By Chris Cook (auth.)
Chris prepare dinner lifts the lid at the 'third Party;' charting their interesting trip during the last century, from the landslide victory of 1906 below Asquith, through their descent into divisions and decline within the interwar years, to in-depth research of the 2010 British Election and their go back to govt within the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition.
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Extra resources for A Short History of the Liberal Party: The Road Back to Power
G. A. Hobson. An articulate spokesman of the new creed was Winston Churchill, whose agile brain was already devising schemes for labour exchanges, wage boards, and a ‘Committee of National Organisation’ to counter ﬂuctuations in unemployment. To this extent, Churchill was singling out for attack the issues which aroused the Nation group – casual labour, unemployment, undernourishment and poverty. Within this new radicalism, Asquith was never really at home. As Hazlehurst has written: ‘Although he continued the work of social reform begun under Campbell-Bannerman, Asquith’s radicalism went little deeper than that of his predecessor.
Liberals contested 121 more seats than in 1900. The Liberal press enjoyed the support of such Conservative Free Trade journals as the Spectator. Meanwhile, with the exception of Scotland, the MacDonald– Gladstone pact worked extremely well; and outside Scotland only two Liberal-held seats were attacked by Labour. Though many factors combined to favour the Liberals, the landslide victory of the election came as a stunning surprise. On 12 January the Liberals gained their ﬁrst victory in Ipswich.
With these obvious divisions in the Liberal ranks, and with public opinion strongly on the side of the government, the Conservatives under Salisbury took advantage of the opportunity to call an election for July 1900. Shortly before the dissolution, a Liberal Imperial Council had been formed with Lord Brassey as chairman. This organisation subsequently began ‘approving’ Liberal candidates whose attitudes were certainly not in line with the views propounded by Campbell-Bannerman. There were signs that, once again, the party might be faced with a breakaway group.