Margaret Thatcher Still Number 1 in Poll of British MPs

Margaret Thatcher Still Number 1 in Poll of British MPs

The late Baroness Thatcher has topped yet another popularity poll, further cementing her claim as Britain’s best post-war prime minister. 

Members of the UK Parliament (MPs) resoundingly backed the conservative prime minister’s tenure, according to polling from February that indicated that despite left-wing rhetoric and revisionism, Margaret Thatcher is still the most revered post-war prime minister that Britain has seen.

Thatcher, whose legacy includes leading Britain out of economic turmoil, staring down the rampantly corrupt trade unions, and partnering with Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul in seeing off the Soviet Union was revealed to be a cross-party hero, with British MPs rating her the most successful prime minister since the end of the Second World War.

When asked by a survey to rank prime ministers out of ten, the MPs put the former conservative leader in top place (7.4), followed by Labour’s Clement Attlee (7.3), Tony Blair (6.8), Winston Churchill (6.5), Harold Macmillan (6.1), Harold Wilson (5.8), John Major (5.3), James Callaghan (4.4), Edward Heath (4.4), Alec Douglas-Home (4.0), Anthony Eden (3.7), and, lastly, the calamitous Gordon Brown (3.3).

MPs were also asked to select the three most important characteristics they felt a prime minister should display. Decisiveness was ranked top (77%), while principle came in second (68%), intelligence third (49%), and honesty fourth (32%). Prime Minister Thatcher embodied the traits thought to be most desirable, leading to her topping the poll.

MPs also thought a leader must be energetic (19%), collegiate (14%), compassionate (10%), creative (10%), ruthless (8%), tolerant (5%), friendly (2%), and cautious (1%).

Dr. Nicolas Allen of Royal Holloway University, who conducted the research, said: “It’s not surprising that MPs perceive Thatcher, Attlee and Blair to be the most successful prime ministers. Attlee and Thatcher both presided over fundamental shifts in British politics, while Blair, like Thatcher, was a proven election winner. When it comes to winning big majorities, David Cameron still has much to prove.”

Baroness Thatcher passed away on April 8, 2013. Her life and accomplishments are to be celebrated by the opening of the Margaret Thatcher Centre, a museum and educational institution currently seeking further financial backing, with hopes of opening in 2014.