Following Communicate Research’s poll at the weekend, ICM’s latest figures also show public disapproval of Tony Blair’s close relationship with President Bush. 63% of respondents thought that Blair had tied Britain too closely to the US. This included 54% of Labour supporters and 68% of Conservative voters (though this is likely to be largely a politically partisan answer – generally speaking Conservative voters are more pro-American than those of other parties). 83% of Liberal Democrat voters, who tend to be most anti-American, thought the present relationship between Britain and the USA was too close.

There is little support for Israel’s present actions – only 22% of people think that Israel’s bombing of Lebanon is proportional, while 61% think she has overreacted.

The poll also showed support for the war in Iraq dropping to a new post-war low – 36% of people now say the war was justified, compared to 51% who say it was unjustified (the wording of ICM’s question, which specificially mentions the removal of Saddam Hussein as a war objective, means that their figures show much higher support for the war than other pollsters. The downwards trend in support though is the same for all companies figures). 36% of people think that Britain’s contining presence in Iraq is making the situation worse, compared to only 19% who think the progress is being made. The comparable figures in Afghanistan are 29% and 23%.

Overall 69% of people think that Britain’s armed forces are now overstretched.


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