Half of all British voters want Prime Minister Tony Blair to quit before 2007, with nearly two fifths feeling he should go immediately, according to a poll published on Saturday.
Some 38 per cent of all voters want him to step down now, while 12 per cent want him gone by the end of the year, the survey in The Guardian newspaper showed.
A further 12 per cent want him to quit before the May 2007 Scottish and Welsh elections, and six per cent want him to go soon after.
However, 21 per cent want him to break his word on leaving within 12 months and instead stay to fight the next general election, due in May 2010 at the very latest.
Blair has endured a torrid week with eight junior members of the government resigning in an attempt to force him into naming a departure date.
That sparked a bitter round of infighting and jockeying for position, with the hot favourite to succeed Blair, his finance minister Gordon Brown, sustaining a battering from Blair loyalists desperate to stop him from inheriting the leadership.
A separate poll in The Guardian found that 33 per cent reckon Brown would give Labour the best chance of winning the next general election, but 52 per cent preferred "someone else", adding credence to the "anyone but Gordon" mood among Blair's supporters.
Another poll found that 66 per cent thought it would be better for Labour if there was a leadership contest, while 25 per cent said they would prefer if someone simply took over from Blair.