POLITICS

Margaret Thatcher Pips Tony Blair In Prime Minister Poll

17/04/2013 16:34 BST | Updated 17/04/2013 17:26 BST

Margaret Thatcher has pipped Tony Blair in a new opinion poll of Prime Ministers past and present.

The Iron Lady was rated as the premier who would do the best job at getting Britain out of economic crisis, with 31% backing her above Blair on 21%.

Ipsos Mori's poll, published on the day of Thatcher's funeral, made grim reading for David Cameron, who trailed in fourth, on 12% - behind Gordon Brown - while just 7% would pick John Major to get us out of trouble.

The poll also revealed Britons were divided over Thatcher's legacy, with 47% saying her time in office was good for the country, and 42% believing the opposite.

Asked about the statement 'I wish more politicians today were like Margaret Thatcher', some 51% disagreed with the while 39% agreed.

Just under a third said Cameron would be a better Prime Minister if he were more like her, while 23% disagreed.

Cameron made light of the findings when he was asked about them on Wednesday morning.

“This is not the day to talk about opinion polls, and as Margaret herself I'm sure would have said, there's only one poll that counts, and that's the one on polling day ... I think I heard her say that a few times,” he told the BBC.

Gideon Skinner, Head of Political Research at Ipsos MORI said: "The results show that the public still has respect for Baroness Thatcher’s abilities to get things done, especially among blue collar workers and older people.

"The question of her legacy, though, still divides the country, with big differences between Conservative and UKIP supporters on the one hand, and Labour voters on the other."

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