Gordon Brown 3rd worst British PM: Survey
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Last Updated: Tuesday, August 03, 2010, 15:49
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 (Woodnewton Associates).

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 ministers.

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 survey.

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 administration only.

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

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