Only a quarter of voters regard Iraq war as successful

By staff writers
February 4, 2010

The war in Iraq has been largely unsuccessful, according to nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of the British public. Only just over a quarter (29 per cent) said that they regarded the war as largely a success.

The figures, published yesterday (3 February), have been interpreted as further evidence of the war’s unpopularity.

The poll, conducted by ComRes on behalf of the Independent, also revealed that nearly two in five British adults (37 per cent) want Tony Blair to be tried for war crimes, while just over half (57 per cent) disagree.

Amongst those voters planning to vote Labour, 27 per cent believe that the former Prime Minister should be tried. Age also seems to make a difference, with 46 per cent of 18-24-year-olds supporting a trial.

Blair’s critics say he has broken international law by invading an independent country without United Nations backing. When questioned by the Chilcot Inquiry last week, Blair admitted that the Attorney General, Peter Goldsmith, had advised that the war would be illegal before changing his mind only shortly before the invasion began.

At the Inquiry earlier this week, the former International Development Secretary, Clare Short, said that Goldsmith had been pressurised by Blair into altering his advice at the last moment.

She was the first of Chilcot’s witnesses explicitly to call Blair a liar, saying “I’m not saying he was insincere. I think he was willing to be deceitful about it because he thought it was right.”

Worryingly for the current Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, 60 per cent of respondents to the poll believe that he should share responsibility for the Iraq war with Tony Blair, while 34 per cent disagree. Brown was Chancellor of the Exchequer at the time of the invasion.

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