How the Liberals won the 1906 election

  • What the conservatives did to lose.
  • What Liberals did to win.
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What the Cons did wrong/Libs did right.

  • Education Act - Liberals supported by non-conformists (protestants not C of E), 1807 Act created board schools, better education than the church-run ones, 1902 Act abolished school boards and made church-run schools funded by rates, angered non-conformists (didn't want to pay for C of E schools). Libs campaigned against the Act with them, weaking th conservatives
  • Tarrif Reforms - Manufacturers worried about being put out of business because of low investments in plants/machinery. Germany and USA taking over iron and steel, high tariffs made it hard to sell British goods to other countries. Policy of protectionover traditional free trade policy.  Imperial preference would strengthen Britain, more money for reforms and protection from foreign competition. Cons split. Churchill moved to Liberals. Chamberlain resigned. Arthur Balfour adopted Tariff Reforms, causing upset within the party. Libs "cheap food", laissez-faire, against Tariff reforms. Cons unpopular, lacking voters.
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what the Cons did wrong/Libs did right.

  • Arthur Balfour - responsible for decisions as PM, replaced uncle Lord Salisbury in 1902. Salsibury concerned about Ed.Act, Balfour wasn't, lost votes from non-conformists. Tariff reforms made him and Cons very unpoluar. Lack of sympathy towards working class. Allowed Chinese to work in South Africa, poor conditions, low wages. Britains scared for their own jobs, ashamed of government for not opposing "Chinese Slavery". Taff Vale Judgement restricted T.U's. Gov refused to help workers, support for Lib-Lab Pact of 1903. Cons defeated.
  • Boer War - 1899-1902 - affected election, many against war, criticised gov, questioned morality of war, highlighted social issues, 2/3's of volunteers medically unfit, wealthy country producing unhealthy people? lasted longer than expected, lots of money. 3 years of war, despair at home, embarrassed at the "highly trained" army struggling to defeat inexperienced/unequipped opposition. "Barbaric methods" used, worried Brits, wanted new approaches. Liberals had a chance to rethink objectives to attract voters.
  • People may not have voted Cons, but didn't vote for Libs necessarily, but still meant Cons lost votes.
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