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Churchill voted top PM of the century

WINSTON CHURCHILL was the greatest Prime Minister of the 20th century, according to a new survey. The Conservative whose leadership inspired Britain through the Second World War beat the last Liberal Prime Minister David Lloyd George into second place and Churchill's successor, Labour's Clement Atlee, into third.

Twenty historians, politicians and commentators were asked by BBC Radio 4's The Westminster Hour to rank the 19 Prime Ministers from Lord Salisbury in 1895 through to John Major in the 1990s. Tony Blair was not included because his spell in Downing Street is not complete. The top five places went to Herbert Asquith (fourth), whose government took Britain into the First World War, and Margaret Thatcher (fifth). Her successor, John Major, whose premiership was blighted by Tory infighting over Europe, was rated 17th.

The results: 1. Winston Churchill (Con. 1940-45, 1951-55), 2. David Lloyd George (Lib. 1916-22), 3. Clement Atlee (Lab. 1945-51), 4. Herbert Asquith (Lib. 1908-16), 5. Margaret Thatcher (Con. 1979-90), 6. Harold Macmillan (Con. 1957-63), 7. Marquess of Salisbury (Con. 1895-1902), 8. Stanley Baldwin (Con. 1923-24, 1924-29, 1935-37), 9. Sir Henry Campbell- Bannerman (Lib. 1905-08), 10. Harold Wilson (Lab. 1964-70, 1974-76), 11. Edward Heath (Con. 1970-74), 12. James Callaghan (Lab. 1976-79), 13. Andrew Bonar Law (Con. 1922-23), 14. Ramsay MacDonald (Lab. 1924, 1929-35), 15. Sir Alec Douglas-Home (Con. 1963-64), 16. Arthur Balfour (Con. 1902-05), 17. John Major (Con. 1990-97), 18. Neville Chamberlain (Con. 1937-40), 19. Sir Anthony Eden (Con. 1955-57).