Thursday, 18 October 2018

Who is the most successful Labour leader?


Counting only those who have led the party in a General Election, here is a table showing the Labour leaders since the First World War and how many elections they won.

Leader
Tenure
GEs contested
GEs won
% success rate
Tony Blair
1994 – 2007
3
3
100
Harold Wilson
1963 – 1976
5
4
80
Clement Attlee
1935 – 1955
5
2
40
Ramsay MacDonald
1922 – 1931
5
2
40
Jeremy Corbyn
2015 - present
1
0
0
Ed Miliband
2010 - 2015
1
0
0
Gordon Brown
2007 - 2010
1
0
0
Neil Kinnock
1983 – 1992
2
0
0
Michael Foot
1980 – 1983
1
0
0
James Callaghan
1976 – 1980
1
0
0
Hugh Gaitskell
1955 – 1963
1
0
0
William Adamson
1917 - 1921
1
0
0

The Leader’s prime role is to seek and gain the keys to 10 Downing Street. So far only four Labour leaders have fully achieved this. It is arguable as to who is most successful; on the percentage success rate Tony Blair comes top. Harold Wilson has the most victories. Ramsay MacDonald was our first successful leader, although his subsequent desertion sullies his reputation. Clement Attlee has a special place in people’s affection because of his 1945 victory, although his landslide was thrown way within six years,

Eleven victories in twenty-seven attempts is some way behind the Conservative record. I hope that Jeremy Corbyn’s imminent success will begin a period where our success rate significantly improves.

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