Changing Party Fortunes 1918-31

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  • Changing Party Fortunes 1918-31
    • Liberals
      • Trevor Wilson = healthy in 1914 but run over by ‘a rampant omnibus’
      • Laissez-faire but war forced otherwise with rationing & conscription etc
      • Split between LG & Asquith from 1916
      • ‘Maurice debate’ 1918 - personal bitterness between LG & Asquith
      • Tories didn’t want coalition due to rumours of corruption
        • Cash for Honours & Chanak
      • LG had funds through sale of honours but wouldn’t share until followed this ideas
        • Only when Asquith stepped down in 1926, LG shared his funds but too late to take on Labour
    • Conservatives
      • Baldwin presented himself as normal man of people despite inheriting his family’s steel industry
        • Ran his factories fairly & keen to promote harmony between workers & employers in British economy
        • Key speaker against LG at 1922 Carlton Club - Tories abandoned coalition
        • won over LG’s remaining supporters by adopting Protectionism
      • Until ROPA 1948, ‘plural vote’ allowed Oxford & Cambridge Unis & City of London to return 14 MPs (always Tory)
      • 1921 Irish Free State gained independencefrom UK = Liberals lost support of around 80 Nationalist Irish MPs but Tories still had 10 Northern Irish MPs
      • FPTP benefitted Tories - needed less votes to return an MP than other parties (15,943)
    • Labour
      • 1923 more votes than Liberals for 1st time
      • 1924 Ramsay MacDonald PM
      • Emerged from war united with huge growth in TU membership
      • Started representing working class, helping win supporters from Liberals
      • Asquith backed minority Labour govt after 1923 as he though it would do a bad job & have to rely on Liberal support - he was wrong
      • MacDonald ruled with economic caution & impressed everyone with his conduct of foreign affairs


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