UK Prime Ministers with the Shortest Term Length


This post is by Nick Routley from Visual Capitalist


Infographic showing UK prime ministers who had the shortest term

The Briefing

  • Eight Prime Ministers in UK history have had terms shorter than one year
  • In October 2022, Liz Truss became the shortest-serving PM, with just 44 days in the role

UK Prime Ministers with the Shortest Term Length

After six weeks that many have described as “chaotic”, UK Prime Minister Liz Truss has resigned. In stepping out of the PM role, Truss is stepping into the history books as the shortest-serving PM in UK history.

While Truss’s term is noteworthy for its briefness, she is not the only politician to have a whirlwind tour of Number 10 Downing Street. Of the 56 people who have held the PM position, eight have served less than a year:

Prime MinisterLength of TermPartyStart of TenureReason for Exit
Liz Truss44 daysConservative2022Resigned
George Canning119 daysTory (Canningite)1827Died
F. J. Robinson, 1st Viscount Goderich144 daysTory (Canningite)1827Replaced
Andrew Bonar Law211 daysConservative (Scot. Unionist)1922Illness
W. Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire225 daysWhig1756Replaced
W. Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne266 daysWhig (Chathamite)1782Replaced
J. Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute317 daysTory1762Resigned
Sir Alec Douglas-Home363 daysConservative (Scot. Unionist)1963Election

The next shortest term in the post-war period goes to Sir Alec Douglas-Home, who served just a hair under one year.

Why So Short?

There are a variety of reasons why leaders have served such short terms.

Much like Liz (Read more...)