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Revival of Conservatism after 1945 defeat

- Outcome should not have been a surprise to the Cons. party

- Clear indications in opinion polls taken during the latter stages of war, that social and economic reform at home would be a key issue

- Voters believed that Labour was a better party for domestic issues such as: housing, healthcare and maintaining full employment

- Furthermore, the Cons. were associated with the 1931 cons. dominated govts. (mass unemployment and hardship of the depression)

- An enormous job was needed to be done in order to reorganise the party's structure and policies to have a chance when the time cameto go back to the polls

- Many did not think the Cons. would recover as quickly as they did however in 1948 the Cons. has regained their confidence

- Gained more seats in election of 1951, Labour only 5 seats in the majority

- When in 1951 a second election was called the Cons. were fighting fit after 6 years of defeat

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Why did the Conservatives regain power? - COLD WAR

- Changing political climate at home and abroad which accompanied the early Cold War.

- Cons. had been placed on a defensive when life during the war seemed to justify socialist claims that the state could provide efficiently and more fairly the employment services which had been absent during the depression. Soviet Union was a wartime ally & wartime propaganda had portrayed socialist approaches to the economy and society more favourably than had previously been the case

- Opposition that emerged after the war was in essence, an anti-socialist alliance.

- Not only Cons. but liberals too were disturbed by the apparent ease with which wartime high taxation and expansion of the role of the state seemed to have been continued into peacetime 

- When the CW broke out (1946), the language of politics began to change. Britain dealing w/ Soviet Union and communism; the debate stressed freedom and democracy versus repression and dictatorship. Labour's version of socialism bore little resemblance to te Soviet system, the same language could be and was adopted by the Cons. to persuade voters to reject policies aimed at increasing equality in scoiety.

- Capitalist free enterprise no longer had the negative associations linked w/ 30s.

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Why did the Conservatives regain power? - DOMESTIC

- Labour faced cotinuing economic problems after 1945

- After WWII, despite Britain being a victor, the country was virtually bankrupt 

- Still much wealthier than neighbours on the continent of Europe, Britian had far bigger spending commitments in: Defending and developing the Empire and the Commonwealth, in paying for the occupation of Germany, in undertaking to construct a welfare state and in the cost of rebuilding ravaged cities and damaged housing.

- Labour did not want to abandon the 'fair shares' policy

- 'AGE OF AUSTERITY' - Labour hoped that in restricting individual consumption, money could be diverted into industrial production as well as into the new social services

- Many middle-class voters, particularly women were unhappy with this and were fed up with queuing during the war so didn't see why they should once the war had finished

- Conservatives took advantage of these circumstances by promising that if elected, they would drastically reduce the controls and bureaucracy that had grown during the war

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Why did the Conservatives regain power? - STRUCTUR

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