Political Parties By 1914

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  • Created by: Amy
  • Created on: 05-02-14 11:17

The Conservatives

  • Huge losses in 1906
  • Made progress in the 1910 elections - same no. of seats as the liberals (ish con 273, lib 275)
  • Split over issue of Tariff Refroms
  • Austen Chaimberlain (Josephs son) was the leader of the Tariff Reform movement tried to gain working class support in the 1910 elections 
  • Said Tariff Reforms would reduce unemployment as industry would grow
  • They lost the battle over the House of Lords
  • Balfour resigned over the issue
  • By 1914 they gained support by thier focus on the empire - patriotic  
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The Labour Party

1906 - 2 groups: socialists and the trade unionists

Leaders (chairmen of the party):

  • Keir Hardie - up until 1907
  • Arthur Henderson - 1908 - 1910
  • Barnes - 1910
  • Ramsey MacDonald - 1910 - 1914


  • Guv accepted their advice in 1906 when planning Trade Disputes Act
  • Miners MPs swithed their support from the liberals to labour in commons
  • 1910 election - won 45 seats
  • MPs gained a salary in 1911
  • Had gains at local levels (town councils)
  • Growing support of the trade unions - vital
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Problems Facing Labour

  • Unable to impose its will on the liberal party after the trade disputes bill 
  • Disunity and disillusion in the Labour ranks
  • MPs tended to be dull, stretched financially and inarticulate
  • Divisions over National Insurance and Suffragettes
  • Few plans for reform and they were uneasy about Liberals reforms
  • Couldn't be seen to reject refroms - party for the workers 
  • The Osborne Judgement of 1909 made it illegal for trade unions to contribute to any party's funds
  • Feared a 3rd general election in 1910, cost
  • MPs fallen to 36 by 1914 after unsuccessful by election
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The Liberal Party


  • 1910 - lost huge majority and became dependent on the support of the Irish Nationalists and Labour
  • Programme of social reform had not been the vote-winning policy hoped for
  • Aspects of their social policy can be seen as successful
  • Liberals has successfully passed the Parliament Act 
  • Defeated the power of the Conservatives on the House of Lords


  • Social reforms not pleased everybody
  • Dependent of the Irish MPs - demanding home rule
  • To have problems with the suffragettes up to 1914 and with industrial unrest
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