The Crushing Defeat Suffered by the Conservative Party in the 1906 General Slection

The Crushing Defeat Suffered by the Conservative Party in the 1906 General Slection

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The Crushing Defeat Suffered by the Conservative Party in the 1906 General Slection

In the later stages of the 19th century it is clear that the
Conservative’s were the dominant political party in Britain, but they
appear to be ‘crushed’ in the 1906 general election only gaining 156
seats to the liberal party’s 399. There are clear reasons during this
period to why this dramatic change in public support happened. These
appear mainly to be due to conservative bills and what seems to be
poor leadership from Campbell Bannerman who appears a weak he is a

Tariff reform was an apparent reason for many of the electorate to
switch their political stance in 1903. Tariff reforms isolated most of
the working class because the prices of basic foods were raised, this
meant that poorer people could not afford to pay for basic foods due
to these extra prices and so many working class votes are lost due to
this reform. Furthermore the party is clearly split over this issue;
with chamberlain (who was in charge of the empire) adamant that tariff
reforms were needed to strengthen the empire and C.T. Ritchie
(Chancellor of the Exchequer) who makes it clear that he believes an
imperial tariff is not needed. This split shows to the electorate a
side of the conservatives that they are not used to seeing and so to
the electorate this split had a massive impact as the conservatives
had always appeared united ‘It was clear that all unity in government
had been lost much for Balfour’s skill he managed to ward off the
disintegration of his cabinet’ (wood), This looses the conservatives
some of their public support and helps in the ‘crushing’ defeat

... middle of paper ...

...e total with the liberals gaining 49% of all votes whereas
the conservatives got 44% of the votes, Knowing these further
statistics it is clear that the original statement of a ‘crushing
defeat’ is in reality not crushing at all but quite close in vote
totals. In addition the liberals do gain a lot of ground on the
conservatives between 1900 and 1906 this is largely to do with the
conservatives showing no compassion for the working classes, and the
unstable leadership of Arthur Balfour, But The liberals are very good
at making the conservatives look worse and so the 1906 general
election was as much to do with the strength of the liberals as the
poor leadership of Balfour.


Britain 1890-1939 – Rosemary Rees

British history for as level

Modern history revised

www. .com

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