chapter 4 British politics 1918-29

  • Created by: loupardoe
  • Created on: 19-05-18 17:36

what were the reasons for the outcome of the 1918 election?

  • the first election since 1910
  • the majority of Conservatives wanted to carry on the coalition with LG, along with some liberals
  • most liberals supported Asquith and campaigned as an independent party
  • labour withdrew from the coalition and fought the election independently

why did the conservatives and LG decide to maintain the coalition?

  • LG had gained a great deal of power and prestige as wartime PM- had come about because of his alliance with the conservatives, wanted to maintain this
  • conservatives depended a lot of LG; Bonar Law was not as dynamic, few popular specific conservative policies to attract the electorate
  • LG and the conservatives were concerned about the rise of labour, joining together would help to create a front against the new party
  • after the bitterness of wartime disagreements it would have been difficult for LG to reunite with Asquith and the Liberals who supported him; his only choice was to maintain his links with the conservatives

why was the 1918 election called the Coupon election?

  • candidates who were backed by the coalition leaders received a letter stating that they were the official coalition candidate
  • the letter was sarcastically called a coupon after the rationing coupons needed to buy some foods in the war

the results of the coupon election

  • coalition candidates won a large majority 
  • conservatives outnumbered coalition liberals
  • liberals were deeply divided- total votes fairly evenly divided between the coalition and those not in the coalition, but coalition liberals won more seats
  • labour did not gain many more seats, but gained a lot more votes
  • coalition continued with LG at its head
  • Sinn Fein won 73 seats but did not take them up- set up an independent Irish parliament which Britain did not accept

why did the coalition win?

  • letter of endorsement for LG and Bonar Law
  • meant that coalition liberals were not opposed by coalition conservatives and vice versa
  • prevented a split in the vote
  • LG used his personal prestige to urge Liberal voters to vote for Conservatives where there was no coalition Liberal candidate
  • electoral pact increased coalition support
  • Asquith liberals had no such advantageous pact with Labour
  • personal popularity of LG was very high in the aftermath of Britain's victory over Germany
  • coalition had proved successful in meeting the demands of war after December 1916; had responded to domestic issues
  • LG had promised a better life for Britons after the war and for harsh treatment of Germany; both were poopular and coalition conservatives gained much support for their demands for punishment of Germany
  • coalition had dynamic and able ministers; asquith had shown himself to be less than effective as a wartime PM; some of the labour leaders had not supported the war
  • some conservative candidates were helped by the fact that the new arrangements for more working class men to vote had not all come into effect by the time of the election
  • non coalition candidates were divided 

what were the consequences of the


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