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Quiz about UK Prime Ministers Who Took Over MidTerm
Quiz about UK Prime Ministers Who Took Over MidTerm

UK Prime Ministers Who Took Over Mid-Term Quiz


As it is a parliamentary democracy, if the UK's Prime Minister resigns, a new one can take their place without needing a General Election. Match the outgoing PM with their replacement.

A matching quiz by Upstart3. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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Author
Upstart3
Time
3 mins
Type
Match Quiz
Quiz #
383,782
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Very Easy
Avg Score
9 / 10
Plays
332
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
Last 3 plays: mulder52 (10/10), Guest 86 (8/10), Guest 78 (8/10).
(a) Drag-and-drop from the right to the left, or (b) click on a right side answer box and then on a left side box to move it.
QuestionsChoices
1. David Cameron, 2016. Resigned after losing referendum on remaining in the European Union.  
  Alec Douglas-Home
2. Tony Blair, 2007. Resigned due to pressure from his party, and (perhaps) a pact made at a restaurant in 1994.  
  Winston Churchill
3. Margaret Thatcher, 1990. Resigned after not winning first ballot of leadership contest by large enough margin.  
  John Major
4. Harold Wilson, 1976. Surprise announcement, not explained.   
  Stanley Baldwin
5. Harold Macmillan, 1963. Beset by scandal, officially resigned due to ill health.  
  Anthony Eden
6. Anthony Eden, 1957. Resigned after disastrous Suez operation, officially due to ill health.  
  James Callaghan
7. Winston Churchill, 1955. Resigned due to failing health.  
  Neville Chamberlain
8. Neville Chamberlain, 1940. Resigned after disastrous Norwegian engagement and failure to form coalition government.  
  Theresa May
9. Stanley Baldwin, 1937. Resigned at age 69. No reason apart from that.  
  Harold Macmillan
10. James Ramsay MacDonald, 1935. Resigned due to failing health.  
  Gordon Brown





Select each answer

1. David Cameron, 2016. Resigned after losing referendum on remaining in the European Union.
2. Tony Blair, 2007. Resigned due to pressure from his party, and (perhaps) a pact made at a restaurant in 1994.
3. Margaret Thatcher, 1990. Resigned after not winning first ballot of leadership contest by large enough margin.
4. Harold Wilson, 1976. Surprise announcement, not explained.
5. Harold Macmillan, 1963. Beset by scandal, officially resigned due to ill health.
6. Anthony Eden, 1957. Resigned after disastrous Suez operation, officially due to ill health.
7. Winston Churchill, 1955. Resigned due to failing health.
8. Neville Chamberlain, 1940. Resigned after disastrous Norwegian engagement and failure to form coalition government.
9. Stanley Baldwin, 1937. Resigned at age 69. No reason apart from that.
10. James Ramsay MacDonald, 1935. Resigned due to failing health.

Most Recent Scores
Mar 23 2024 : mulder52: 10/10
Mar 23 2024 : Guest 86: 8/10
Mar 09 2024 : Guest 78: 8/10
Feb 24 2024 : Pikoyboy: 10/10

Score Distribution

quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. David Cameron, 2016. Resigned after losing referendum on remaining in the European Union.

Answer: Theresa May

David Cameron became leader of the Conservative Party in December 2005. In the May 2010 General Election he failed to win an overall majority, and formed a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats. The achievement of keeping the coalition together for a full Parliamentary term was significant, and Cameron reaped his reward at the 2015 general election: a Conservative majority for the first time since 1992, and the Lib Dems annihilated. He held and won referendums on the electoral system and Scottish independence, but went one referendum too far with the vote on the UK's membership of the EU on 23 June 2016, which he held to keep the anti-Europe wing of his party happy. Although he had initially indicated that he would continue as PM whatever the result, in the event he chose to resign.

The leadership election to replace Cameron was a strange affair. The big hitters didn't put themselves forward (apart from Theresa May), and once the preliminary rounds of voting among MPs were over, the Conservative Party was denied the opportunity to choose between May (who had served as Home Secretary for six years) and Andrea Leadsom, a comparatively inexperienced candidate who had in her favour a strong campaign in the Brexit referendum. So May got to the top of the greasy pole despite being pro-Remain (although she had been fairly quiet during the campaign), and presiding over a failure to achieve the Conservative manifesto commitments to restrict immigration.
2. Tony Blair, 2007. Resigned due to pressure from his party, and (perhaps) a pact made at a restaurant in 1994.

