HUNDREDS of York residents are expected to take part in a survey that will offer a revealing snapshot into public attitudes to war with Iraq.

York academic Professor Roy Carr-Hill is leading the poll, which focuses on the build-up to war and the effect fighting will have on race relations in England.

He has teamed up with statistician John Bibby, of York's Mathemagic group, which works to encourage science learning, to create and monitor the project.

The anonymous surveys are also being sent to hundreds of residents chosen at random from the electoral role in Ealing, west London, and Bradford.

Prof Carr-Hill, who is a member of the University of London's Institute of Education, said the survey, which is being sent to more than 1,500 people, will help gauge the potential social impact of war.

"Because of the nature of this war and the way it is being directed, we have no idea what effect it will have on race relations in England," he said.

Mr Bibby said the three cities had been chosen because of their differing ethnic populations, which include groups of Muslims and Sikhs.

He said: "The key aims are to focus on attitudes to war and to follow a group of people to see if those attitudes change once the fighting starts."

Prof Carr-Hill said the poll would give residents the opportunity to have their say on matters which are often overlooked by national opinion polls.

The survey questions participants on the role of the UN in the build up to war, the aims of any war and the reaction of UK residents to fighting, casualties and western military leaders.

Updated: 10:40 Monday, March 10, 2003