One-Fourth of Conservatives in Parliament Want Thatcher to Quit, Polls Find

From Times Wire Services

About one-fourth of the Conservative members of Parliament believe Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher should resign before the next election, according to polls published Sunday in two newspapers.

The surveys in the Sunday editions of the Times of London and the Independent are the latest signs of growing discontent with the Thatcher government.

The Sunday Times said it questioned 100 Conservative members of Parliament and that 10 said Thatcher should resign now. Eighteen believe she should step down just before the next election, which must be held by mid-1992.

The newspaper said 59 lawmakers responded that Thatcher should remain in office until after the election. The remaining 13 believe it is up to her to decide.

The Independent said that, of the 171 Conservative lawmakers it surveyed, 41 want Thatcher to resign before the next election.

Thatcher, on a visit to Scotland, dismissed as "poppycock" reports that some Cabinet ministers are plotting to unseat her.

The polls capped a week of national protests against a new system of taxation, under which each adult in a local district must pay the same amount for municipal services.

Opposition to the tax, along with rising inflation and 15% mortgage-interest rates, have helped put the opposition Labor Party ahead.

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