Why did Labour lose the 1951 election?


Mind Map on Why did Labour lose the 1951 election?, created by alinam on 05/24/2015.
Mind Map by alinam, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by alinam about 8 years ago

Resource summary

Why did Labour lose the 1951 election?
  1. Sir Stafford Cripps 1947-1950
    1. Association with the age of austerity
      1. Daily Express: "while he knew so much about economics, he knew so little about human beings"
        1. Tarnished image by the end of time in administration
        2. Devaluation of £ from £4.86: $1 to £2.80:$1
            1. Rationing increasingly unpopular with middle classes
              1. Eg. British housewives league at peak had 100,000 members
                1. Alongside this was the memory from Hugh Dalton's administration of the 1946/47 winter which had dire food/ fuel shortages
              2. Korean War ... World economic downfall 1950
                1. Balance of Payments record: 1950 Surplus £297 million fell to £419 million in 1951
                  1. Fear of nuclear war
                    1. Increase in defence expenditure by £4.7 billion
                      1. Issues rose in regards to labours priorities
                    2. Nationalisation
                      1. Coal mining-1947 Public transport -1948 electricity-1948 gas-1949
                        1. Ideological rather than practical?
                          1. The Iron and coal industries were not profitable and were in decline - government supporting failing industries.
                            1. Sugar / Water really necessary?
                          2. Iron and steel nationalisation highly controversial and cost large amounts in payouts
                            1. To the tune of £2.7 billion
                            2. Labours 1950 manifest included nationalisation of a 'ragbag assortment of industries'
                              1. Following clause IV which Gaiskell set out to change in later years
                              2. Economic recovery based on US loans?
                                1. Once lend lease had ended in 1945 (end of WW2) needed loans to sustain economy
                                  1. Keynes 1945 secures £3.7 billion loans US & £1.5 billion from Canada however not the £6 billion he had hoped for
                                    1. Repayable at 2% interest rather than 0% hoped for
                                  2. Marshall Aid 1948 Americas way of protecting against the 'Iron Curtain' and the threat of Russia (Start of cold war era)
                                    1. Given approx £1.3 billion
                                  3. Foreign policy problems
                                    1. Violence broke out in India and Paliastine during decolonisation
                                      1. Sectarian violence - Violence between people of different sects ( religion/ groups)
                                      2. Bevin resignation from foreign office
                                        1. New role given to Herbert Morrison
                                        2. Issue in Iran with Oil efiniry nationalised, wasn't handles
                                        3. Election results 1951 Labour 295 (48.8%) Conservative (48.0%) Liberals 6
                                          1. Note how Labour actually achieved a higher percentage of votes ... disadvantaged by 1st Past post system
                                            1. Tory gains made in marginal seats
                                              1. Gained from 1948 boundary changes
                                                1. Alongside the abolishment of plural voting- 1948 Representation Of The Peoples Act
                                                  1. Attlee was aware that these changes to the voting system may disadvantage the Labour party however he did not postposne them until after the election on the grounds of "morality" which was the fundamentals he based his politics.
                                                  2. Postal voting also favoured Conservatives 1 to 10
                                                2. Election of 1950 Labour 315 Conservatives 290
                                                  1. 1950-51 Labour were in office however without power or authority
                                                    1. 1950-1951 labelled as an UNHAPPY PARLIAMENT
                                                      1. Labour majority reduces to just 7 seats 1950
                                                      2. By changing the timing of the election to be in 1951 rather than spring of 52' due to the Kings tour of Australia it hit the party at a time of economic downfall- seen to be short lived as by 1952 the £419 million defecit was yet again in the surplus
                                                      3. Ministers
                                                        1. Disagreements over ideology and how socialist the party should remain
                                                          1. Bevan an Labour fundamentals called for further social reform and nationalisation
                                                            1. Bevin's speech 1948 where he referred to the Tories as 'lower than vermin' alienated support for the party.
                                                            2. Majority of party called for 'consolidation'
                                                              1. Supported by H. Morrison
                                                              2. Division also came as Bevan was resentful in not gaining the role of foreign sec- given to H. Morrison, was moved to minister of employment
                                                              3. Proposed introduction of prescription charges by Hugh Gaitskell 1950
                                                                1. Resignation of Bevan, Wilson and Freeman
                                                                  1. Bevan failed to accept compromised proposed by Gaitskell, would gut defence expenditure by £400 million if some charged could be made on spectacles and dentures
                                                                  2. Aged - many were in 60s and been in government for over 10 years...
                                                                  3. Conservative campaign
                                                                    1. MORE RED MEAT
                                                                      1. SET PEOPLE FREE
                                                                        1. Home building promised to be expanded, from the Labour 200,000 homes per year to 300,000 year
                                                                          1. Churchill as leader
                                                                            1. Nostalgia from wartime leadership remembered in a positive light
                                                                              1. Presented themselves as a united party opposed to the split labour
                                                                                1. His limited standing within the House of commons meant that there was an opportunity for the other Conservative ministers to show their political competence
                                                                                2. Work of Butler in transforming the conservatives into a modern party, accepting the ideas of NHS and that social reforms were needed. - NEW CONSERVATISM
                                                                                  1. The industrial charter of 1947 & This Is The Road Manifesto 1950 accepted Labours changes
                                                                                    1. The Spectator wrote: The conservatives of 1950 are not the Conservatives of 1935
                                                                                      1. No one shoots Santa Clause - response of Tory MP to keeping the NHS
                                                                                      2. Attractive party to businessmen which led to more sophisticated propaganda
                                                                                        1. The view that another Labour administration would lead to excessive class orientated legislation
                                                                                          1. Commitment to full employment and a mixed economy
                                                                                          2. Labour campaign
                                                                                            1. Said to focus upon its previous achievements - 200,000 homes built a year ect. and failed to outline their future plans
                                                                                              1. Hugh Gaitskell 1950-51
                                                                                                1. Budget of 1951 heavily criticised by Labour paper the Tribune
                                                                                                2. Paul Adleman points out how the radical Labour was really in their early years of the administration (up to 1947)
                                                                                                  1. 1951 manifesto did not mention SOCIALISM
                                                                                                  2. Corelli Barnett's Audit of War criticised how there had been limited industrial reform and that there was a missed opportuinty for Britain to become a world exporting power, however we spent the time on social reform. She believed that Social changes should come second - 1986
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