London: Gordon Brown has been rated as one
of the worst post World War II prime ministers in Britain,
according to a new survey of academics specialising in
politics and history since 1945.
The survey of 106 UK-based academics was run by
Professor Kevin Theakston (University of Leeds) and Mark Gill
This new survey is the first poll to include Gordon
Brown as leader and builds on a similar survey conducted by
Theakston and Gill in 2004, which rated all 20th century prime
As in 2004, Labour's Clement Attlee is rated as the
most successful prime minister with a mean rating (out of 10)
of 8.1; and both Margaret Thatcher (on 6.9) and Tony Blair (on
6.4) are highly rated.
Alec Douglas-Home (PM for only a year) and Anthony
Eden (destroyed by the Suez crisis) still languish at the
bottom of the prime-ministerial league table, as in the 2004
Churchill had been ranked as the second most effective
20th-century PM in the 2004 poll but here he slips down to a
'mid-table' position, based on evaluations of his 1950s
The Great War leader was seen by respondents as less
successful as a peacetime leader.
John Major's rating improved a little since 2004 - up
from a 3.7 score to 4.6, and he has overtaken Edward Heath in
the league table.
Both Gordon Brown and James Callaghan were Labour PMs
for three years at times of economic crisis; both followed
successful election-winning leaders (Blair and Wilson); and
both lost the only election they fought as leaders.
But Callaghan is rated more highly than Brown and is
in a higher position in the table.
First Published: Tuesday, August 03, 2010, 15:49