Why the Conservatives lost the 1964 General Election.

Why the Conservatives lost the 1964 General Election.

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Why the Conservatives lost the 1964 General Electi

• Conservative cabinets had been dominated by public school/Oxbridge educated politicians that suggested ‘aristocratic’ dominance.  This was accentuated under the leadership of the ‘grouse-shooting’ Sir Alec Douglas-Home (PM from 1963) nicknamed the ‘14th earl’ whose cabinet contained 10 Etonians History.

the circumstances of Home’s undemocratic appointment as leader had divided the Tories themselves with protests from the progressives, such as Iain MacLeod and Enoch Powell.

• forward thinkers, e.g. Richard Hoggart (Uses of Literacy, 1657), Michael Shanks (The Stagnant Society, 1961), Anthony Sampson (Anatomy of Britain) and the Penguin Books ‘What’s Wrong?’ series as well as playrights,

(the  ‘Angry Young Men’), novelists and satirists suggested the nation was being held back by the outdated morality of its ruling elite and needed a more democratic, meritocratic and technocratic leadership 

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Why the Conservatives lost the 1964 General Electi

• the ‘Establishment’ was charged with refusing to face up to Britain’s position as a declining world power and having a stultifying effect on Britain’s industrial position, putting a snobbish class emphasis on arts education in preference to science and blocking the advance of talent 

• the (Conservative) ‘Establishment’ was seen as putting its own reputation before the needs of the nation; e.g. in the 1955 Burgess and Maclean,1962 Vassal and 1963 Philby spy’ cover-ups, and the 1963 Profumo Affair. 

• the Conservatives’ economic record since 1959 and the problems of the ‘stop-go’ economy 

• the reduction in Macmillan’s reputation after this sacking of 7 cabinet ministers in 1962 and Home’s apparent ineffectualness.

Macmillan’s failure to get acceptance for Britain’s entry into the EEC.

he Labour resurgence under the grammar-school educated Harold Wilson who associated Labour with science and technology. 

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