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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > October 2017 > Sorry Andrew, context trumps character

Sorry Andrew, context trumps character

Leaders alone cannot account for the outcome of all elections, and have never done so. Other factors are at least as decisive, such as the context in which an election is held and the state of the parties seeking to win. To take a precise example: if Tony Blair had become leader of his party in 1983 he’d have struggled— even with all the skills he applied as opposition leader 11 years later. Why? In 1983 the context for Labour was simply an impossible one for any leader to overcome.

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In Prospect’s October issue: Andrew Adonis, Steve Richards, Gaby Hinsliff, Rachel Sylvester and Jennifer Williams look at the idea that leadership is the only thing that matters when it comes to elections. Adonis leads the cover package arguing exactly that point and outlining his ratings of the leaders who have competed every election in the UK and the United States since 1944—Richards offers a rebuttal. Hinsliff, Sylvester and Williams profile three potential leaders in waiting—Amber Rudd, Jo Swinson and Angela Rayner. Elsewhere in the issue we map out the potential road the UK might travel down to stay in the European Union and explore the relationship between UN Secretary General António Guterres and Donald Trump as the two prepare to meet at the UN. Also in this issue: Philip Collins on the similarities between Britain’s Brexiteers and the Gaullists of yesteryear, John Bercow explains how parliament could function better and our “View from” comes from Nairobi, where the recent election result has been annulled.
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