Aspects of British Political History, 1914-1995

By Stephen J. Lee | Go to book overview

12

THE LABOUR GOVERNMENT 1945-51

In 1945 the Labour party finally came of age. Before 1914 it had failed to establish itself as the main alternative opposition and after 1918 it had yet to prove itself capable of becoming a majority government. This chapter looks at the reason for Labour's sudden electoral success. It also deals with the economic and social changes introduced between 1945 and 1951, focusing on the key questions of how radical these really were and whether or not they can be regarded as an overall success.


THE 1945 GENERAL ELECTION

The British people were invited to cast their votes in the last year of both the First World War and the Second World War. There, however, the similarity ended. In 1918 the Prime Minister, Lloyd George, kept much of the wartime coalition together and rode to victory over the Labour party and others who were no longer willing to co-operate with his government. In 1945 the reverse happened. Churchill's wartime coalition broke up in May and British politics reverted to a strongly partisan course. In the election held in the autumn of 1945, Labour won 393 seats against the Conservatives' 213 and the Liberals' 12 (see Figure 9). This was the first time that Labour had ever achieved an overall majority in Parliament and came as a major surprise, not least to the Conservatives, who had been banking on a vote of confidence in Churchill's leadership.

Labour's victory has been attributed to a variety of factors. One is that the British electorate had been radicalised as a result of the experience of war, which had acted as a catalyst for increasing expectations about social reform (see Chapter 11). A popular view had been emerging since 1943 that Churchill was not fully committed to introducing the changes already agreed in outline by the coalition government. He had

-179-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Aspects of British Political History, 1914-1995
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 430

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.