Answer: Gordon Brown

Tony Blair became leader of the Labour Party in 1994 and led it in May 1997 to its first election win since 1974. He had two subsequent election successes, in 2001 and 2005. The latter gave Labour a majority of 66, with a popular vote of around 35% - the lowest percentage a majority administration had ever achieved. His popularity had waned, with the unpopular invasion of Iraq a major negative for him. Additional speculation was stoked by his confusing statement in 2004 that he would serve a full third term, not contest a fourth election, but give a successor time to bed in. Eventually he stood down on 27 June 2007.

Back in 1994, Tony Blair's only serious rival for the leadership was Gordon Brown. The two were said to have had a meeting at the "Granita" restaurant, at which it was agreed that Brown would give Blair a clear run, and that the latter would step aside for Brown at some later date. Brown served alongside Blair as his Chancellor of the Exchequer. Their partnership was successful politically, but their relationship was marred by ill feeling, with "sources close to" each man briefing against the other viciously for years. On resigning, Blair recommended that the Party should choose Brown. Brown was the only candidate to receive enough MPs' nominations to go forward to a membership vote, so duly became Prime Minister. It all went wrong with the 2008 recession and Brown lost the General Election in 2010.
3. Margaret Thatcher, 1990. Resigned after not winning first ballot of leadership contest by large enough margin.

Answer: John Major

Margaret Thatcher won three General Elections for the Conservative Party, in 1979, 1983 and 1987. While Prime Minister she managed to beat the Argentinian invaders of the Falkland Islands, and (possibly a more difficult enemy) the National Union of Mineworkers. By a huge programme of privatisation of utilities and housing she changed the face of the UK, and its political landscape - the Labour Party only returned to power after many years of strife and reinvention.

After her third election win, she hit some difficulties. The Poll Tax - a deeply unpopular measure that was the subject of riots on the streets of the UK - was a serious error. Colleagues like Chancellor Nigel Lawson and Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe took issue with her intransigence over Europe, and Howe's devastating resignation speech was a clear sign of difficulties for Thatcher. Michael Heseltine challenged Thatcher and a leadership vote was held. In order to win on the first ballot of MPs, Thatcher had to win by 15%. She fell 4 votes short and resigned on 22 November 1990.

Other candidates could join in the second ballot and John Major emerged victorious - beating much better known candidates - probably because of his low profile and hence fewer enemies. He had made a rapid rise, having served as Foreign Secretary for 3 months, and Chancellor for just over a year. Against all predictions and contrary to the opinion polls, Major subsequently won a General Election in his own right in 1992.
4. Harold Wilson, 1976. Surprise announcement, not explained.

Answer: James Callaghan

Harold Wilson was one of the most successful of all Labour leaders electorally, winning four General Elections, and serving as Prime Minister in two periods: 1964-1970 and 1974-1976. His shock decision in 1976 to resign at the age of 60 - to make way for an older man - has never been fully explained. There are conspiracy theories galore and also speculation that the master politician had an inkling of a decline in his powers from the Alzheimer's disease that would come to afflict him.

James Callaghan, Wilson's nominee, took over as Prime Minister, seeing off five talented opponents in a leadership election: Tony Benn, Michael Foot, Denis Healey, Anthony Crosland and Roy Jenkins. He became the first person to serve in all four of the UK's great Offices of State - having previously been Chancellor of the Exchequer, Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary. Not a noticeable success in any of these roles, his Government hit economic humiliation, he dithered about when to hold the General Election, and he ended up losing to Margaret Thatcher's Conservatives in 1979.
5. Harold Macmillan, 1963. Beset by scandal, officially resigned due to ill health.

Answer: Alec Douglas-Home

Harold MacMillan served as Prime Minister between 1957 and 1963. He is best known for presiding over an improvement in the standard of living of the UK people - telling them they'd "never had it so good". He won an election in 1959, but by 1963 his government was hit by scandal, including the resignation of the Secretary of State for War, John Profumo, after a liaison with a teenage woman who had also had a relationship with a Soviet Union Naval attaché. MacMillan resigned, citing ill health. He was the last UK Prime Minister born in the 19th century and the last who served in World War I. He accepted an hereditary peerage as the Earl of Stockton, and lived until 1986.

As is often the case, the obvious candidates to take over from MacMillan - Rab Butler, Reginald Maudling and Lord Hailsham - were overlooked in favour of someone less obviously qualified, but with fewer enemies, Alec Douglas-Home. The 14th Earl of Home was the last British Prime Minister to lead from the House of Lords, although he resigned his peerage in order to be elected to the Commons. He was unable to shake the Government's image of being old fashioned and corrupt and lost the general election to Harold Wilson's Labour in 1964.
6. Anthony Eden, 1957. Resigned after disastrous Suez operation, officially due to ill health.

