Far more affection for Thatcher in US than UK

April 10, 2013, 6:12 PM GMT+0

An overwhelming majority of Americans have a positive opinion of the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, in stark contrast to Britain where opinion remains bitterly divided

In the first survey of American public opinion since the passing of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, YouGov reveals that fully 62% of Americans have a positive impression of Margaret Thatcher's time as Prime Minister and only 8% have a negative impression.

This compares to a YouGov poll released today in the UK showing that 52% have a positive impression but 30% have a negative impression. 23% of Britons think Thatcher was a "terrible" Prime Minister, compared to only 4% of Americans.

The affection in the United States for Prime Minister Thatcher spans all political affiliations, with even a majority of Democrats (56%) viewing her favorably. 82% of Republicans and 56% of Independents feel the same way.

Even amongst Democrats the percentage who believe Thatcher was a "terrible" Prime Minister is only 5% - compared to 50% of supporters of Britain's left-leaning Labour Party.

Americans even rated Thatcher better than Winston Churchill, Britain's famous wartime leader. When asked “Who do you think has been the greatest British Prime Minister since 1945”, 36% answered Thatcher while 22% said Churchill. (Winston Churchill was Prime Minister for a second time from 1951-55).

This compares to a more slender victory for Thatcher from UK voters: 28% for Thatcher vs 24% for Winston Churchill.

Full results: US | UK

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