David Miliband, Peter Mandelson, Alastair Campbell, Ed Balls and others remember the day they won
They all remember the sunshine. Talk to those who were there on 1 May 1997, and everyone mentions the way the whole country seemed to glow under bright blue skies and a warm sun. It had been that way for much of the campaign, but those at the centre had barely had a chance to enjoy it. Now, on polling day, time at last seemed to slow down. For those few hours, there was nothing more that the small, tight group at the heart of New Labour could do, except wait.
Thanks to Theresa May’s decision to call an early election, the campaign of 2017 will encompass a poignant milestone: the 20th anniversary of the biggest landslide in British political history. On Monday, two decades will have passed since Tony Blair led Labour to a triumph so complete it eclipsed even the groundbreaking win of 1945. While Clement Attlee racked up a Commons majority of 145 seats, Blair managed 179. Nothing like it had been accomplished before – or since.
When you’d lost as many elections as we had, you believed right until the end that some unforeseen event could derail us
My pager kept going off: Labour gain, Labour gain, Labour gain, Labour hold, Labour gain, Labour gain…
I refuse to list Iraq as an upfront regret, because I don’t believe it
Nothing is more damning than the fact that, 20 years on, Jeremy Corbyn is leader and Labour is about to be annihilated
There have always been parts of the Labour party that find the discipline of government, of compromise, hardContinue reading...