Labour Party General Election Manifestos, 1900-1997

Labour Party General Election Manifestos, 1900-1997

Labour Party General Election Manifestos, 1900-1997

Labour Party General Election Manifestos, 1900-1997


This volume brings together for the first time the British Labour Political Party General Election Manifestos, dating back to 1900, and including the most recent General Election manifesto of 1997. The project provides an indispensible source of data about the Labour Party's political ideologies and policy positions, as well as charting their changes over time. The volume has a new introduction written by Dennis Kavanagh, who is Professor of Politics at Liverpool University, and who has already published Political Science and Political Behaviour with Routledge. In addition to the new introduction, the volume includes a comprehensive index, making the volume easy to use.


In compiling and co-publishing this series of twentieth century General Election manifestos I am conscious that I owe a great debt to F.W.S. Craig, the doyen of political reference book compilers. Before his untimely death in 1989 Fred Craig had published three separate collections of manifestos, the latest containing all manifestos published between 1959 and 1987. As we enter the new millennium it seems appropriate to continue Craig’s work by publishing a three volume series containing all the General Election Manifestos of the three main political parties published during the twentieth century.

It should be noted that the publication of an official party manifesto is a relatively new invention. At the beginning of the century the Party’s manifesto normally con-sisted of a statement of policy issued by the Leader of the Party in his election address to his own constituents. Nowadays it is not quite so simple. Manifestos go through umpteen drafts and are carefully worded to appeal to the maximum number of electors. The pictures selected often tell the voter more than the words.

Since 1950 the various political parties have often issued separate manifestos for Wales and Scotland. Space considerations prevent their reproduction.

The manifestos in this collection are reproduced verbatim in their original style. There are naturally changes to the textual layout, particularly for latter day manifestos where the use of pictures is more commonplace.

I would like to thank the Labour Party for their co-operation in this project and all those Labour supporters who have been involved in drafting their manifestos down the years. This book is for them.

Iain Dale

Politico’s Publishing

London, 1999

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