Margaret Thatcher ‘most influential woman of all time’

Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher

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Margaret Thatcher has been named the most influential woman of all time, ahead of the Queen and Nobel prizewinner Marie Curie, according to a poll.

The UK’s only female Prime Minister was rated by 28% as a bigger influence than the acclaimed scientist (24%) of respondents, with the Queen - Britain’s longest serving monarch - preferred by 18% in the Opinium poll of 2,004 adults commissioned by Scottish Widows.

Diana, Princess of Wales came fourth with 17%, just ahead of suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst (16%), with the top 10 completed by missionary Mother Teresa (13%), nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale (12%), Queen Victoria (8%), African-American civil rights activist Rosa Parks (7%) and broadcaster Oprah Winfrey (6%).

Body Shop founder Anita Roddick was named as most influential businesswoman, Simone de Beauvoir the most influential female public intellectual and with Kate Adie named the most influential female journalist.

Aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart - the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic - was named the most influential sportswoman, while author Jane Austen topped the list of creative artists, and Judi Dench was listed as the most influential female performing artist.

Historian and author Suzannah Lipscomb said: “The top 10 are an impressive list of women. Each of them was or has been responsible for or overseen real change, but in addition nearly every one of them has some symbolic importance beyond their own person.

“Thatcher, Pankhurst, Curie, Earhart, Austen, Dench, Beauvoir and Adie are women who can be referred to by one name. They have been chosen because they were and are game-changers. This is the definition of ‘influential’ that emerges.”

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