How far was the Labour Party responsible for its own downfall in 1951?

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How far was the Labour Party responsible for its own downfall in 1951?
(24 marks)
Fault of the Labour Party:
1) 1951
a) Korean War: expensive rearmament.
b) 1952: improved economic situation: should have held election then.
c) Party divisions
i) Prescription and dental charges: Labour supporters disappointed.
ii) Quarrels Bevan and Gaitskell (Exchequer)
(1) Bevan felt UK too close to USA and Cold War.
d) Labour leaders ill/exhausted.
i) Under severe pressure since 1940 war coalition.
e) Voters tired of Labour
i) Bureacracy
ii) Taxation
iii) Red tape
iv) Rationing
Other Factors:
1) Revival of Conservatives.
a) Better shape in 1951 than 1945
b) Woolton
i) Fundraising scheme
ii) Membership drive.
c) Exploited Labour's setbacks.
d) Make clear commitment to the NHS.
e) Maintained most Nationalised industries.
f) `Postwar consensus'
g) The promise of 300,000 new homes per year (better than Labour's 200,000)
i) Tackle housing shortage 195051.
2) Only a marginal defeat for Labour.
a) Had done the job they were supposed to.
b) Noone realised Labour would remain in political wilderness until 1964.
3) Unfairness of `First past the post' system:
Party 1950 1951
Votes Seats Votes Seats
Labour 13.3 million 315 13.9 million 295
Conservative 12.5 million 298 13.7 million 321
Liberal 2.6 million 9 0.7 million 6

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