13/07/2016 07:38 BST | Updated 14/07/2017 06:12 BST

Margaret vs Theresa: The Personal and the Political


Theresa May is the second female British Prime Minister in office. Before her, it was Margaret Thatcher who ruled Britannia from 1979 to 1990 with an iron hand, cracking down on labour unions and sending a fleet to reclaim the Falklands.

Thatcher wasn't just the first woman in office, but also the longest serving Prime Minster of the last century up until today.

Her style of government and her politics were controversial, to say the least, but you can't deny she left a legacy, coining terms and phrases such as TINA ("There is no alternative") or "I want my money back".

Thatcher's impact on economics, politics and society at large can be felt until today, for better or worse.

Now the UK has voted to Brexit, Theresa May has become Prime Minister by default, David Cameron having stepped down after losing the referendum. Back in 1979 Thatcher had become Prime Minister after winning a general election.

That's just one difference between the two female PMs. Another obvious difference lies within their political convictions.

Thatcher was and May is a member of the Conservative Party. However, their shared political association with the Tories doesn't mean their day to day politics are anything alike.

May is considered to be far more moderate, rather the liberal type. Thatcher's political beliefs were inspired by radical libertarian ideas, which are based on the notion of personal freedom and by all means limiting the power of the state.

Back in the 80s, Thatcher had found an influential political partner across the Atlantic, then president of the USA, Ronald Reagan, who shared her political views.

May is more likened to the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose style of politics is often described as being based on pragmatism, rather than ideology.

Strangely enough, the politics of the UK could therefore become aligned (at least in style) to that of the most influential EU power on the continent - which is an amazing prospect, looking at it from a post-Brexit perspective!

Drawing comparisons cannot answer the question if May today might become as influential as Thatcher had been back then.

Anyway, here's a quick breakdown of the personal and the political, some basic facts about two British PMs summed up in one infographic by Statista.