Labour’s 1918 transformation

The history of the Labour Party divides into two phases. As any history book says the first stage began with the founding of the Labour Representation Committee on the weekend of 26-27th February 1900. However only 2 Labour MPs were elected in the 1900 election and progress was slow. 29 were elected in 1906 forming the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP), but after the two elections of 1910 the Party still only had 42 MPs.

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The Return of the Working Class Hero?

For most of the last century –specifically between the Representation of the People Act 1918 and the 2019 election – socio-economic class was the main definer of political behaviour in the UK, outside Northern Ireland. This was the case even when Labour did badly – as at the 1931 and 1935 General elections, or 1950-51, 1979 and 2015 when the Party’s endless factional battles dominated the headlines.

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1919 – Not the Impact of Labour

To understand the emergence of the Labour Party in its current form demands examination of period after  the First World War. Before the First World War, Labour was not at the races, with the Liberal and Conservative Parties the only ones that could win an election. The breakthrough happened after 1918

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Harold Wilson – Flawed Genius?

Harold Wilson is Labour’s most successful leader. This has long since been forgotten, but the House of Lords began to put the spotlight on him on March 6th 2018 when two politicians who served under him, Bernard Donoughue and Giles Radice, gave lectures remembering him as Prime Minister. Lord Donoughue, drew on inside knowledge – he was one of Wilson’s “Kitchen Cabinet” after the first 1974 election and set up the Number 10 Policy Unit.

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