Assess The Validity Of The 1951 Election Essay

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Assess the validity of this view ‘Conservative success in the 1951 election was achieved through Labour weakness rather than conservative strength’ In 1951 the Labour party’s strength and effectiveness had declined dramatically since they were elected to rule in 1945. Post war, the country was burdened with wartime debts, balance of payments crisis, declining exports, dollar gap, defence expenditure and heavy demands on fuel and power supplies. In response to these issues, Labour had to increase taxation, prolong rationing and devalue the pound, all very negative actions to try and combat this crisis. This would have caused labour to lose support because the better life that Attlee had promised the people of Britain was slowly fading away.…show more content…
The Conservative party pledged to build 300,000 houses a year which would have massively appealed to the homeless and to the people living in crammed conditions who would have probably been labour voters originally. Churchill’s celebrity-like status would have also inspired the public to vote conservative, as he had once lead them through the biggest war the world had ever seen. Voters would feel safe voting for a man who knows how to manage a country during war time, which was especially relevant as Britain was fighting in Korea. I believe that the main selling point for the Conservatives was that Churchill said that he planned to keep Labours policies on full employment, and that he didn’t intend to dismantle the Welfare state. This is because at the time, the Welfare state seemed like the only positive thing that the Labour party had, so if this was to continue as well as having new benefits then there is no need for Labour to continue their rule. In conclusion, I believe that the validity of the view is high because it seems that the Conservatives won most of their votes from people who weren’t satisfied with the Labour government and had nothing left to get from it so wanted a change. The few strengths that the Conservatives had were there for

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