It being polling day, anything to avoid thinking about it. So what did I do during my lunch break? See which Prime Ministers in the twentieth century have received the most mentions in Hansard since June 2001.
Using this great new site, it's possible to do this quite easily - no surprise for guessing that those in the recent past tend to have a greater pull on the memories and utterances of our elected representatives.
But surprising that Major is so close behind Blair and ahead of Thatcher. Also that Churchill isn't more often mentioned; or Eden for the debacle that was Suez, particular in the run-up to last year's Iraq war. And spare a thought for poor Herbert Asquith, propping up the rear with 1 mention only.
Prime Ministerial Mentions in Hansard
|Rank||Name||Mentions||1||Tony Blair||144||2||John Major||143||3||Margaret Thatcher||87||4||Winston Churchill||63||5||Harold Wilson||38||6||Edward Heath||33||7||Harold Macmillan||20||8=||Neville Chamberlain||12||8=||Arthur James Balfour||12||10||Clement Attlee||10||11||David Lloyd George||9||12=||Jim Callaghan||7||12=||Ramsay MacDonald||7||14||Alec Douglas Home||5||15||Stanley Baldwin||4||16=||Anthony Eden||2||16=||Andrew Bonar Law||2||16=||Henry Campbell-Bannerman||2||19||Herbert Asquith||1|
NB The names were searched putting in only the Prime Minister's first and family names. Therefore references to 'Blair's government', 'Macmillan's administration' are excluded. The only exception is Balfour, who elicited no response; putting in his last name yielded references to the 'Balfour Declaration' and 'Balfour's poodle' (who I think was Lloyd George).