61% think Britain a better place for gay people
A damning opinion poll on Tony Blair’s ten years as Prime Minister has produced a few positive results, among them the finding that nearly two-thirds of people think Britain is a better country for LGB people to live in.
The poll in Sunday’s Observer contained little good news for the Prime Minister.
A poll of 2,034 adults taken last month found that the majority did not think that his flagship policies on crime and the NHS had worked.
69% thought Britain a more dangerous country now than in 1997 and 58% disagreed that it was happier.
45% thought the Blair government’s performance in education as poor or very poor and more than half rated the government’s performance on the NHS as poor or very poor.
57% thought Mr Blair has remained in office too long.
The poll will make grim reading for Chancellor Gordon Brown, who has overseen record levels of investment in schools and health services.
He is expected to succeed Mr Blair when he stands down as Prime Minister just after the elections for the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly on May 3rd.
Council elections in England will be held on the same day.
The Labour party is widely expected to lose control of the Scottish Parliament, with their main rivals the Scottish National Party leading them by as much as 12% in some polls.
“The big problem we have got on the doorstep in Scotland is the SNP and the Lib Dems, and the Tories going round hammering home the message “This is your last chance to give Tony Blair a kicking”,” a senior Brown ally told The Observer.
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Political analysts said that the majorities who thought that Britain was a better country for gay people (61%) and for ethnic groups (51%) could also have a negative effect, as it gives the impression that Labour has “looked after” minorities.
The poll gave the Conservatives an 11% lead over Labour nationally.
Last month Tony Blair spoke at a fundraising dinner for Stonewall supporters.
Representatives of leading UK businesses were in attendance as the Prime Minister spoke about the changes in British society since he came to office in 1997.
“By removing prejudice and discrimination, and by enabling people to stand proud as what they are, it has had an impact that I think is far more profound in the way the country thinks about itself.
“If you allow discrimination to fester, that is a complete rejection of that modernising and civilising notion,” he told the assembled crowd of nearly 500 diners.