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How Successful Was The Labour Party In Increasing Support And Achieving Its Aims 1906 – 1914?

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Introduction

How Successful Was The Labour Party In Increasing Support And Achieving Its Aims 1906 - 1914? If the definition of success for the Labour party is the implementation of policies that it supported, this period was a very fruitful one. But in terms of political seats and developing its own political identity, it was a much more sparse period. It must fist be remembered what the Labour party was created to achieve. It was created as an alternative voice to the seemingly class obsessed Tories. It was also created to challenge the view 'Stupid and grudging attitudes of the local Liberal association, each run by a group of middle class people who had no use for a candidate without funds' R.K Ensor This new voice was desperately needed, as the social and political profile of Britain changed drastically in a short space of time. ...read more.

Middle

The unions now had their only political voice, the strike taken away form them. But in 1906 this ruling was overturned by the luxury of the massive majority that the Liberal party entertained. This policy was very much a Liberal offering, but meant a massive breakthrough in the acceptance of Labour ideology. Other Liberal reforms that were very appealing to the Labour party were the introduction of an eight-hour day for miners and school meals and medical inspections in schools. Though these policies can be seen as major stepping stones for the Labour movement, they must not be seen to have come into existence due to Labour. It must be remembered that that the Liberals held the majority and though they shared many similar ideas, they did not need the support of a fledgling pressure group. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the first election labour achieved 40 seats and in the second election they gained two more seats. These political gains were made by challenging Conservative seats. In both of the elections only two seats were won when up against official Liberal candidates. The elections brought home the fact that labour were very much still the junior party in the relationship. Inroads were being made into the countries political conscience, but not much headway was being gained against the party that had fathered the Liberal party. Overall these eight years saw the transformation of a small minority pressure group into a viable political alternative. Though the party was still a political minnow, it was growing and eventually toppled the party it has been born from. 'Liberalism and more particularly Liberal associations have definitely declared against labour.' Ramsey McDonald 1894 ...read more.

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