Would people be comfortable with a transgender Prime Minister?
A poll has found that two-thirds of people in the UK would be comfortable with a transgender Prime Minister.
The surprising find comes from the EU’s ‘Eurobarometer on Discrimination’ report – which monitors approaches to diversity and LGBT rights across the continent.
The report includes a poll, asking 27,718 people from across the 28 member states to rate how they would feel about having people as their leader, on a scale from totally uncomfortable to completely comfortable.
It found that in the UK, 76 percent would be comfortable with a gay, lesbian or bisexual Prime Minister – and 66 percent would be comfortable with a transgender one.
Just 12 percent and 18 percent said they would be uncomfortable respectively.
The data shows that the UK is ahead of many neighbours on the issue. Across all 28 member states, 54 percent of people would be happy with an LGB political leader, and 21 percent uncomfortable.
Just 43 percent of EU citizens as a whole would accept a transgender PM, while 29 percent would be uncomfortable.
Opinions are improving across nearly all of Western Europe on the issue, compared to in 2012 – with large rises in both comfort and indifference. However, opposition has grown in some parts of Eastern Europe.
Though the UK has not had an openly gay PM, there are over thirty LGB MPs currently in Parliament – with then-Labour MP Chris Smith becoming the first to come out back in 1984.
However, to date no openly transgender person has been elected to the Commons, despite the Greens, Lib Dems and Labour all having fielded trans candidates.
UKIP previously had a transgender MEP, Nikki Sinclaire – but she came out four years after her election, and did not seek re-election.
For the statistically minded, you can check out the stats for all 28 countries below – though in typical EU style, it’s not the simplest chart in the world…