The General Election, 1945
Gresham College Lectures
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Gresham College Lectures
The General Election, 1945
Sep 23, 2014
Gresham College
The 1945 general election saw the return of the first ever majority Labour government. The Gallup poll had shown a Labour lead for over two years. Nevertheless most politicians and commentators were astonished by the result, since they expected that the war hero, Winston Churchill, would be returned to office by a grateful notion. In the event there was a swing of around 12% to Labour. How is this to be explained? Did the war radicalise the British people? Was the outcome a mandate for socialism? Or was it merely a reaction against the politics of the inter-war years?

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