How Successful Was Macmillan as Leader of the Conservatives?

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How successful was Macmillan as leader of the Conservatives? The success of Macmillan's leadership of the Conservatives is defined by the electoral support the party had during his time of leadership, as his decisions in policy and his image affected the party's election victories altogether. Furthermore, another success factor may be his ability to stay as leader of the party itself, as an unsuccessful leader would be urged to step down. Most importantly, the initial success of Macmillan as leader of the Conservatives could be because of his ability to manipulate the media and create a positive personal image in his early years, leading to a successful election victory in 1959. Macmillan was able to bolster the image of the party by handling criticism and potentially turning it around. This was shown with the Supermac cartoon from the Evening Standard in November 1958, which, starting as a criticism, was flipped by Macmillan and became central to his image as an advantage. Because of this ability to deflect criticism, he was able to maintain a good image, which, contributed to his election victory in 1959, showing the success of this. Furthermore, Macmillan managed to gain the support of the middle classes which were sympathetic to Gaitskell at the time. He was able to successfully deflect the image of being "unflappable" against Gaitskell, in which he calmly mocked his policies in the run-up to the 1959 General Election. In addition, we can see that despite the opinion polls favouring Gaitskell over the previous Prime Minister, Eden, which had fallen over the mishandling of the Suez Crisis, Macmillan turned the image around for the Conservatives with the aforementioned qualities as media manipulation, which proved his success leading up to the 1959 General Election as he eventually won by a 100 seat majority. However, Macmillan could also be seen as an
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