Why did the Conservatives remain in power between 1951 1964?

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Why did the conservatives remain in power between 1951 – 1964

On Friday 26th October 1951, Clement Atlee, then liberal prime minister drove to Buckingham palace to tender his resignation. The reason for this? The conservatives had a clear majority over their Labour counterparts. There are several reasons why the Conservatives stayed in power between 1951 and 1964, but the four main factors were: economic, political, social and luck.

Throughout the 1950s Britain’s world trade was at 25% - an all time high- and there was growing prosperity amongst the middle classes and most average people. The conservatives were voted in on the prospect that they would stand by their manifesto of “setting the people free” which essentially meant less interference in people’s lives from the government.

On 27th July 1953, all British troops had been withdrawn from Korea. This enabled the Chancellor of the Exchequer – then Rab Butler – to cut down on defence spending, and raises social and domestic spending. After this, the government implemented decontrol of the economy, and it seemed to be going well. This, however began to have a negative impact on the economy, so the conservatives decided to reign in control, and introduced economic policies, which were more interventionist. This nevertheless did boost the economy for a while and did continue the conservative’s strength in power.

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So why did Labour not come out ontop of the conservative at their darkest hour of economic downfall? People associated the Labour government with cold austerity measures and rationing throughout and post war. People also preferred conservative policy as they could reap the full reward of their extra bit of wealth.

There were also political reasons for why the Conservatives stayed in government for this 13 year period. There was, or what seemed to be, a consensus between Labour and Conservatives. They both believed that during these “Golden years” the economy should be left to it’s own devices. However, ...

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