YOU DECIDE: Labour’s Lost Leader

Are you ready to get back on the campaign trail?

As we enjoy a well-earned summer reprieve from Labour leadership contests (For the first time since 2014!) I thought we could look at Labour’s ‘lost’ leaders and run our own hypothetical contest.

Labour’s post-war history is littered with some of the most successful and transformative politicians the country has ever seen. With such a diverse pool of talent,  many of these politicians never went on to become party leader.

Commentators often talk about missed opportunities for Barbara Castle, Tony Benn and David Miliband. But there are others, such as Mo Mowlam, Tony Crosland and Roy Hattersley, who were touted as future leaders in their time.

It’s time to finally put the contenders to a public vote and award the unwanted crown of ‘ Best Leader Labour Never Had’.



Each week I will put forward four candidates from 8 different eras, who could have become leader. An era will be defined as a period, that a single person held the leadership; e.g. Blair (1994-2007).

Some of the candidates would have been able to challenge for leadership in multiple eras. For example Benn could have ran against Wilson, Callaghan, Foot or Kinnock. But for the purposes of this vote, I will put the candidate in the era that would have given them best opportunity to win.

You Decide

I will then run a twitter poll each week to determine the winning candidate from each era. The 8 winners will then be pitted against one another.

In a final vote, the winner from each side (Pre and Post Thatcher) will face off and we will be able to determine, once and for all, ‘The Greatest Leader Labour Never Had’.

Pre Thatcher

Attlee Era (1945-1955)

Gaitskell Era (1955 -1963)

Wilson Era (1963-1976)

Callaghan Era (1976-1980)

Post Thatcher

Foot Era (1980-1983)

Kinnock Era (1983-1992)

Smith and Blair Era (1992-2007)

Brown Era (2007-2010)

So if you are ready to dive back into a bitter and divisive election campaign, please get in touch with suggestions, nominations and opinions on who you think should be ‘The Best Leader Labour Never Had’.


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