Do You Agree with the View That the Main Reason for Labour’s Victory over the Conservatives in the Election of 1964 Was the Difference Between the Two Party Leaders?

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Do you agree with the view that the main reason for Labour’s victory over the Conservatives in the election of 1964 was the difference between the two party leaders? The General Election of October 1964 resulted in a win for the Labour party by 13 seats. This ended what Harold Wilson, the Labour party leader, called ‘13 wasted years’ of Conservative rule. The reasons for Labour’s victory included Wilson’s strengths as party leader and weaknesses of the Conservative party. Source 4,5 and 6 all talk about weather how the leaders were different and how they had different ideas. Source 4 talks about how the personalities were a key feature in Labours victory. However, it goes on to say that ‘a lot of significant long-term factors were working in Labours favour’ some of these factors were: rising living standards and the welfare state that had created the conditions for a ‘social revolution’ source 4 partially agrees with source 5 as source 5 talks about how Wilson was so popular as he was from a better class. By this the source means Wilson came across as an ordinary man whereas the conservatives didn’t. Reasons that back up source 4 are that Labour promised to sort out Britain’s economic problems. By the early 1960s there was a balance of payments deficit, high inflation and growing unemployment. The Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer, Selwyn Lloyd, attempted to deal with the problems by setting up a National Economic Development Council and National Incomes Commission but these failed. In 1962, therefore, Lloyd was replaced by Reginald Maudling. He was just as unsuccessful and by the time of the October election of 1964 Britain was in debt to the tune of £750 million. A second main reason for Labour’s victory was that the Conservative party leadership was in disarray after the resignation in October 1963 of Harold ‘Supermac’ Macmillan. Macmillan had been
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