Who’s the most irritating?

April 04, 2011, 8:14 PM GMT+0

Peter Mandelson is the nation’s most irritating politician and Vince Cable is the least, our poll has found, although every politician on our list was rated by the public as being so to some extent.

  • 65% thought Peter Mandelson was deserving of the term, while only 18% said he wasn’t irritating
  • 63% rated Lembit Opik as irritating, compared to 18% who didn’t
  • 58% said the former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown was irritating, while one third (33%) didn’t see him as such
  • 39% judged Vince Cable to be irritating but almost as many (38%) disagreed, giving him the closest to a neutral score

'The Prince of Darkness'?

Our ‘most irritating’ politician, Peter Mandelson, has had an arguably turbulent career, which saw him serve as a key figure in Labour’s rebranding as ‘New Labour’ ahead of their subsequent landslide general election victory in 1997, and has seen him resign twice while serving in the Cabinet.

His work as Director of Communications for Labour led to him being referred to as one of the first ‘spin doctors’, a usually derogatory term indicting someone who persuades the public to perceive an event or person in a certain way through propaganda. His time in public relations earned him the nickname, ‘the Prince of Darkness’ and later, when he was made a life peer by the Queen, ‘the Dark Lord’. Mandelson, whose autobiography of his time in government, The Third Man, was published last year, is said to approve of both nicknames.

See the survey details and full results (pages 11-14 of our Sunday Times results)