Thatcher more popular than Winston Churchill: UK poll

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - 17:44

London: Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is Britain`s most popular prime minister since the Second World War, unexpectedly eclipsing even Winston Churchill, according to a poll.

Thatcher, who died on Monday aged 87 after a series of strokes, was named as the best of the 13 prime ministers since 1945 by 28 per cent of people, the poll conducted by The Sun said.

The YouGov poll of 1,893 adults declared her the nation`s favourite prime minister.

Churchill - Britain`s leader during the Second World War and again from 1951 to 1955 - was in second place with 24 per cent of the vote, and Tony Blair in third with 10 per cent.

Thatcher was regarded as a "great" or "good" prime minister by 52 per cent of people, while 30 per cent deemed her "poor" or "terrible".

Almost half of those polled (48 per cent) felt she left Britain economically better off, while 60 per cent felt she left it more respected in the world.

More than half (51 per cent) believed she created more opportunities for women, but just 36 per cent declared she left society more free, and almost half (49 per cent) said she left a less equal society.

Thatcher gladly adopted the moniker of the "Iron Lady" and 72 per cent of those polled felt she stuck to what she believed in, with 66 per cent saying she was a strong leader and 59 per cent saying she was a decisive prime minister, The Sun said.

People also voted her being elected as Britain`s first female prime minister as her greatest achievement, followed by winning the Falklands War and defeating the miners` strike and limiting the power of the unions.

But the introduction of the hated poll tax was deemed her greatest failure, followed by her overseeing of the decline of mining and manufacturing and the privatisation of utilities such as British Telecom and British Gas.

The daily said its poll found Thatcher had more supporters than detractors across the social classes, age groups and in every region of England and Wales, while only in Scotland did more people think of her as a bad prime minister than good.

When asked about their overall feelings towards her, 47 per cent of people felt Thatcher`s period as prime minister was good for Britain, and 36 per cent as bad.

Even in death Thatcher divides the nation, with outpourings of both mourning and celebration across Britain.

The poll found 50 per cent of people back her being given a full ceremonial funeral at St Paul`s Cathedral next week - the rest disagree or don`t have a clue what to think.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - 17:39

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