YouGov/The Sun poll: Nation divided on Thatcher's legacy

April 10, 2013, 11:12 AM GMT+0

YouGov/The Sun poll finds public divided along party lines on Thatcher’s greatest achievements and failures

A new YouGov/The Sun poll has revealed that 52% of Conservative Party supporters think defeating the miners’ strike and limiting the power of the unions was Margaret Thatcher’s greatest achievement.

However, 51% of Labour voters and 56% of Liberal Democrats say being elected Britain’s first female prime minister was Lady Thatcher’s biggest accomplishment.

Meanwhile, 54% of UKIP supporters see winning the Falklands War as Margaret Thatcher’s greatest achievement as prime minister.

Thatcher’s worst failings

When it comes to Thatcher’s worst failing as prime minister there is more agreement amongst voters. Either a majority or plurality of Conservative (47%), Liberal Democrat (56%) and UKIP (44%) supporters say introducing the poll tax was her greatest blunder, but a majority (53%) of Labour voters say that overseeing the decline of mining and manufacturing was Thatcher’s biggest failure.

Thatcher’s legacy

Half (50%) of the public say that overall Margaret Thatcher was a good prime minister, while a third (33%) say she was a bad one.

Nine in 10 (90%) Conservatives think she was either a good or great prime minister, while 50% of Liberal Democrats and 67% of UKIP supporters say the same. Only 23% of Labour voters think she was a good prime minister, compared to 60% who say she was not.

Commenting on the YouGov/The Sun results, YouGov Director of Political and Social Research Joe Twyman said: “Margaret Thatcher divides public opinion like no other leader of modern times, and all our polling in the wake of her death shows the public’s views on her legacy are equally divided. But if you look at issues like nuclear weapons, secret ballots for strikes, and privatisation, which once divided the country, the fact that these issues are no longer widely debated and that Thatcher’s positions are now so often the political orthodoxy demonstrates that she won not just many public opinion battles, but arguably also many public opinion wars.”

For more information contact YouGov PR Executive Harris MacLeod

See the full poll results

See the YouGov Infographic on Thatcher’s legacy

Browse our Thatcher archive

See the full original press release