Friday, 10 May 2013
Friday, 3 May 2013
New article for MSN: Local elections 2013: a victory for 'none of the above', not Ukip
Tuesday, 9 April 2013
Thursday, 4 April 2013
Conservative Home has an article this morning criticising David Cameron for failing to win a majority against "the most unpopular Prime Minister of modern times."
This is a phrase used so often that nobody stops to question whether it is true.
So was Gordon Brown the most unpopular PM of modern times?
Well luckily it's very easy to check. Pollsters IPSOS Mori have recorded public satisfaction with British Prime Ministers for decades.
Here's their latest graph showing the popularity of Thatcher, Major, Blair, Brown and Cameron over the course of their terms as Prime Minister.
Gordon Brown certainly was very unpopular and had a quicker fall in popularity than other recent Prime Ministers.
But by the time he left office in 2010 he was actually slightly less unpopular than David Cameron.
In April 2010, after almost three years in power, Gordon Brown had a net satisfaction of -24.
In March 2013 after almost three years in power David Cameron has a net satisfaction of -30.
So David Cameron is more unpopular now than Gordon Brown was after a similar amount of time in power.
And it's not just David Cameron.
By June 1994 John Major had a satisfaction rating of just -54. Far less than either Cameron or Brown.
His predecessor Margaret Thatcher fared better, but even she became more unpopular by the end.
By March 1990, Margaret Thatcher had a net satisfaction of -56, the lowest of any Prime Minister in modern times.
Whichever way you look at these figures it's hard to claim that Gordon Brown was the most unpopular Prime Minister of modern times.
However there is another simpler measure of popularity: winning elections.
By that measure, Gordon Brown is certainly the least successful Prime Minister of modern times, if not actually the most personally unpopular.