March 17, 2004 09:35 AM

Mother’s Day may not come to the states until May 9, but in Britain it arrives this weekend, and with it, a Mothers’s Union survey of the best moms in the realm — with Marge Simpson leading the list.

Yes, the very same long-suffering Marge who is married to Homer on the long-running FOX series, which has helped earn her the distinction of being Britain’s most respected mother in public life, according to the BBC. Queen Elizabeth, take note.

A quarter of the 946 people surveyed said the Springfield resident with the infinite patience and gravity-defying blue hair was the mother in public life they most admired. Marge, age unreported, has three children with Homer Simpson: Bart, Lisa and Maggie.

Out of respect, obviously, several voters claimed their own mamas as their favored role model.

Still, no one could touch Marge’s ranking, which far outshone that of Cheri Blair, wife of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who received 15 percent of the vote; singer (and ultimate football player’s wife) Victoria Beckham, with 12 percent; and actress and single mom Elizabeth Hurley, with 5 percent.

Reg Bailey, the chief executive of the Mothers’s Union (a charity devoted to promoting marriage and family life) called Marge’s victory no surprise.

“We’re great fans of Marge. In so many ways, the other people mentioned in there seem to live lives that are so different to ordinary people,” he said. “But the reality is that those mums face, like every other, all the issues and uncertainties that surround being a parent.”

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