Thatcher 'most capable' recent PM
Published 03/07/2011 | 19:19
Voters rate Margaret Thatcher the most capable Prime Minister of recent decades, but think Tony Blair was the most likeable, according to a poll.
The survey for the Reuters/Ipsos Mori Political Monitor put Lady Thatcher's successor Sir John Major bottom of the rankings on both counts.
Only 10% regard current PM David Cameron the most capable and 17% the most likeable. Current Conservative voters overwhelmingly prefer Lady Thatcher, with two-thirds saying she was the most capable compared to one-fifth for Mr Cameron.
Overall, 36% of those questioned said Lady Thatcher - Tory Prime Minister from 1979-90 - was the most capable leader of the past 30 years, followed by Mr Blair on 27%, Gordon Brown on 11%, Mr Cameron on 10% and Sir John Major on 7%.
When asked about the PMs' likeability as a person, some 26% put Mr Blair first, followed by 22% for Lady Thatcher, 17% for Mr Cameron, 13% for Mr Brown and 10% for Sir John.
Lady Thatcher got higher ratings for her ability from men than from women, by a margin of 40% to 31%. But more women (25%) than men (18%) thought her the most likeable PM.
Mr Blair was respected equally by both sexes for his abilities, but had more personal popularity among men than women, by a margin of 30% to 23%.