Margaret Thatcher

All Thatcherites now? Far from it, poll suggests

All Thatcherites now? Far from it, poll suggests

Nick Clegg has rejected David Cameron's claim that "we're all Thatcherites now", as a poll reveals Britons remain deeply divided about her government's policies.

The prime minister made the controversial claim yesterday morning before Margaret Thatcher's funeral in St Paul's Cathedral, triggering an angry reaction online.

"He's certainly entitled to say that, he's the Conservative leader," Clegg told LBC this morning.

"I guess the point he was making was a lot of private sector reforms Thatcher put in place weren't reversed by subsequent governments. Many of them were without doubt necessary."

Research by YouGov has revealed British voters remain deeply ambivalent about Thatcher's legacy. Policies like monetarism, individualism, right-to-buy and privatising utilities all met with a net negative response.

But other Thatcherite policies, including decreasing regulation, weakening trade unions and profit due to choice all received positive responses.

Profits continue to be viewed as a positive sign of good management by 52%, as opposed to evidence of exploitation by 32%.

Most strongly for the Iron Lady, allowing companies to fail and sticking with Britain's nuclear deterrent were backed by a net positive 25% and 32% respectively.

When asked whether there is such a thing as society, 59% said no, backing Thatcher's famous quote. But most Conservatives said government should be responsible for dealing with social problems, with 29% saying individuals, families and volunteers should take responsibility instead.

YouGov asked 1,952 voters about the policies without mentioning Thatcher, laying out a Thatcherite policy and its opposite.

It put the Conservatives on 30%, 11 points behind Labour on 41%. Ukip remain in third place on 12%, with the Liberal Democrats trailing on ten per cent.