History

Tony Blair’s electoral success in context. Or why it’s so curious that Labour activists love booing him

Tony Blair - photo courtesy of https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tony_Blair,_UK_Prime_Minister_(1997-2007)_(8228591861).jpg

Here’s how all the Labour Party’s leaders from Clement Attlee onwards have performed, judging them on the basis of the average proportion of seats won by Labour at the general election where they were leading their party. (Proportion of seats as the size of the House of Commons has varied during this time from 615 to 651.)

Labour leaders election records

Yet who have been the most unpopular Labour leaders with their own ranks? Certainly Tony Blair and in his time Harold Wilson too. Labour’s two most successful party leaders when it comes to winning seats have been its two least popular too .

A very odd quirk of Labour history, but one also that says something about the party’s psyche, especially when you consider also how Clement Attlee’s overall record is not stellar yet that’s so rarely mentioned as a caveat when praising him and the 1945 landslide. A landslide that was nearly completely stripped away at the next election, leading to a short-lived zombie government which then fell to defeat.

 

P.S. To save certain readers some time, here’s a comment ready for you to cut and paste:

Your neocon idiot!!!! IRAQ IRAQ IRAQ. its quite obvious why labour should HATE its most “successful” leader – as if you can call killing lots of Iraqis successful!!!!!!! There is nothing strange about a party hatting its most successful leaders- better than stupid deference to successful leaders the evil tory scum show.

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