Almost half of voters want Osborne out: poll

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 27, 2012 8:57 PM

LONDON (Reuters) - Nearly half of British voters believe George Osborne should be removed from his post of finance minister in the forthcoming cabinet reshuffle, an opinion poll showed on Tuesday.

Osborne is under pressure to ditch his hard line austerity program in favor of growth measures to keep Britain's economy from sinking deeper into a double-dip recession.

Speculation that Osborne may be replaced by foreign minister William Hague was supported by an ICM poll for the left-leaning Guardian newspaper, which found that 48 percent of voters think he should lose his job in the reshuffle.

Of voters that supported the Conservative Party in 2010, 44 percent believe Osborne is doing a bad job, while 43 percent believe he is doing a good one.

Hague, meanwhile, enjoys stronger support in the poll, with just over 21 percent of voters of the opinion that the foreign minister should lose his job in the reshuffle, for which there is not yet a fixed date.

Prime Minister David Cameron is widely expected to keep Osborne in his post because he is his closest cabinet ally and seen to play an indispensable role in the day-to-day running of the government.

(Reporting by Stephen Mangan; editing by Todd Eastham)