On the 5th Anniversary of Blair’s exit from No. 10……

On the 5th Anniversary of Blair’s exit from No. 10……

Would Labour still be in power if they’d stuck with Tony?

Exactly five years ago today, June 27th 2007, was a pivotal point in British politics. It was the moment when the triple general election winner Tony Blair stood down and when Gordon Brown took over after Labour MPs had given him the job without a contest.

Blair, of course, was one of only three leaders in Labour’s entire history to lead the party to overall majorities

The clip featured above from Newsnight gets over the flavour very well. I thought Cameron handled the final Blair PMQs particularly well.

I’ve often wondered whether the red team would have clung on if Tony Blair had not been forced out.

The polling from the final few months months before he stood aside suggests that he might. The table below, based on the named leader question from three different pollsters, points to a Brown premiership polling about 5 points worse in relation to the Tories than a Tony Blair led party.

I argued strongly at the time that Brown was an electoral liability rather than an asset and I think that subsequent events showed that that was right.

Poll Date CON lead with Blair CON lead with Brown Brown Handicap
ICM/Guardian 20/05/07 2 8 -6
Populus/Times 13/05/07 4 10 -6
ICM/Guardian 22/04/07 7 12 -5
Populus/Times 15/04/07 8 11 -3
ICM/Guardian 18/03/07 10 15 -5
YouGov S Times 16/03/07 6 10 -4
Populus/Times 04/03/07 8 13 -5

Mike Smithson @MSmithsonPB

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