Brown and Darling are Labour’s most respected “grandees”, poll suggests

Earlier in the week, former Tory PM John Major made an intervention into the election campaign, advocating for his party. This echoed moves made in recent months by Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson to do the same for the Labour cause.

Off the back of these blasts from the past, YouGov have done a poll for the Time Red Box to find out which male politician of yore the public prefer.

YouGov asked: “How much, if at all, do you respect the following people?” – thereby giving an idea of which politician may have had the most positive impact when it comes to the 2015 General Election outcome.

As the table below shows, William Hague and John Major got the highest amount of support with 39% respectively saying they respect them a lot or a fair amount. Although this is outweighed by the 43% respectively who said they didn’t. The chair of the Lib Dem election campaign Paddy Ashdown isn’t far behind these two Tories when it comes to positive ratings; he’s 37%.

It’s not until you get to number 4 on the list do you hit a group of Labour politicians: Gordon Brown got the most support of all the Labour men on the list with 33% – although as the table below shows 53% of people said they didn’t respect him.  Brown is followed by Alistair Darling on 29%, who’s negative score is a little lower at 46%; Neil Kinnock who 27% of people said they did respect, in comparison to 48% who said they didn’t; and Tony Blair who’s on 24% (the most amount of people – 64% – said they didn’t respect him).


At the bottom of the list is Peter Mandelson, who 9 points behind former Tory leader Michael Howard, got 10%. Although the number of people who said they didn’t respect him was 3 points lower than Blair, at 61%.

Respect them a lot or a fair amount Do not respect very much or at all
William Hague 39% 43%
John Major 39% 43%
Paddy Ashdown 37% 36%
Gordon Brown 33% 53%
Alistair Darling 29% 46%
Neil Kinnock 27% 48%
Tony Blair 24% 64%
David Owen 24% 32%
Michael Howard 19% 47%
Peter Mandelson 10% 61%

This list  gives us an insight in public opinion of politicians from the past – none of whom scored above the 39% mark. But made up exclusively of men, it’ also a reminder of the country’s very male political history, which in many ways persists today.

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