Margaret Thatcher Day Is Supported By Just 13% Of People, Opinion Poll Finds

Thatcher Day Gets The Thumbs Down

The British public are overwhelmingly opposed to naming a bank holiday after Margaret Thatcher, a poll has found.

Just 13% would back renaming the August bank holiday after the former Prime Minister, who died in April.

The paltry support is revealed in a poll from Tory polling guru Lord Ashcroft, which tested public opinion on a range of proposals put forward by a group of right-wing Conservative MPs, nicknamed the 'Tory Taliban'.

The 'Thatcher Day' suggestion was the least popular of all the measures - ranking well behind banning the Burka and privatising the BBC.

Helen Goral, chairman of Grantham Museum, which is campaigning to raise cash for a Thatcher statue in her home town, said 13% was "disappointingly low" but accepted it would have been a controversial suggestion because other former political giants had not been honoured in the same way.

She told The Huffington Post UK: "I am surprised, because even as divisive as she was, an awful lot more than 13% of the population think she was a great force for this country."

Goral added: "Personally, I am all for it."

When told the proposal had been put forward by a Tory MP, support for Thatcher Day dropped to just 9% - and even Tory voters were far more likely to be against than in favour.

Ashcroft, who has bankrolled previous Conservative general election campaigns, said many of the proposals put forward by Peter Bone MP did not resonate with the public, saying they scored highly on what he called the "meh index".

For example, 48% of people had no opinion one way or another on exempting UK waters from EU fishing laws - or abolishing Nick Clegg's office.

Just 38% wanted a referendum on gay marriage, the same amount that would quit the EU.

A third of people had no opinion on leaving Europe.

For Ashcroft, this was "a further reminder that the most hotly contested issues in Westminster often provoke rather less passion in the country at large."

The list of proposals, aimed at winning back disillusioned Tory voters, were put forward in a private member's bill by Bone last month.

There was stronger support for banning face coverings, including the burka, which registered 59% support.

And curbs on foreign criminals and ensuring prisoners served their full sentence were supported by a large majority of the public.

Ashcroft added: "Though there may be merit in these ideas, we would be foolish to rely on them as our main campaign themes, however popular they may be in the abstract."

He said: “Rather than play fantasy politics we need to respond to the country's anxieties and aspirations, not least those of people who may never have voted Conservative before."

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