It's supposedly the loneliest job in the world, and nothing you do will please everyone. But who are the top 5 post-War Prime Ministers?
1. Clement Attlee
The top spot is a contentious one, but both the 2016 University of Leeds survey, with a sample of around 100 post-war political specialists and academics, and 2004 Ipsos Mori give Clement Attlee the top spot. Attlee took the Labour Party into wartime coalition government, and was the UK's first Deputy Prime Minister under Winston Churchill. He famously nationalised 1/5th of the British economy.
2. Margaret Thatcher
The indomitable Maggie Thatcher narrowly misses out on the top spot, despite coming in first in Royal Holloway's 2013 study of MPs evaluations and serving for double the length of time Clement Attlee did. Some will argue that Thatcher's longevity should mean she takes the gold, but her divisiveness will mean that others vehemently argue otherwise. Formerly a Research Chemist and Barrister, Thatcherism espoused free market liberalism, deregulation to help business, and traditional family views.
3. Tony Blair
This will shock many, particularly as Tony Blair's current popular image is not a good one. He has been hugely controversial in the fallout of the EU referendum, and naturally the fall-out from the Iraq War soured much opinion of him. Blair consistently ranks third behind Thatcher and Attlee in post-War polls (David Cameron typically doesn't feature as many were conducted whilst he was in office.) Indeed, Blair's longevity can, like Margaret Thatcher's, be seen as a strong point, and he can also be credited with bringing Labour into the modern age and ending 18 years of Conservative rule.
4. Winston Churchill
Another controversial one, with Winston Churchill even falling out of the top 5 in some rankings (Leeds, 2016.) He still, however, has an average scholarly ranking of 7.9 out of 10, and a BBC Radio 4 poll (1999) even put him in the top spot. However, the Royal Holloway poll of serving MPs in 2013 is definitive here - putting Britain's controversial War hero in 4th.
5. Harold MacMillan
Harold MacMillan fans may be put out that he's missed out on 4th here - coming above Churchill in the 3 Leeds Uni polls since the turn of the Century. Nicknamed 'SuperMac' and known for unflappability and pragmatism, MacMillan was PM from 1957 to 1963, a protege of Churchill, and served as both Chancellor of the Exchequer and Foreign Secretary under Anthony Eden - who, it's worth noting, has often been ranked as the worst UK Prime Minister since 1900.
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