A majority of the public believes that Gordon Brown should share the blame with Tony Blair for the Iraq war, according to a ComRes survey for The Independent. The poll also found that almost four in 10 people believe that Mr Blair should face a war crimes trial over the 2003 invasion.
Asked whether Mr Brown should share responsibility with Mr Blair for the war, 60 per cent of people agree and 34 per cent disagree. More than half (52 per cent) of Labour supporters agree with this statement, along with 68 per cent of Tory voters and 62 per cent of Liberal Democrat supporters.
The finding is a setback for the Prime Minister, who will give evidence to the Chilcot inquiry into the war in the next few weeks. His allies had hoped that the conflict would be seen as “Blair’s war”.
Some 37 per cent of people believe that Mr Blair should be put on trial for going to war with Iraq, while 57 per cent disagree. Those who support a trial include more than one in four (27 per cent) of Labour supporters.
Younger people are the most hostile towards the former Prime Minister. Some 46 per cent of 18-24 year-olds and 43 per cent of 25-34 year-olds agree that he should face a trial, compared to less than one in four of those aged 65 and over. The C2 skilled manual workers and the bottomed DE social groups are the most likely to support a trial, while the top AB group is the least likely to agree.
According to ComRes, the passage of time has done little to change the public’s view of the Iraq conflict. Only three in 10 people (29 per cent) regard the war as largely a success, while 63 per cent do not. More men (35 per cent) view it as a success than women (23 per cent). Labour and Tory supporters are more likely than Liberal Democrat voters to see it as successful.
A majority of people believes the Chilcot inquiry is not shedding new light on the events of 2003. Some 68 per cent agree that the investigation has “told us nothing we didn’t already know about the reasons for going to war,” while 24 per cent disagree.