Days after the drubbing the party received in the British local elections, a majority of Labour voters want Prime Minister Gordon Brown to resign and make way for a more electable alternative.
Wednesday's Populus poll for The Times showed a dramatic collapse of confidence in Brown's leadership, barely in the top office for less than a year, with 55 per cent of the voters saying that the party would be more likely to win the next general election if Brown resigned 'to make way for a younger, fresher, more charismatic alternative'.
Brown's personal rating has dropped sharply, along with that of Labour, and he now trails the Conservative leader David Cameron and the Liberal Democrats chief Nick Clegg in the leadership stakes.
Brown's leader rating on a zero to 10 scale has dropped sharply from 4.50 to 4.08 in a month -- well below the other leaders. His rating among those saying they will vote Labour at the next election has fallen to 5.68 from 6.26 in April and 6.72 in March.
Labour lost the London mayoralty -- Ken Livingstone losing to Conservative Boris Johnson -- and 331 council seats in their worst electoral showing in four decades. Labour members of Parliament returned to Westminster in despair, fearing another setback in the Crewe & Nantwich by-election on May 22, which Cameron has decided to make a test of his credibility.
Brown went into the elections suffering severe criticism over his botched tax reforms, the government's recent economic record, a wave of industrial unrest and increasing doubts about his personality and ability to lead.
Other key findings from the poll, conducted between May 2 and 4, included that support for Labour has fallen by four points in a month to 29 per cent.
The Tories have gained one point to 40 per cent; their lead of 11 points is the largest in the five years of Populus polls. The Liberal Democrats are two points up at 19 per cent, with other parties one point ahead at 12 per cent.