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Lost leaders: Neil Kinnock

Brilliant orator who moderated the Labour party and paved the way for Blair.

Neil Kinnock grew up in South Wales, a traditional stronghold for Labour. Despite this, he is the only Welsh leader in the party's history.

While some commentators point to Kinnock as laying the foundations for New Labour and ultimately Tony Blair to come to power, his political legacy was cemented through his oratory skills -- Kinnock always delivered emotional and rousing speeches

This skill was perhaps most famously demonstrated in his position as Labour party leader. In 1985 at the party conference he halted Labour's leftward drift by humiliating members of the Militant tendency that had come to dominate Liverpool City Council. Aside from being a great moment of political theatre, it also signalled Labour's return as a political force.

However, his oratory betrayed him in 1992. At a rally in Sheffield his premature triumphalism was seen as costing Labour victory in the coming election. Labour had been expected to win but the tag of "Welsh windbag" undermined his attempts to win over the marginal seats in Middle England.

This failure spelt the end of his career at the top of British politics, and he went to Brussels to become European Commissioner.

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