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At 345 years old the Conservatives are the world’s oldest political party and have provided 30 Prime Ministers including some of the greatest names like Sir Robert Peel who invented the police force; and Benjamin Disraeli, the father of modern One Nation Conservatism.

But since the Second World War, the Conservative Party has provided 12 of the 15 Prime Ministers to occupy 10 Downing Street.

From Sir Winston Churchill to Rishi Sunak, some are very well known names others have been forgotten but all have made a contribution to the history of Britain and its direction as it found a new role for itself since the Second World War.

Of the 12 modern era Prime Ministers who do you think was the greatest?

Vote below on who you believe is the best of the best.

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Sir Winston Churchill (1940-1945 and 1951-1955) – Churchill was already a giant of British politics when he became Prime Minister in 1940 and faced down Hitler, the Nazis and those who wanted appeasement to lead the country to win the Second World War. However, he lost the 1945 election to Labour despite his own popularity and some believe he stayed on too long. While a great wartime leader his four years as a peacetime Prime Minister were not as accomplished.

Sir Anthony Eden (1955-1957) – Credited as being a great Foreign Secretary and Churchill’s right-hand man, he is best remembered for the Suez crisis which saw Britain’s influence drop in the world and led to him being replaced as Tory leader and PM while away recovering from health issues.

Harold Macmillan (1957-1963) – Known as “Super Mac” and boasted that Brits had “never had it so good” during his Premiership and made the famous “winds of change speech” about the changing nature of global politics post-Empire. Was eventually forced out after the Profumo scandal when his Secretary of State for War John Profumo had to quit after lying to Parliament about his affair with the escort Christine Keeler.

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Sir Alec Douglas-Home (1963-1964) – Controversial choice by the secretive so-called “magic circle” who selected Conservative leaders which led to a new voting system being installed. But was a safe pair of hands who almost restored Tory fortunes and narrowly lost the election to Labour’s Harold Wilson.

Sir Edward Heath (1970-1974) – The first Tory leader elected by fellow MPs who would win a surprise victory over Wilson in 1970 and took Britain into the European Economic Community (later the European Union) without a referendum. Lost in 1974 when he took on the trade unions and asked: “Who rules Britain?” Never recovered from being ousted by Margaret Thatcher and remained in the Commons until 1992 to eventually see her forced out as well.

Margaret Thatcher (1979 – 1990) – Dubbed “the Iron Lady”, Britain’s first female Prime Minister turned Britain’s economy around, defeated the militant unions and won the Cold War. Became the first world leader to recognise climate change and restored Britain as a world power. However, was eventually turfed out by Conservative MPs over the poll tax and opposition to EU integration. Her legacy continues with even Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has professed himself to be a fan of Thatcher.


Sir John Major (1990 – 1997) – Took over from Margaret Thatcher and won a surprise victory against Neil Kinnock’s Labour in 1992 with the biggest share of the vote any party has enjoyed since the turn of the 20th century. The Black Monday financial crash which saw the pound forced out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism followed by the Conservatives splitting as he forced through the Maastricht Treaty which locked the UK into the EU eventually led to him losing to Tony Blair in 1997 with the Tory’s second worst result in history.

Lord David Cameron (2010 – 2016) – After a long period in the wilderness he took the Conservatives back into power by trying to detoxify it and make it more centrist. He failed to win outright in 2010 and had to govern in coalition with the Lib Dems. but after winning a majority in 2015 he would give Britain a referendum on EU membership which led to him resigning after he backed Remain and it lost.

Theresa May (2016 – 2019) – After all her opponents dropped out she became Tory leader and PM uncontested to lead the UK exit negotiations from the EU. However, after getting bogged down in the details and trying to compromise heavily she was eventually forced out.

Boris Johnson (2019 – 2022) – Led the Tories to their record victory since Margaret Thatcher and then “got Brexit done”. Took the country through the pandemic and then led the world in facing up to Putin’s Russia invading Ukraine. But was ditched by his MPs as Partygate scandals got out of hand.

Liz Truss (2022 – 2022) – The 49-day Premiership was most notable for the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Truss came in with a vision of economic reform but her own MPs refused to back her ambitious mini-Budget and she was forced out in what was the shortest-ever period of a sitting Prime Minister in history.

Rishi Sunak (2022 – present) – The former Chancellor entered No 10 in October last year. He has set out five priorities ahead of the next general election which must be held by January 2025. But he is currently grappling with a divided Tory Party over the small boats issue.

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