• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent did the Conservatives lose the election rather than the Liberals win the election? "The election of 1906 was a significant watershed in the political history of Britain" Kenneth Owen Fox

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Tom Gatenby To what extent did the Conservatives lose the election rather than the Liberals win the election? "The election of 1906 was a significant watershed in the political history of Britain" Kenneth Owen Fox The election of 1906 was a landside victory for the Liberal Party. This is due to many factors, it could been influenced by the manifesto of the Liberal Party, or perhaps even more strongly the failure of the Conservative Party to unify on such reforms as the Tariff Reform. The lack of a strong unified Conservative government clearly had a large effect upon the outcome of the 1906 election, to what extent this is true will be explained in the essay. In the 1906 election, the number of seats won by Liberals increased from 184 to 377, in contrast the numbers of seats lost by the Conservatives went from 402 seats won in 1900 to 157 seats lost in the 1906 election, this represented the lowest number of seats held by a Conservative government since 1832. This dramatic reversal of constituencies held, is due to a number of reasons. An argument is that, due to some poor decisions made by the Conservative governments, they in fact contributed largely to the landslide result in the 1906 election. ...read more.

Middle

At the height of tension, over this divide, Joseph Chamberlain resigned and as a result the Conservative lost support from the Liberal unionists that supported Joseph Chamberlain. Also the departure of many key Conservative figures in the run up to the election had a predominantly negative affect on the Conservative Party. For example the departure of Captain Richard Middleton, a key Party member, he was effectively responsible for the election campaign. His departure severely effected the Conservative's ability to run an effective electoral campaign. This lack of unity and strength within the Party implied to the voters that the Conservative Party had weakened and therefore many thought them unfit to run the country at a time when a strong government was needed. This obviously translates to a loss of votes and support for the Conservative Party. Also, Balfour having lost the working class vote through Taff Vale seemed unsatisfied and through more disastrous decisions proceeded to also lose the vote of the middle classes. An example of a decision that lost the middle class votes is that of Chinese slavery. Though directly it was not a decision of Balfour's it again shows his lack of awareness of public opinion. ...read more.

Conclusion

Yet because of the vagueness of the policy, in regards to Home Rule, if they failed to deliver this there would be fewer outcries from the Irish, as it was unclear of the nature of the Liberal promise, this could be viewed as clever political movement. The clever repealing of the unpopular Conservative reforms, coupled with a united Liberal traditional view, obviously proved to be a more attractive alternative to voters than another term of Conservative governing. "Balfour it seems was not the man for the job." Merrick Thomas To conclude, in my opinion it would be fair to allocate much of the blame for the result of the 1906 election to the Conservative Party under Balfour. Though in fairness the Liberals, through clever policy did capitalise on Balfour's mistakes. Perhaps Balfour's biggest mistake was his constant misjudgement of public opinion, this is especially true in regards to the working classes. Between 1900 and 1906 Balfour failed to realise the potential of the working class, he continued to upset them through such political misjudgements as Taff Vale, or the Unemployment Workers Act 1905. In the run up to the election therefore the Liberals won the working class support. It was perhaps the working class who had the biggest effect on the result of the election, this proved to be in favour of the Liberal Party. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Politics essays

  1. To what extent was the 1867 Reform Act a turning point in parliamentary democracy ...

    Looking back, this would appear to be true. The last century has largely been dominated by the Conservative Party and the Labour Party. However, by 1886 there was a third party who exercised considerable political influence, the Irish Nationalists. By 1900, the Labour Representation Committee was established, the forerunner to

  2. Why did Labour lose the 1951 General Election?

    proportion of tax revenue thence to be paid against sickness, elderliness and unemployment to name but three key entitlements. As a response to the housing problem, Dalton committed to building one million new homes, 80% of which were council houses to be rented cheaply to those who most needed them.

  1. The 1906 General Election saw a convincing Liberal landslide of 399 Liberal seats to ...

    saw the Tory opponents adopt this line of criticism. The 1904 report of the Interdepartmental Committee on Physical Deterioration merely served to underline this neglect on the part of the Tories. The country's plight, and the poor reflection this had on the party of power, first raised by the Boer War, was brought to the fore again by the

  2. British History Coursework: The Irish Famine 1845-1849

    Costigan 1969 At the bottom of the scale forty percent of the population had a staple diet of potatoes, and the same proportion lived in one-roomed mud cabins which held an average of ten persons. Most agricultural labourers were tenants without any effective legal rights, who held their land at

  1. Civil Service Reform.

    For example, the relationship between ministers and officials would need to be made explicitly contractual so that specific responsibilities were delegated to officials and put into statutory form. Thus the framework agreement would be converted into a legal document that would, in the last resort, be subject to judicial interpretation

  2. Did Gladstone Unite or Divide the Liberals?

    Between 1859 and 1895 each Liberal Administration had fallen from power because of internal divisions. To hold the different aspects of the Liberal Party together, Gladstone believed that a single issue, which contained clearly Liberal principles, should be used to force unity on the party at election times.

  1. 'Nationalist Groups in the Sub-Continent played the most significant role in Britain's decision to ...

    Thus Britain never had a modernisation strategy; it was effectively a strategy for containing unemployment. Similarly, wartime victory encouraged British governments to persist with international policies of questionable economic value. Therefore Britain remained a colonial power, which restricted her freedom of action, without providing many obvious economic benefits.

  2. TO WHAT EXTENT WERE LLOYD GEORGE'S OWN POLICIES, RATHER THAN HIS DEPENDENCE ON THE ...

    'man who won the war', and as a result the Conservatives hope to profit from the PM's popularity. It could be said that the main reason for his political decline was due to him being trapped in a political limbo or no mans land, as he was in an inherently unstable position.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work