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Tony Blair’s legacy is a redefinition of what it means to be of the left In the May 6 British general election, David Cameron’s Tories took 306 seats – 48 more than Labour, which had been in power for more than a decade, but 20 short of an outright majority. For five days, both Labour and the Tories courted the third-place Liberal Democrats in the hope of assembling a parliamentary majority. The prospect of Labour staying in office via a “coalition of losers” was not a popular option – even among many Labour MPs. After five days, the Tories and Lib Dems crafted a formal coalition. Gordon Brown resigned, both as Prime Minister and as Labour leader; he announced his intention to leave Parliament. This marks the end of a political movement that began in 1983. That year, in an election that resulted in a disastrous loss for Labour, among the new MPs in the Labour caucus were Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. Over the next decade and a half they overturned traditional Labour Party policies, and from 1997 to 2010 they governed Britain. Now is a good time to assess the successes and failures of their “New Labour” project.

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