100 years of the UK Labour Celebration’s ups and downs

Image of: Michael Foot, Tony Blair, Jeremy Corbyn, Ramsay MacDonald and Clement Atlee

Image copyright
Getty Images

Battered over Brexit, losing support in previous fortress, and led by Jeremy Corbyn whose personal scores were among the lowest ever tape-recorded, Labour took a hammering.

Can the brand-new leader turn around the celebration’s potential customers?

Here’s what 100 years of voting tells us about the scale of the job ahead.

Labour had its very first prime minister in 1924

More than 700 million votes have been cast in UK general elections considering that 1918, some 300 million of them for Labour.

The celebration produced its very first prime minister, Ramsay MacDonald, at the head of a minority federal government in1924

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Labour’s very first Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald.

Ever Since Labour has actually won eight basic elections and produced 5 more prime ministers: Clement Attlee (1945-51), Harold Wilson (1964-70 and 1974-76), James Callaghan (1976-79), Tony Blair (1997-2007) and Gordon Brown (2007-10).

Labour is as weak now as it remained in the 1930 s

The 2019 basic election was a catastrophe for Labour, leaving Jeremy Corbyn’s party with 202 out of 650 Commons seats.

Labour’s brand-new leader will have less associates in the House of Commons than any Labour leader has actually had for 84 years.

The celebration lost greatly, even in locations where working class supporters had actually kept Labour afloat for generations.

Previous mining neighborhoods in north-east England and Wales turned away. The celebration lost seats in every English area except London.

In Scotland, Labour, with simply one seat out of 59, have been all however erased.

Labour has actually suffered heavy defeats before

In 1983 Labour, under Michael Foot, won simply seven seats more than its existing tally.

Labour’s poor performance followed a destructive split which led to the formation of the Social Democratic Celebration (SDP).

As in 2019, Labour faced sharp criticism over a manifesto extensively regarded as too radical. Critics called it “the longest suicide note in history”.

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Michael Foot with Labour’s 1983 manifesto.

Mr Foot also dealt with Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who was riding a crest of popularity, buoyed by victory in the Falklands War versus Argentina.

Labour has made some big come-backs

The outlook for the brand-new leader may look bleak, but Labour has actually recuperated from heavy beats before.

After 1983, it took the party an additional 14 years to go back to power – in 1997, Tony Blair won a landslide victory.

The result ended 18 years of Conservative guideline under Mrs Thatcher and John Major, and gave Labour 418 seats.

Tony Blair went on to win two more elections in 2001 and2005

Labour under Mr Blair and Gordon Brown was in power for 13 years.

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Tony Blair won 3 elections for Labour: 1997, 2001 and2005

Likewise, in 1945 Labour overcame big obstacles to win with a significant majority.

The Conservative Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, had just led the nation to victory over the Nazis.

The election occurred less than 2 months after completion of the fighting in Europe.

The Labour leader Clement Attlee mounted a hugely effective project for a program of post-war restoring.

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Labour leader Clement Attlee won a landslide triumph in the 1945 general election.

His 145- seat bulk, Labour’s very first, enabled Mr Attlee to introduce a sweeping programme of reforms, consisting of the intro of the National Health Service.

Analysis from Peter Barnes, BBC Senior Citizen Political Expert

Probably the “simplest” way to win would be to regain most of the seats Labour has lost considering that the last success in 2005.

These charts reveal that the parts of the UK where Labour has actually fallen back most are Scotland and the Midlands – certainly not London where the party has in fact grown more powerful.

A third route, but perhaps the least possible, is a major adjustment where Labour won swathes of southern England which the party has actually never ever held prior to.

Scotland and south-east England are a big difficulty

If Labour is to make huge gains next time, the historic record recommends they are not likely to come in south-east England.

At no point in the past 100 years has Labour won a majority of the seats there and the Tories have actually dominated practically the entire region.

Tony Blair and Clement Attlee made some gains, but even they were restricted.

Hugh Gaitskell, who was leader from 1955 to 1963, Harold Wilson (1963-76), James Callaghan (1976-80) and Neil Kinnock (1983-92) made little impact.

Labour leaders from Ramsay MacDonald in the 1920 s right up to Ed Miliband in 2015 saw Scotland as fertile ground.

Even Michael Foot took 41 seats there in1983

The Scottish National Party (SNP), which was founded in 1934, made some gains in the 1970 s but took just two seats in 1983.

Considering That 2015, the SNP under Alex Salmond and then Nicola Sturgeon has dominated almost completely.

Labour requires to win back constituencies in north-east England

In England, the north east has been Labour’s the majority of faithful fortress.

Former mining communities and other primarily working class areas voted Labour in big numbers from the celebration’s earliest days.

The Conservatives have a higher proportion of north-east England seats than at any time considering that1935

Bringing constituencies like Blythe Valley, a Labour seat from 1950 to 2019, and Bishop Auckland, Labour from 1935 to 2019, back into the fold will be a major obstacle for Labour’s brand-new leader.

The Conservative government under Boris Johnson has signalled it will fight difficult to stop that occurring.

London and north-west England might provide some hope

London could be an exception for Labour and its new leader as the capital stays a predominantly Labour city.

In 2019 the party carried out there in addition to it has in any election since 1950, except when Labour was led by Tony Blair.

Also the north west of England might be more fertile ground for the new Labour leader.

The party lost seats in this region in 2019, however still holds more than half which is a greater percentage than it held during most of the 20 th Century.

Approach and cautions

We evaluated information from every general election because 1918 held by the House of Commons Library.

We have gathered some celebrations into one category, for example the Liberal Celebration and the Liberal Democrats or Labour and Independent Labour.

We have also omitted the small numbers of university seats which existed before 1945 and second seats from the two-seat constituencies that existed before1950

Learn More