"GORDON Brown's hopes of winning the next election as Labour leader suffered a setback yesterday when a new poll showed a strong English backlash against the idea of a Scottish Prime Minister.
The BBC poll found that most voters in England believe Scottish MPs should be barred from becoming Prime Minister, with the highest level of antagonism in the south-east of England.
The Chancellor is expected to take over from Tony Blair in the next 18 months, with the latest estimates forecasting a handover at the start of next year's summer recess.
That would give Mr Brown about a year to stamp his authority on the government and the Labour Party before the next general election.
But the BBC poll, conducted by ICM, suggests that Mr Brown will fail to win the election because of an anti-Scottish backlash in England.
Across the UK, 52 per cent of respondents said it was wrong for an MP north of the Border to become Prime Minister now Scotland has its own parliament.
Forty-five per cent said they did not mind a Scottish MP becoming Prime Minister, with 3 per cent undecided. The percentage of those objecting to the idea of a Scottish Prime Minister was 55 per cent for England and 59 per cent in the south-east, and 20 per cent in Scotland."