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Best-selling hatch when Tony Blair won 1997 election is still incredibly popular today


The online vehicle retail platform AA Cars has shared the best-selling models in the UK when the Labour Party last replaced the Conservatives in 1997.

The study comes as Sir Kier Starmer became the new Prime Minister of the country, following a Labour landslide in the General Election.

James Hosking, Director of AA Cars, noted that 1997’s Labour victory was marked by the Ford Mondeo, the fifth-best-selling model of the year that was commonly mentioned by Tony Blair.

He explained: “‘Mondeo Man’ was described as the key voter demographic successfully won over by Labour during the 1997 election campaign, even if the best-selling car of the year was the Mondeo’s stablemate, the perennially popular Ford Fiesta.

“Fast-forward nearly 30 years and both ‘Mondeo man’ and the car itself, which is no longer in production in Europe, having been consigned to history.”

In addition to the Ford Mondeo, which ceased production in Europe in 2022, AA Cars noted that a number of the best-selling models in 1997 are now a distant memory.

The sixth most popular model of the year was the UK-made Vauxhall Vectra, a range of family saloons, liftback, and estates that was related to a number of other models built by Saab and the Australian Holden.

The Peugeot 306, Ford Escort, and Rover 200-series, a trio of competing hatchbacks, also featured in the top 10 of 1997, with AA Cars noting that remaining examples are now worth significant amounts of money, despite their old age.

Nevertheless, AA Cars stated that many cars that were widely bought by Brits in 1997 are still popular to this day.

The best-selling model of the year was the Ford Fiesta, the stylish hatchback that only went out of production in 2023 after being a part of the company’s range for 47 years.

Similarly, Vauxhall’s Corsa supermini and Astra hatchback, the second and third most popular models, also continue to be a success with buyers.

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