Today marks the 20th anniversary in which it was revealed that the Labour Party officially won the 1997 general election.
As shown on our featured image, it was at 03:13AM on the 2nd May that Labour reached the 330 seats needed to form an overall majority – this was back when the House of Commons had 659 seats. The Labour Party, under Tony Blair’s leadership, went on to win a landslide – 179 seats, the largest in its history, considerably bigger than Clement Atlee’s 145 seat majority in the 1945 general election.
In the early hours of the morning, exactly 20 years ago today, Labour Party members, supporters and activists celebrated their victory at Royal Festival Hall, with Blair famously saying “A new dawn has broken, has it not?” Unlike today where Britain is on the brink of leaving the European Union, Blair wanted Britain to have closer relations and a more central role in the European Union, even proposing Britain joining the Euro. How things have changed.
The Labour Party went on to win another landslide in 2001 and gained a comfortable majority in 2005, both also under the same leader, Tony Blair. It took 13 years to oust them, and it took 18 years for the Conservatives to finally win an actual majority in 2015, having not been able to gain one in 2010, forcing them to make a coalition deal with the Liberal Democrats.
They say history repeats itself, but we’re looking more at a repeat of the 1983 general election rather than 1997, as polls predict if there was a general election tomorrow, the Tories would win a landslide – but Labour are steadily increasing and the Tories are steadily declining in the polls.
by Berk Bektas
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