The Lib-Lab Pact, 1903

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  • Between Herbert Gladstone (Liberal Chief Whip) and Ramsay MacDonald
  • It allowed 30 LRC candidates to stand without Liberal opposition
  • First recognised Lib-Labs were Thomas Burt and Alexander MacDonald (mining officials)
  • 1885, LibLabs rose to 12
  • They acted in a defined group
  • Chamberlain: 'mere fetchers and carriers for the Gladstonian Party' 1894
  • 1905, John Burns was appointed President of the Local Government Board
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Liberal Concerns

  • Liberals became worried at LRC progress
  • Liberals did this pact so they wouldn't have to fight a 3 cornered contest
  • If Labour and Liberals ran it would split the anti-conservative vote = conservatives win
  • Liberals would also then save political expenses where they didn't field Liberal candidates
  • 1902-1903: LRC had acquired 3 more MPs
  • Both Parties abstained from fighting certain seats
  • The Electoral Pact between LRC and Liberals agreed in 1903 brought important boost in terms of seats in Parliament
  • MacDonald and Gladstone agreed Liberals wouldn't run against candidates in certain constituencies
  • The Gladstone-MacDonald Pact, 1903, meant Liberals were Labour were stronger
  • 29 out of 50 achieved success in the 1906 election
  • 24 were unopposed by Liberals
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The Labour Party

  • 29 LRC MPs decided to form the Labour Party
  • This caused Lib-Labs to begin to disappear
  • In the 1910 General Election Lib-Labs stood as Labour
  • 12 in 15 returned as Labour, 3 returned as Liberals
  • Due to this Liberals surrendered their best chance of capturing support of the working class
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