Blair fails to make grade in historians' survey

Tony Blair has failed to make a list of the five most successful prime ministers. Clement Attlee, whose post-war Labour administration founded the welfare state, topped the Mori poll of academics published yesterday.

Tony Blair has failed to make a list of the five most successful prime ministers. Clement Attlee, whose post-war Labour administration founded the welfare state, topped the Mori poll of academics published yesterday.

Attlee scored an average of 8.34 out of 10 among the 139 history and politics experts asked to rate 20 prime ministers. The wartime leader Winston Churchill took second place on 7.88, ahead of the Liberal David Lloyd George on 7.33.

Margaret Thatcher and her fellow Tory Harold Macmillan were fourth and fifth on 7.14 and 6.49 respectively, while Mr Blair trailed sixth on 6.30. Anthony Eden, who oversaw the Suez Canal crisis, was rated least successful with 2.53.

The poll will make gloomy reading in Downing Street, where Mr Blair is said to be concerned about his legacy after announcing he will fight only one more general election.

Churchill's statesmanship in the Second World War was seen as the greatest success of any 20th-century prime minister. But for the academics, it was outweighed by Attlee's domestic reforms, according to the research commissioned by the University of Leeds.

Academics were asked to select three characteristics that were essential to being a successful Prime Minister from a list of 20. Top answers were leadership (64 per cent), sound judgment (42 per cent) and being good in a crisis (24 per cent). Being seen as honest, down-to-earth and understanding economics were the least rated.

TWENTY PRIME MINISTERS

Clement Attlee Lab, 1945-51, Ranking 8.34

Winston Churchill C, 1940-45, 51-55, 7.88

David Lloyd George Lib, 1916-22, 7.33

Margaret Thatcher C, 1979-90, 7.14

Harold Macmillan C, 1957-63, 6.49

Tony Blair Lab, 1997-now, 6.30

Herbert Asquith Lib, 1908-16, 6.19

Stanley Baldwin C, 1923-24, 24-29, 35-37, 6.18

Harold Wilson Lab, 64-70, 5.93

Lord Salisbury C, 1895-1902, 5.75

Henry Campbell-Bannerman Lib, 1906-08, 5.01

James Callaghan Lab, 76-79, 4.75

Edward Heath C, 70-74, 4.36

Ramsay MacDonald Lab, 1924, 29-31, 31-35, 3.73

John Major C, 1990-97, 3.67

Andrew Bonar Law C, 22-23, 3.5

Neville Chamberlain C, 1937-40, 3.43

Arthur Balfour C, 02-05, 3.42

Alec Douglas-Home C, 1963-64, 3.33

Anthony Eden C, 55-57, 2.53

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Reimagined: Gwyneth Paltrow and Toni Collette in the film adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma
books
Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan
Cannes 2015Dheepan, film review
Sport
sport
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine