YouGov’s latest poll has found that David Cameron is the most popular British prime minister since Margaret Thatcher.
Cameron, who resigned as Conservative leader after campaigning for the losing side in the EU referendum, was rated “good or great” by 32% of respondents. This was higher than Tony Blair on 20% and fellow Tory John Major on 14%.
Thatcher, whose “hard” brand of conservatism made her one of the most divisive prime ministers in British history, was rated “good or great” by 43% of respondents — including 20% of Labour voters.
Former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown was the least popular leader, rated “good or great” by just 9% of the 1,692 people who participated in the online poll.
The result reflects incredibly well on Cameron’s premiership given the nature of his final few months in office. Not only did government lost the June referendum, but he was accused of peddling inaccurate information to scare Brits into keeping Britain in the EU.
He has also recently been accused of cronyism for nominating a close network of friends, political allies, and Remain campaigners for peerages in his final honours list.
Despite the damage done to his reputation by the disastrous intervention in Iraq and subsequent Chilcot report, Tony Blair was still voted the second most popular PM since 1990. Blair led Labour to three election victories and often enjoyed very high approval ratings — something the current Labour Party can only dream of.
Labour voters were the least approving of Cameron’s time in office. Just 15% rated the Witney MP as a “good or great” prime minister. However, a whopping 40% of Lib Dem voters described him in those terms.
Cameron received a standing ovation after his final appearance in parliament as prime minister and received compliments from MPs across the house — including opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, who congratulated Cameron on introducing same-sex marriage legislation.
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