Chapter

Disaster and Deliverance: 1945–1951

Tim Bale

in The Conservatives since 1945: The Drivers of Party Change

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199234370
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191746093 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199234370.003.0002
Disaster and Deliverance: 1945–1951

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There was very little change in the Party’s candidates or front-line politicians in this period. Nor, as an organisation did it change quite as much as it boasted. Policy shifts, while significant, can also be easily overstated unless one recalls that acceptance of the welfare state was balanced by continued commitment to more traditional themes. The defeat suffered by the Party in 1945 came as a huge and catalyzing shock but its second defeat, in 1950, provoked only a change of emphasis rather than policy. Its nominal leader played little or no role in any of the changes that took place, nor was his work done for him by a cohesive faction. The Party’s rapid recovery had more to do with a handful of individuals determined to reassure the electorate and recover capacity lost during the war, as well depending on its opponent’s difficulties and shortcomings.

Keywords: Churchill; Butler; Woolton; 1945; welfare state; Tory recovery; Labour; Liberal; Industrial Charter

Chapter.  18555 words. 

Subjects: UK Politics

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