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The Popularity of British Prime Ministers

Denver, David and Garnett, Mark (2012) The Popularity of British Prime Ministers. British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 14 (1). pp. 57-73. ISSN 1369-1481

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Abstract

Prime ministers have been crucial figures in British politics for nearly three centuries and the media now give them more prominence than ever. Polling data on prime ministerial popularity suggest that there has been an increasing tendency for voters to take a negative view of the incumbent prime minister. Moreover, almost every post-war premier has left office less popular than when he or she took over. This trend has not affected opposition leaders, however. Despite the fact that they dominate media coverage of British politics, voters' reactions to prime ministers are less good predictors of party preferences than appraisals of the general competence of the government. This suggests that while valence theorists are right to draw attention to the role of party leaders as a means of providing voters with a ‘short cut’ in decision-making, the importance of leader evaluations should not be exaggerated.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: British Journal of Politics and International Relations
Uncontrolled Keywords: Prime Ministers ; Opinion Polls ; Voting
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Politics & International Relations (Merged into PPR 2010-08-01)
ID Code: 56620
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 15 Aug 2012 12:11
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2012 11:02
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/56620

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