Answer: Harold Macmillan

The Suez Crisis proved to be the end of a long and distinguished career of public service by Sir Anthony Eden. In response to the nationalisation of the Suez Canal by the Egyptian president Nasser, the UK, France and Israel hatched a plot whereby Israel would invade Egypt in October 1956 and the UK and France would step in, ostensibly as peace keepers, and take control of the Canal. The scheme failed (the USA was not consulted and President Eisenhower was furious) and the action was condemned by the United Nations and the USSR. Eden was ridiculed by Aneurin Bevan in the House of Commons: "Sir Anthony Eden has been pretending that he is now invading Egypt to strengthen the United Nations. Every burglar of course could say the same thing; he could argue that he was entering the house to train the police. So, if Sir Anthony Eden is sincere in what he is saying, and he may be, then he is too stupid to be a prime minister".

Despite the enforced ceasefire and withdrawal of troops, Eden was determined to carry on as PM, but was plotted against by colleagues while on holiday, and he resigned on 9 January 1957. The succession was between Rab Butler and Harold MacMillan, and informed by a survey of the cabinet, the Queen summoned MacMillan to take over.
7. Winston Churchill, 1955. Resigned due to failing health.

Answer: Anthony Eden

At the October 1951 General Election, Winston Churchill became Prime Minister for the second time, at the age of 76. Early in his premiership he also acted as Minster for Defence. Churchill had suffered a stroke in 1949, and the King is believed to have been concerned about his health, although it is not known whether he raised it before he himself died in February 1952. Churchill suffered another stroke in 1953, and would probably have been replaced, but for the illness of the obvious successor, Anthony Eden.

The health problems of the PM were kept from the House of Commons and the public. Eventually, Churchill's deterioration and Eden's improvement in health coincided and Churchill resigned from office in April 1955. Eden was an experienced and (at the time) popular replacement.
8. Neville Chamberlain, 1940. Resigned after disastrous Norwegian engagement and failure to form coalition government.

Answer: Winston Churchill

Neville Chamberlain's position became untenable as it became obvious that his policy of appeasement was a failure in the face of Adolf Hitler's German regime, and that his management of the war effort was hit by setbacks and reversals. At the age of 69, he devoted all his energies to avoiding a repeat of the horrors of the Great War. Ultimately, the 1938 Munich Agreement he made with Hitler was supposed to bring an end to further German expansion, giving up parts of Czechoslovakia.

After Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Chamberlain had no option but to declare war, addressing the first Sunday sitting of the House of Commons in 120 years: "Everything that I have worked for, everything that I have hoped for, everything that I have believed in during my public life has crashed into ruins." The UK hit setbacks in the course of the war, culminating in a disastrous attempt to take part of Norway in early 1940.

The subsequent Parliamentary debate was vicious. Leo Amery famously delivered a furious condemnation "You have sat here too long for any good you are doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you.

In the name of God, go!" Churchill spoke for Chamberlain in the debate and the Government won the vote, but with a significantly reduced majority. Chamberlain asked Labour to join his government. They declined, but said they would serve under a new PM. Chamberlain resigned, recommending that the King send for Churchill to take over. And the rest is history.
9. Stanley Baldwin, 1937. Resigned at age 69. No reason apart from that.

Answer: Neville Chamberlain

Stanley Baldwin served as Prime Minister in three terms: 1923-24; 1924-29 and 1935-37. It was in the last of these terms that he faced the challenge of the Abdication Crisis caused by the desire of Edward VIII to marry the twice-divorced Wallis Simpson, in the face of opposition from the public and the House of Commons.

After successfully seeing the crisis through and two weeks after the coronation of George VI in 1937, he announced his retirement, his last action being to raise MPs' salaries for the first time since their introduction in 1911.

He advised the King to call for Neville Chamberlain to take over.
10. James Ramsay MacDonald, 1935. Resigned due to failing health.

Answer: Stanley Baldwin

James Ramsey MacDonald was the first Labour Prime Minister. He led a Labour government in two terms, in 1924 and 1929-31. His actions in response to the Great Depression caused Labour to split and he was expelled from the party. He formed a coalition National Government in 1931 chiefly supported by the Conservatives and in which only two Labour colleagues served.

His failing health caused him to resign following the 1935 Silver Jubilee of George V. His senior colleague, Stanley Baldwin, of the Conservatives, took over.
Source: Author Upstart3

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