Why did the Conservatives maintain 'Consensus Politics'?

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  • Why did the Conservatives maintain 'Consensus Politics'?
    • Power of the Trade Unions
      • Nearly 10 million were members of TU (could shut the country down), could not mess with welfare state
    • Legacy of the 1930s
      • Depression and mass unemployment and they were anxious to do anything which may hurt this - did not want a bad reputation
    • Administrative Consensus
      • Hall and Clarke advised the economic policies and supported consensus - could not go against advice
    • Narrowness of the 1951 election victory
      • Did not give them the firm public backing to make the changes they wanted - more people voted Labour, only 26 more seats.
    • Attitudes of the Conservative leaders
      • Most leaders in favour 'One Nation' Conservatives who had a duty to look after the poor. EG Macmillan was an 'ardent social reformer' (Morgan)
    • Popularity of Labours change
      • Labours changes in 1940s were still hugely popular with public, NHS untouchable

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