charismatic alternative.” The number of people trusting Brown and Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance Secretary) Alastair Darling most to deal with the present economic difficulties has also slumped from 43 percent in mid-March to 30 percent now.