Maggie voted No1 Prime Minister as UK gives verdict

Leader … Margaret Thatcher at 1989 Tory conference

Leader … Margaret Thatcher at 1989 Tory conference

LADY Thatcher is voted Margaret the Great today in an exclusive Sun poll.

More than a quarter of all those surveyed hailed her as Britain’s most popular PM since World War Two.

An overwhelming 28 per cent of people interviewed opted for Maggie as ‘the greatest’ out of 13 Prime Ministers we have had since 1945.

She even eclipsed legendary Sir Winston Churchill, who came second in the poll. Churchill, who as well as being Britain’s wartime leader was also PM from 1951-55, won 24 per cent of support.

Third was Tony Blair on ten per cent — but current PM David Cameron scored zero along with 1970s Tory leader Edward Heath.

Asked how they rated Lady T’s performance from 1979 to 1990, 52 per cent of all those questioned felt she was ‘great’ or ‘good’ — compared to 30 per cent who said she was ‘poor’ or ‘terrible’.

It shows Maggie has comfortably more supporters than detractors across the social classes, in every age group and in every region of England and Wales.

Only in Scotland do more think she was a bad Premier — by 44 per cent to 33.

Her ratings are highest in London and the South and she is most popular among the over-60s, 63 per cent of whom said she was a good national leader versus 27 per cent who disagreed.

Many more said she was good for Britain rather than bad — 47 per cent compared to 36.

Being the first woman PM was judged to be her greatest success, followed by winning the Falklands War. Enforcing the Poll Tax was seen as her biggest failing, followed by presiding over a mining and manufacturing decline.

Brits felt she also left the country better off, a lot more respected in the world, with a freer society and with more opportunities for women.

But in a major negative our poll — in which a total of 1,893 adults were quizzed nationwide — found she left society less equal.

Lady T, who was never defeated at the ballot box, was the 20th century’s most successful leader. She won three elections in a row in 1979, 1983 and 1987 before being toppled in 1990 by a Cabinet coup.

Today MPs and peers will be recalled from Easter holidays to Westminster for a special one-off sitting to pay tribute to her.

Even some of her fiercest left-wing critics in Parliament are expected to attend, after having complimented her strength if not her beliefs.

Renegade Labour MP John Mann said: ‘Unlike Cameron and his sidekick Clegg the good thing about Thatcher is that she was a strong leader, not a wishy-washy leader.’

Tory MP Mark Pritchard said: ‘I am sure that colleagues will be returning from far-flung places. It will be a very good turn-out.’

But Respect MP George Galloway, who sparked anger by tweeting ‘tramp the dirt down’ just a few hours after Lady Thatcher’s death, said he would not take part.