Why Did The Conservatives Lose The Election Of 1906 Essay

750 Words3 Pages
In 1906 the Liberals won a massive victory of 400 seats to Conservatives 157 seats. Possibly the most influential factor which caused the conservatives to lose so badly was the fact they became divided over the Tariff Reform situation. Also significant mistakes were made by the conservatives, which turned the British public towards the liberals. Although the Conservatives mistakes are evident it can’t be denied that the liberal’s programme of reform became attractive to many people. In 1903 three years before the election Chamberlain announced his support for the introduction of tariffs. This was possibly the biggest reason that led to the conservatives to lose the 1906 election. At the time Britain had begun to lose out in trade to other countries such as Germany and the USA as they had introduced tariffs. It appeared to make economic sense for Britain to introduce tariffs and it would also bring the commonwealth closer together as free trade could continue in the commonwealth. Many people supported Chamberlain however the majority including the Prime Minister Balfour wanted to keep a free trade policy. Chamberlain resigned and set up a campaign in favour of tariffs and backed by the tariff reform league. Chamberlain had split the Conservative Party and this was a fatal blow to the 1906 election. The conservatives divisions allowed…show more content…
A major domestic failure was the Taff Vale judgement. The Taff Vale in 1900 led to the trade unions anger and criticism towards the conservatives. The Taff Vale meant a union would risk bankruptcy if it went on strike. This was the main reason why the trade unions turned to supporting the labour and liberal parties. Other domestic vote losers were the Balfour Education Act 1902 and the Licensing Act
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