AS History revision Britain 1951 - 1997

  • Created by: Clem_co
  • Created on: 01-02-17 17:56

Conservative Domination (1951-64)

reasons why conservatives won the 1951 general election 

1) Labour weaknesses: 

  • post war issues had exhasurted the labour party
  • assocated with policies of austerity (difficult economic conditions created  to reduce public expenditure) ,rationing and taxation were all associated with labour - which the public hated 
  • labour had taked GB intro the korean war (1950) which caused a financial strain
  • the labour party had internal division over issues such as :  if NHS should free, charges for dentals usrgeries,glasses & perscription

2) Conservative strengthens:

  • reorganisation of the party 
  • lord woolton reformed party finances and local organisation 
  • influx of young politicians who bought new ideas and dynamics 
  • promised to build 300,000 houses a year and give people more red meat
  • promised not to reverse labour achievement and were fully commited to the welfare state

3) electoral system 

  • labour needed 47,283 seats to each seat whereas conservatives had declined and olny needed 42,733
  • they obtained votes in state seats but the torys won many of the marginal labour seats 
  • boundy changes : labour had to 2% move of popular votes to win same numer of seats as 
  • decline of liberal party meant many voters turned troy
  • number of voters in 1951 were highest in british history, but fisrt - past - the -post system meant conservatives won 

why were the conservatives able to dominate for so long 

1) Economy 

  • indutrial growth was inevitasble after the war 
  • after the korean war, countries had more money to speed on goods rather defence policy 
  • living standards rising was considered the most important 

wages and living standards 

  • wages rose faster than prices: 1951 = £8.30 - 1964 = £18.35 therefore people had more spending money
  • chancellors were able to cut income tax before both elcetions 
  • 500% increase in ownership 
  • Tv ownership went from 4% to 9%


  • people were able to borrow money and make small monthly payments 
  • purchase items that were out of reach before 


  • conservatives kept their promise of building 30,000 more houses a year were bulit which meant the waiting list went down

Rent Act was abolished


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