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EXCLUSIVE Times poll reveals: GORDON MUST GO

PUBLISHED: 12:01 31 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:06 25 August 2010

PRIME Minister Gordon Brown should leave Number 10 and call a general election, readers told a Times straw poll.

PRIME Minister Gordon Brown should leave Number 10 and call a general election, readers told a Times straw poll.

As humiliating blunders leave Mr Brown plummeting in popularity, 59 per cent of Bexley residents surveyed told us they want fresh blood in Number 10.

The poll was held on Monday, as Labour MPs started to openly call for their leader to quit following a series of bungles, including the scrapped 10p tax rate.

Of 105 people approached, 59 per cent said Mr Brown should leave office now and call a general election.

Twenty-three percent said the former 'Iron Chancellor' should stay, and 15 per cent said they didn't care.

Three per cent of those quizzed didn't know who the Prime Minister was.

Janet Smith, 62, from Sidcup, said: "I think he should go because they have made so many changes without thinking them through.

"They're playing with fire because with the rises in fuel prices, elderly people are finding it very difficult to cope. I think he should call a general election."

Last Thursday the beleaguered Prime Minister watched his party lose a former Labour stronghold in the Glasgow East by-election.

Pundits have taken the defeat, along with others around the country, as a sign of the public's loss of confidence in Mr Brown.

However, John Austin, MP for Thamesmead and Erith, said he couldn't see anyone "being foolish enough" to challenge the unelected Prime Minister in a leadership contest.

The Labour backbencher said: "I don't think he is as unpopular as the polls say.

"We're clearly suffering a period of economic downturn and he has to keep his nerve.

"The problem that has come over from America is that appearance of politicians is more important than their substance."

In a ComRes online poll, carried out during the Glasgow East election, Labour took 24 per cent support, compared to the Conservatives' 46 per cent. David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, said the Prime Minister suffered due to his "dour" personality.

He said: "He has no charisma. I have been a Member of Parliament for 25 years, much like him, and yet I still don't know him very well."

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

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