Tony Blair promised today to pursue the people's priorities in Labour's unprecedented third term and issued a veiled apology for the shortcomings of the past eight years, as he returned to Downing Street with a much-reduced majority of around 60, down from its 165 majority in 2001.
Standing in front of No 10, Mr Blair acknowledged that Iraq had been a 'deeply divisive issue', but said he believed the country was now ready to move on.
'When I stood here eight years ago, I was a lot younger, but a lot less experienced,' he said, as his family listened off to one side. 'I think I have a very clear idea what the British people want from a third term.'
Blair may soon be a casualty of his party's Iraq stance. Meanwhile the election has claimed the Conservative party leader. Despite the Tory gains, Michael Howard announced today that he would stand down as Conservative leader.