Reasons for 1951 Election Results

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  • Created on: 11-06-16 14:43
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Conservative Strengths Labour Weaknesses
Reorganisation + recovery under Lord Woolton Attlee gov exhausted after 6 difficult years in
(party chairman) after shock of 1945 defeat. E.g. office. Worn down by economic problems.
reformed finances and constituency organisation Divisions developing between right & left of
Influx of bright young Tory MPs (e.g. R. A. Butler) party (e.g. Bevanite rebellion over prescription
brought news ideas and confidence charges). Leftwing wing angered by entry into
Projected themselves as upholders of liberty and Korean War (following US in Cold War)
individuals (against centralisation & Image as party of rationing, devaluation,
collectivisation) austerity and high taxation
Accepted postwar consensus. Tories promised to 1947 Financial Crisis
maintain welfare state (incl. NHS) and mixed Resentment among TUs at Labour's slowness in
economy responding to demands
Promise to build 300,000 homes Conservatives attacked gov's nationalisation of
iron and steel. Cause for Tories to rally around.
1951 General Election
Other Factors
Liberal party only put up 109 candidates drop of 366. ExLiberal votes went
mostly to Conservatives
Labour= the victim of imbalance in FirstPastthePost system
Timing of election. Extent of economic recovery had not yet been revealed
Labour actually got more votes than Tories (1% more). Highest aggregate vote ever


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