A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Friday, July 21, 2006

The record after 12 years

12 years ago today Tony Blair was elected Labour Leader: http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/

To commemorate this anniversary it's worth reviewing his relative success compared to previous Labour leaders. One objective way to do this is to look at the results obtained in General Elections in ranked order:

LEADER - Elections fought - Average number of seats won
Blair - Played 3, won 3 - 395
Wilson - Played 5, won 4, lost 1 - 318
Attlee - Played 5, won 2, lost 3 - 287
Callaghan - Played 1, lost 1 - 269
Gaitskell - Played 1, lost 1 - 258
Kinnock - Played 2, lost 2- 250
MacDonald - Played 3, won 2, lost 1 - 210
Foot - Played 1, lost 1 - 209
Clynes - Played 1, lost 1 - 142
Adamson - Played 1, lost 1 - 57
Henderson - Played 2, lost 2 - 46
Barnes - Played 1, lost 1 - 42

The numbers speak for themselves.


Blogger A soft socialist said...

Congratulations to Blair and I remeber the party we had in 1997 and the celebrations that have been had every other time a labour Government has been elected.

However, ask yourself what a labour Government is for. I have respect for blair, but why hasn't he partially repealed the anti trade union laws, massively increased the minimum wage.

Those sorts of policies would have seen people like Peter Kilfoyle still in the cabinet and making a difference. As well as those policies being what a labour Government should be doing to help working people.

11:58 pm, July 21, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm pleased that Peter Kilfoyle is no longer a Minister - he wasn't very good at it.
(He never was in the Cabinet, he was a lower ranking Minister).

11:03 am, July 22, 2006

Blogger A soft socialist said...

My apologies, but he would have made a cracking government whip. As long as he agreed with Government, like!

7:30 pm, July 22, 2006

Blogger El Tom said...

majorities are little measure of success... that's a measure of power, but not principle.

the real measure of success is what you achieve. I'd say that puts blair quite high up, but he takes a total thrashing compared to attlee.

12:32 am, July 24, 2006

Anonymous Duncan said...

Interesting stuff Luke. It would be similarly interesting to do such a comparison with votes received rather than seats won - I don't do this out of any kind of pro-PR position, as that isn't where I'm coming from - it just would just give an interesting alternative view. Seats won can demonstrate very effective electioneering and strategy (laudable things in themselves) while votes won might say more about popularity of policies, etc.

12:25 pm, July 31, 2006

Anonymous Duncan said...

Okay I'm sad, so here it is since '45:

Attlee (based on 4 elections): 43 million votes (average 10.7 per election)
Gaitskell (1) 10.1 million
Wilson (5) 50.5 million (average 10.1 per election)
Callaghan (1) 9.5 million
Foot (1) 7 million
Kinnock (2) 17.5 million (average 8.75)
Blair (3) 29 million (average 9.6)

So, very broadly and crudely speaking: Attlee was the most popular, followed by Wilson/Gaitskell, then Blair/Callaghan, then Kinnock/Foot. Such a rendering isn't entirely fair to Blair or Foot, but there you go!

2:46 pm, August 02, 2006

Blogger Merseymike said...

Largely because the Tory Party has been unelectable since round about 95. I even voted for Bliar last time, simply because the thought of Hpward was too much to handle

Whereas I can live with Cameron, who is just like Bliar only realises he is a Tory, so I won't be voting Labour next time unless there are some very major changes of direction. And there are plenty of others like me - certainly enough to lose Labour its majority

12:58 am, August 04, 2006

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12:56 am, August 07, 2008


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