By Chris Cook (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0230210449

ISBN-13: 9780230210448

ISBN-10: 113705607X

ISBN-13: 9781137056078

Chris cook dinner lifts the lid at the 'third Party;' charting their attention-grabbing trip during the last century, from the landslide victory of 1906 less than Asquith, through their descent into divisions and decline within the interwar years, to in-depth research of the 2010 British Election and their go back to govt within the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition.

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Insofar as the 1891 Newcastle Programme was the platform on which the party fought the 1892 election, the high number of contested elections (outside Ireland only 23 Conservatives and seven Liberal Unionists were returned unopposed) testified to the enthusiasm for the programme within the party. However, the Liberals were already suffering from financial shortages, and the leadership was well aware of the need to mollify the demands of the party faithful in the pre-election period. Significantly, Gladstone himself never fully endorsed the Newcastle Programme.

In 1900 his outspoken sympathy with the Boers had made him a Radical hero. His period at the Board of Trade after 1906 showed his administrative ability. By 1908 Lloyd George’s journey into Liberal politics had brought him from the mists and hills of North Wales to 11 Downing Street. The reconstructed ministry under Asquith faced a troubled political outlook. In the last days of the Campbell-Bannerman Government, the party had suffered a severe blow in the Peckham by-election on 24 March 1908, when a Liberal majority of 2,300 was easily overturned.

From the spring of 1908, ill-health confined him to his home at 10 Downing Street. On 6 April 1908 he resigned; he died later the same month. The administration that had begun with such high hopes in 1906 was over. With its demise, the feeling was one of disillusion. For although Campbell-Bannerman’s two years in office were in many ways important and constructive, his ministry as a whole never really constituted a real success. Whilst it had brought self-government to South Africa, initiated far-reaching Army reforms, pursued a successful detente with Russia and repaired the damage done by the Taff Vale decision, it was open to fundamental criticism.

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