Since there was not much political news coming from the Westminster bubble at the end of this week (due to prorogation), I decided to embark on a 2 part project where I look at who the worst British Prime Minister is, both statistically, and objectively. The first part of this investigation involves finding historical quantitative data on Prime ministers, which for this rushed project turned out to be a lot harder than I thought, as it led to me questioning exactly what sort of data I should be using as even if I do find data that can measure political failure, can it be trusted?
Eventually, I realised that I could only justify any assumptions I was making based on hard mathematics, so for this, I needed to think about any constants that can be found in the statistics of a politicians career. Much like a fighter or footballer, the biggest constants are wins, losses, matches played and career length. Since there are no matches per se in a Prime ministers career, we can rule that element out, leaving us with the constants of wins and losses in the houses of commons, and length of time as Prime minister in days.
Since this article is focusing on the Prime minister has the worst record, we can rule out wins, as in reality every government probably has thousands of division (vote) wins in the house of commons, wins are expected, its the losses that tell the story. Admittedly, I am no historian, so my comments on some of the older PM’s will be brief, as I was not alive when they were in power so have to rely on our old friend, history to tell us how they were.
Using the statistics of Losses and time served as Prime minister, I came up with a very simple equation that takes a minister’s total losses in Parliament as Prime minister, and uses that number to divide the time served, so if the total losses were 2, and they serve 5 years, that would equate to 1825 days (5 years) / 2 losses = 912.5, with 912.5 being the final score which will be used to rank the Prime ministers, the lower the number, the lower the rank. If you would like to know who appears on the worst 10 lists, watch the video, or check out the chart at the bottom of the page (which I used to for this video). (Graphs and Charts can be found below the video on this page!)
Please, just watch the video version below, Im dyslexic so it will make a lot more sense than this article probably does.
The Data Table and Graph