Political Risk Takers

Political Risk Takers


• 50% of the UK population think they’d do a better job of the negotiations with the EU than the current government
• Margaret Thatcher and Winston Churchill top choices if Brits could summon any former Prime Minister to negotiate Brexit
• David Cameron tied with May as ‘worst risk taker’ in history of UK politics
• 1 in 3 (32%) Brits think Brexit poses a greater threat than terrorism – a fifth (22%) think it’s a bigger problem than climate change
• Over half (55%) of voters think it was a gamble entrusting the public to make a decision on Brexit

TUESDAY 25TH SEPTEMBER 2018 – LONDON, UK – As the fall out of last week’s failed Salzburg summit rumbles on, Brits are no closer to understanding the true realities of post-Brexit Britain.

The embattled Theresa May has received criticism and support in equal measure. However, new research released today show that the British public have serious doubts about the Prime Minister’s capability of negotiating a good deal. Indeed, today’s figures show that 50% of British people think they’d do a better job of negotiating Brexit than Theresa May.

According to the poll of over 2,000 people, commissioned by bookmaker PartyCasino, the electorate believe that many British leaders from the past would have been more suited to the task of navigating the UK’s route out of the European Union. The figures show that Margaret Thatcher (23%) and Winston Churchill (23%) were the country’s top choices from history who they believe would secure the best deal.


With political party conference season well underway, commentators view this autumn as a critical moment in the country’s history. Many people believe risks are being taken in the Brexit negotiations so PartyCasino explored the history of ‘risk-taking’ in politics.

Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump was voted the worst ‘risk-taker’ in the history of politics with 37% of the vote. Looking closer to home, Theresa May was joined by the former Prime Minister David Cameron as being the worst British risk-takers of all time, with 23% of the vote each. The architects of Brexit were followed closely by former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair (22%), whose legacy will forever be linked to the 2003 conflict in Iraq.

The research also looked at who the British public think is bluffing their way through their political careers. It is again bad news for Mrs May, with 17% believing she is the biggest bluffer in political history following her supposed stand of defiance against the European Union. Young people in the UK, who are likely to be most affected by the outcome of Brexit, were particularly scathing. A fifth (22%) of 16-34 year olds consider Theresa May to be putting on a poor masquerade. Indeed, young people have far more faith her counterpart Jeremy Corbyn, with just 7% of those under 35 thinking he bluffs the public.

History also shows us that risk-taking can be a positive and many Brexit-watchers will be hoping history can repeat itself. Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela (34%) were voted history’s most positive risk takers, closely followed by British icon Sir Winston Churchill (30%).


There were arguments that both ‘remain’ and ‘leave’ failed to properly educate the electorate what they were voting for during the referendum. Despite now only being six months away, just 4 out of 10 (41%) confess they fully understand what Brexit is and what is waiting around the corner. It is hardly surprising, then, that over half (58%) of Brits believe that David Cameron took a gamble when he entrusted the public to define the UK’s future relationship with the European Union.

As Brexit inches closer, it is clear that the fear of the unknown is exasperating the concerns of the British public. The research showed that 1 in 3 (32%) British people think that Brexit poses a greater threat to the future prosperity of the UK than terrorism. In spite of fears about immigration, a quarter (25%) actually believe that Brexit will lead to an increase in the UK population.

There are a range of issues being negotiated as a part of Brexit, including access to the single market and freedom of movement, with the potential implications causing worries across the country. A third (36%) think fear that Brexit will make it harder to travel abroad, while a fifth are panicked that their assets will decrease (22%) and their earning potential will be affected (21%). Everyone remembers the battle bus claiming that £350m would be given to the NHS per week, however, 3 out of 10 (29%) think Brexit will result in poorer access to medicine.


London has perhaps been painted as an island which voted to remain but is being dragged out of the European Union. With 9 out of 10 (91%) people in the capital claiming to understand Brexit and two-thirds (68%) believing the referendum was a gamble, both more than anywhere else the country, it is not surprising that Londoners (59%) are those most likely to think they’d do a better job than Theresa May at negotiating the deal.

There’s an argument to suggest those with most to lose are fearing paying the heftiest price. Indeed, a third (31%) of Londoners think Brexit is a bigger threat than climate change, compared to a fifth (22%) across the country. Similarly, a third (37%) think it is a bigger threat than artificial intelligence, in contrast to a quarter (26%). Understandably, they’re also twice as likely to fear a friend or family member being deported (14%) as the rest of the UK (7%). Often critiqued for looking after their own back pocket, the majority of London (52%) think Brexit would pose a greater threat than the financial crisis.

David Winter, Marketing Manager at PartyCasino, said: ‘We are living in historic times and nobody truly knows what Brexit will mean for the country. Our research shows that the British public are looking for decisive action from the British Government.

History has shown that political risk-taking is not always a bad thing and can often lead to energy being injected into stalled talks. It is clear that the British public are hoping that the government will look to the likes of Thatcher and Churchill for inspiration to take the risk that could change the course of Brexit and with that, the future of the UK!”

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