The New Iron Lady? Theresa May Most Popular Prime Minister Since Thatcher

9.2.17

Theresa May
Crown Copyright
Polls are a funny thing, but still pretty fascinating to read. A new poll out today suggests that Theresa May is perceived to be doing a better job than any Prime Minister of the last 20 years. The findings are attributed to Opinium Research in partnership with Polling Matters, the independent, non-partisan political podcast. Two out of every five UK adults (39%) rated the current Prime Minister as doing a good job.

Only Margaret Thatcher was more likely to be perceived as having done a ‘good job’ by the UK public, according to the new research (40%). While Gordon Brown had the smallest percentage of the public saying he did a ‘good job’ (13%), he is less polarizing than Tony Blair who is seen as having done a ‘bad job’ by nearly half of the population (49%).


Adam Drummond, Opinium Research said: “Theresa May retains her strong ratings with far more saying she is doing a good job than bad. However, as a still relatively new prime minister, she benefits from the fact that the end result of her actions is still undetermined and the judgement of history is, understandably, not in yet.

What’s also interesting is how loyal Conservative voters are to Margaret Thatcher and, to a lesser extent, David Cameron, giving both strong ratings. In contrast, current Labour voters are more likely to say that Tony Blair and Gordon Brown underperformed in No 10. That said, current Labour voters are quite different to those who last voted Labour into government.”

Keiran Pedley, Polling Matters said: “These results show that despite still dividing opinion Margaret Thatcher has a stronger reputation than those succeeding her as Prime Minister. Yet, for now at least, Theresa May is seen as more popular among the public and marginally so among Tory voters.

Arguably the more interesting story here is how Labour voters take a comparatively dimmer view of their past Prime Ministers than Conservative voters, which perhaps reflects the changing nature of the Labour vote over time but is surely something for the Party to ponder as it plots a route back to power.”
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