Monday, 15 April 2013

Margaret Thatcher's Legacy: Voter Popularity and Clement Atlee

The ongoing fracas over Margaret Thatcher's legacy seems as helpful as two bald men fighting over a comb, writes Paul Coleman. But was Thatcher the UK's most popular Prime Minister?
   Electorally, the Conservative Party under Thatcher's leadership polled under 44% of the vote in 1979. This proved her biggest vote share and took her to 10 Downing Street for the first time.
  Turnout was 76%.

In 1983, the 'Thatcher landslide' polled only 42% of the actual vote. Labour suffered by losing votes to the Social Democrat Party defectors and their 'Alliance' with the Liberals.
Thatcher supporters claim she was Britain's 'greatest Prime Minister since Winston Churchill'. Her opponents say she will always be the most destructive, even worse than Tony Blair.
  But in terms of voter popularity, Thatcher remains eclipsed by Clement Atlee whose Labour Party polled nearly 48% of the 1945 general election vote.
   Margaret Thatcher, born 1925, died on 8 April 2013. 
Her state-funded 'ceremonial' funeral kicks off on Wednesday, 17 April.

Paul Coleman, London Intelligence, April 2013

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