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There are a large and intriguing number of ‘Nearly Men’ from the 18th century to the present day. 

We shall look at their lives and the reasons they reached to within touching distance of No 10 but ultimately failed.  Regrettably there are no ‘Nearly Women’ in the list despite us having had two female Prime Ministers.

Those in the list include those who died before their moment would have come, such as John Smith and Randolph Churchill, those who perhaps could never quite believe they didn’t make it, from RAB Butler to Charles James Fox, as well as a host of others from Lord Halifax to Michael Foot.

William Tyler MBE is freelance educator, lecturing, public speaking, writing and consultancy with a main focus on History. He was the Principal of The City Lit, Britain’s largest college of adult education. He was his awarded his MBE for services to education.

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