George Osborne has peaked in unpopularity according to a fresh poll, with just under half of voters wanting the Chancellor replaced in David Cameron's widely-expected Cabinet reshuffle.
Mr Osborne has now become more unpopular than Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who has a performance rating of minus 26 to his Treasury colleague's minus 32, a Guardian/ICM study found.
David Cameron is shown to have a slender lead ahead of Ed Miliband, with the Prime Minister receiving a rating of minus 12 to the Labour leader's minus 13 in a survey.
Overall, 48% voters believe Mr Osborne should be ousted from No 11 but that rises to 52% among pensioners and 53% for the 35 to 64 age group.
The Guardian has labelled Osborne a 'liability' to the Tories in light of the latest poll. However Conservative supporters at the last election are divided over his performance with 44% believing he is doing a bad job and 43% saying he is doing a good job.
Critics have slammed the Chancellor for his failure to kick-start the UK's floundering economy. He's also been at the helm of a budget that sparked a series of U-turns. The government was forced into a series of embarrassing climbdowns over a pasty tax, fuel duty and the 'granny tax' prompting Miliband's accusation of an 'omnishambles'.
Whitehall mandarins have been reported in favour of William Hague's appointment to the Chancellorship, with Osborne to take over Hague's foreign secretary role. Senior Tory figures are beginning to support the job swap, reported the Guardian. Cameron is expected to seek advice over the cabinet reshuffle after returning from his holiday in Cornwall.
Aviation policy is also expected to drive the new job postings, with a row breaking out over the expansion of Heathrow. On Wednesday senior Conservative Tim Yeo goaded David Cameron over the expansion of Heathrow airport, urging him to decide if he is "a man or a mouse".
ICM Research interviewed 1,006 adults by telephone between August 24 and 26.