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Poll: 6% of British people think Section 28 was Margaret Thatcher’s biggest failure

Joseph McCormick April 10, 2013
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YouGov have released a poll reflecting the divisive nature of Margaret Thatcher’s politics, which revealed that 6% of British people thought that Section 28, a law banning the “promotion” of homosexuality in schools, was her worst policy ever.

The Conservative former prime minister died on Monday, aged 87 from a stroke.

Her politics on gay issues proved to be divisive for the LGBT community. She voted for the decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967; however, her government  in 1987 introduced Section 28.

The poll titled Divided Legacy: The Nation’s Final Verdict on Margaret Thatcher, was commissioned by the Sun and run by YouGov. It showed the truly divisive nature of Thatcher, as half of respondents said they thought overall she was a good prime minister, while 33% said she was a bad one.

Over half of Labour, at 51%, and Liberal Democrats, 56%, said they thought being elected as Britain’s first female prime minister was her biggest accomplishment.

Her biggest failure, according to the research, was introducing the Poll Tax, said 44% of respondents.

90% of Conservatives said they thought she was either a good or great prime minister, while 50% of Liberal Democrats and 67% of UKIP supporters said the same. Only 23% of Labour voters think she was a good prime minister, compared to 60% who said she was not.

Joe Twyman, YouGov Director of Political and Social Research, commented on the results of the poll. He said:  “Margaret Thatcher divides public opinion like no other leader of modern times, and all our polling in the wake of her death shows the public’s views on her legacy are equally divided.

“But if you look at issues like nuclear weapons, secret ballots for strikes, and privatisation, which once divided the country, the fact that these issues are no longer widely debated and that Thatcher’s positions are now so often the political orthodoxy demonstrates that she won not just many public opinion battles, but arguably also many public opinion wars.”

The poll got results from 1893 people between 8 and 9 April.

Social media websites exploded on Monday with people’s reactions to Thatcher’s death, many celebrating, and others paying tribute. Street parties took place in London, Bristol and Glasgow, in celebration.

On Tuesday, X Factor singer Rylan Clark deleted a tweet in tribute to Thatcher, after being reminded of her role in introducing Section 28 and her general disdain for gay rights. Clark tweeted: “Getting a bit of backlash about thatcher, maybe I’m not up on history???

A campaign started on Monday, which is likely to place the song Ding Dong the Witch is Dead by Judy Garland, into the UK’s official Top 40 chart, in response to Thatcher’s death.




More: Conservative, ding dong the witch is dead, Judy Garland, Margaret Thatcher, poll, Prime Minister, rylan clark, The Sun, YouGov

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