On 7 June 2001 ‘New’ Labour, led by Tony Blair, achieved its second General Election victory in a row. This was an unprecedented achievement: hitherto, in all its 101 years of existence, Labour had failed to secure two back-to-back full terms in government. Such was the scale of the 2001 result, some commentators even believed the party was guaranteed at least one further period in office. Yet, despite Labour’s sustained electoral success and over four years in power, the character of Blair’s party remained uncertain. What exactly was ‘New’ Labour: was it basically the same as the historical Labour Party, albeit updated to meet present-day needs, or was it a genuinely distinct political phenomenon?
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- Introduction: What is ‘New’ Labour?
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