Since 1945 there have been 22 chancellors of the exchequer, 14 of them Conservative and eight Labour.
Which chancellors were the most investor-friendly?
The chart on this page lists the 22 chancellors of the exchequer since 1945 with the years they were in office. For each chancellor, two values are plotted:
- the percentage change in the value of the FTSE All-Share Index during their period in office, and
- the above value adjusted by annualising, to allow for comparison of chancellors in office for different lengths of time.
- Six chancellors left office with the market lower than when they started: three of these chancellors were Conservative and three were Labour.
- The stock market suffered its worst period under the chancellorship of Alistair Darling (although it must be said that he did not inherit the soundest of economies).
- The chancellor seeing the greatest rise in the market was Nigel Lawson, the market rose 141% during his time in office. That performance was followed by Denis Healey and Derrick Heathcoat-Amory.
- However, looking at the annualised figures we see that the best chancellor for the stock market was Derrick Heathcoat-Amory (who become chancellor the same week that Jerry Lewis’ “Great Balls of Fire” was top of the hit parade).
The data for the chart are below.
|Chancellor||FTAS Rtn(%)||FTAS Rtn ann(%)|
|Hugh Dalton (Lab, 1945-1947)||12.1||5.2|
|Stafford Cripps (Lab, 1947-1950)||-6.1||-2.1|
|Hugh Gaitskell (Lab, 1950-1951)||12.7||12.5|
|Rab Butler (Con, 1951-1955)||35.0||8.4|
|Harold Macmillan (Con, 1955-1957)||-2.8||-2.7|
|Peter Thorneycroft (Con, 1957-1958)||-11.4||-11.6|
|Derrick Heathcoat-Amory (Con, 1958-1960)||82.6||32.4|
|John Selwyn Lloyd (Con, 1960-1962)||-13.2||-6.7|
|Reginald Maudling (Con, 1962-1964)||22.2||9.8|
|James Callaghan (Lab, 1964-1967)||20.5||6.6|
|Roy Jenkins (Lab, 1967-1970)||-0.6||-0.2|
|Ian Macleod (Con, 1970-1970)||0.2||2.5|
|Anthony Barber (Con, 1970-1974)||9.2||2.5|
|Dennis Healey (Lab, 1974-1979)||103.5||20.0|
|Geoffrey Howe (Con, 1979-1983)||57.4||14.0|
|Nigel Lawson (Con, 1983-1989)||141.4||22.2|
|John Major (Con, 1989-1990)||-4.1||-3.8|
|Norman Lamont (Con, 1990-1993)||36.6||14.7|
|Kenneth Clarke (Con, 1993-1997)||52.0||13.2|
|Gordon Brown (Lab, 1997-2007)||58.2||5.7|
|Alistair Darling (Lab, 2007-2010)||-17.9||-6.2|
|George Osborne (Con, 2010-)||26.8||8.0|