Introduction to Political Parties in Britain 1906-51

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  • 4 Key Political Parties in the UK
    • The Conservatives
      • They were the party of great land owners, of the Church of England and of big business
      • Their support was among middle and upper classes. Their support was strong in rural areas, and in industrial towns and cities
      • Between 1886 and 1906 they won 3 of the general elections
      • Lord Sailisbury was the leader of the party
      • They attracted support by projecting an image of patriotism and of pride in empire by standing up for British interests abroad
    • The Liberals
      • Other leading party in Britain before 1906. It was founded on an alliance between aristocrats, some middle class, non-conformists and radical working men
      • They suffered divisions over the Home Rule
      • They were mostly agreed on policies such as Free Trade
      • They believed in 'Laissez Faire'
      • William Gl.adstone was a key figure in the party and was PM 4 times between 1868-1894. he supported Home Rule which created divisions
    • The Labour Party
      • they were a small party in 1906 but were growing political force.
      • There were a few working-class MP's, mostly trade unioniss
      • Kier Hardie was the founder of the Labour party and he took his seat as first Labour MP
      • they won 29 seats in 1906
      • Membership came through affiliation and party funds were very limited. It was more of a pressure group than a political party
      • its purpose was to form a distinct group in partliament. It was also aimed to get more working class and trade union sponsored MP's into the House of Commons
      • the party grew from 2 MPs to 1900 to 42 MPs in the election of Dec. 1910
        • they won 29 seats in 1906
    • The Irish Nationalists
      • it was founded in the 1860s to promote the idea of Home Rule of Ireland
      • its support was mainly from Catholic ares of Ireland
      • they wanted Ireland to become a separte country from Britian.


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