Why Ed Miliband’s PM ambitions are all but impossible (Part 1)

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    29th September 2010

    Click to Buy Tony Blair’s ‘A Journey’

    Ed Miliband is the 23rd leader of the Labour party

    His task, as for all party leaders, is to lead his party back to government


    In the period of the Labour party’s existence, over 100 years, there have only EVER been FOUR Labour party leaders who have led their party into government. FOUR.  Ever. MacDonald in 1923. Attlee in 1945. Wilson in 1964. Blair in 1997.

    I do hate to be a party pooper, but I feel somehow duty bound to remind the present Labour party what it lost when it allowed the removal of Tony Blair. He was their most successful leader ever, and the only Labour leader to win three consecutive general elections.

    So, soak up these facts and in particular note the number of years between each first election victory of each winner and the next winner’s first election victory: 22/19/33.

    If Ed Miliband aims to be the FIFTH leader to lead his party to power he will indeed be a record-breaker. It is only four months since Labour was ousted. The Labour party may, if history is indicative of anything at all, have another 24 years to wait before they are led into power once more. Perhaps that is why Mr Miliband talks of  ‘a new generation’. They’re likely to need a few.

    Leaders of the Labour Party since 1906 (source)

    Main article: Leader of the Labour Party (UK)
    Number of years served as leader (in parentheses)
    James Keir Hardie was an early democratic soci...

    James Keir Hardie was an early democratic socialist, and the first leader of the Labour party. (Image via Wikipedia)

    Although these were technically leaders of the Labour Party, they only assumed this role because of the death or resignation of the incumbent and were not elected to the post. They were in effect acting temporary leaders. Margaret Beckett was deputy leader when leader John Smith unexpectedly died, and she automatically became leader as a result of his death. Similarly, George Brown, who became leader after the death of Hugh Gaitskell, had been deputy leader at the time of Gaitskell’s death. Harriet Harman was deputy leader when Gordon Brown resigned the leadership in the wake of his May 2010 election defeat.

    Another striking aspect of the length of time Labour party leaders have served is how short most of them were. With Clement Attlee way out ahead at 20 years , only Blair and Wilson served 10 years or more (both served 13). Excluding those three and the three temporary leaders of 1963, 1994 and 2010, the average time served as leaders was 5.3 years.

    Please note that as Prime Minister, Blair outdid all of them, even Wilson by two years, at 10 and 8 respectively.


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    3 Responses to “Why Ed Miliband’s PM ambitions are all but impossible (Part 1)”

    1. wien1938 Says:

      Good work!

    2. What difference will Ed Miliband be from former Labour leaders? | The web talk Says:

      […] Why Ed Miliband’s PM ambitions are all but impossible (Part 1 … […]

    3. jahbalon Says:

      Tony Blair is the most successful and charismatic Labour Leader since the late and great Harold Wilson, both led their parties to three election victories and both won the mandates of the people. I am afraid to say I suspect Labour will lose the 2015 General Election under Ed Miliband and may be in the political doldrums for decades to come.Extraordinary Labour Leaders like Tony Blair and Harold Wilson only appear once in a lifetime.

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