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How Far Was The Labour Party Election Victory In 1945 Due To The Changes In Social Attitudes During The Second World War?

969 words - 4 pages

The Labour party election victory in 1945 was due to changes in social attitudes during the Second World War more than other factors. It produced different political views to that of those before WW2 such as equality and the level of state intervention. This benefitted the Labour party’s electoral victory greatly and outweighs the other reasons that contributed to the victory.

Firstly, the social attitudes changed in regard to the significant leftward shift in public opinion and the amount of state intervention that the public wanted. The success of total war showed the public that state involvement was a positive thing and could actually benefit the public. The massive extension of ...view middle of the document...

This report set out to tackle the ‘Five Giants’; want, sickness, lack of education, unemployment and poor housing. The Labour party was very supportive of this report whereas the conservatives were a lot less enthusiastic. As the report greatly benefitted the public, they found that seen as Labour also strongly supported it then they should support Labour.

Also, Labour’s electoral victory also benefitted from the changes in social attitudes because of the effectiveness of leaders in wartime government. This got rid of the idea that Labour was ‘unfit to govern’. The work of Atlee as deputy prime minister, Bevin as the Minister of Labour, Morrison as Home Secretary and other individuals lower down in government kept Labour’s leaders in the forefront of voters’ minds throughout the war. They had all gained experience in government and a reputation for efficiency. The Labour party portrayed itself as being the progressive party. It appealed to all classes because of the beneficial ideas that it had for England. It made promises to construct a post-war Britain based on the principles of fairness and greater equality in the economy and welfare. Labour wished to see women continuing to play important roles in the economy and full time employment was something Labour wished to continue as it saw a period of increased pay of many workers. With all of these appealing ideas and the fact that they had shown themselves to be responsible to run the country and actually put their ideas into action, the electorate felt it right to vote for the party.

However, other factors may suggest that Labour’s electoral victory was due to other factors, the biggest being the ineffectiveness of the Conservative government and its leader, Winston Churchill. Firstly, the election campaign for the conservatives was weak compared to that of the Labour party’s. The Conservative campaign focused on the need to defeat Japan when the Labour’s ‘Let us Face the...

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