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Thursday, 30 June 2016

Characteristics of Post-War British Prime Minsiters


With Britain about to change Prime Ministers, now is a good time to look at what kind of people become Prime Minister. Since WWII, 13 individuals have served in that role, one woman (Margaret Thatcher) and 12 men, one of whom (Edward Heath) we can reasonably be sure was gay. Five of the 13 would qualify as upper class, with the rest being middle class.

The most interesting point is the ethnic characteristics of the 13. Considering that the English have made up the vast majority of the population over the post-war period, they are under-represented, while the Scots are over-represented. Only five of the 13 can be said to be fully English (Attlee, Eden, Wilson, Heath, & Major), while three are Scottish (Home, Blair, & Brown), and five are of mixed ethnicity, involving Scottish, English, Jewish, Welsh, and American blood. Two of them (Churchill and Macmillan) were half American, while the most Jewish one was Jim Callaghan, whose paternal grandmother was Jewish.

If we look at the total ethnic composition of the group we get the following figures:
60% English
28% Scottish
7.6% American
2.4% Jewish
1.9% Welsh
If we then adjust this breakdown to reflect length of time in 10 Downing Street, we get the following results:
64% English
25% Scottish
7.0% American
2.1% Welsh
1.5% Jewish
How will future prime ministers effect these figures, one wonders.

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