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The 1964 General Election Why did Labour win the 1964 General Election?

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Presentation on theme: "The 1964 General Election Why did Labour win the 1964 General Election?"— Presentation transcript:

1 The 1964 General Election Why did Labour win the 1964 General Election?

2 Contenders Alec Douglas Home (Conservative) V Harold Wilson (Labour) I spent most of my political career in the House of Lords

3 Why did Labour win the 1964 General Election? Scandal Night of the Long Knives Illness of Macmillan Europe Labour as party of modernisation Youthful image of Wilson

4 Scandal There were two major scandals which rocked the government 1.The Vassal spy scandal 2.The Profumo affair These scandals rocked and discredited the Conservative governments

5 The Vassal spy affair John Vassall, a homosexual clerk who worked at the Admiralty been photographed in Moscow by the KGB at a gay sex party, was uncovered as a spy Vassall was a conspicuous consumer, living far beyond his means, yet no one had asked the obvious question about where his money was coming from there was much speculation about a wider homosexual and traitorous network, this time involving ministers too

6 The Profumo affair was a scandal involving the Minister for War, John Profumo liaison with a prostitute created a national security risk since she included members of the Soviet embassy among her clients Profumo lied in the House of Commons about the relationship. The scandal did not by itself bring down the government, but the fact the Prime Minister believed Profumo’s original denial of impropriety suggested that Macmillan was loosing his political grip

7 Night of the Long Knives Macmillan reorganised his cabinet in an event that became known as the Night of the Long Knives But the effect of the reshuffle was to make Macmillan’s own position more precarious

8 Illness of Macmillan Macmillan was seriously ill following a major operation in 1963 and eventually resigned due to ill health

9 Europe The constant arguing over Britain’s relations with Europe discredited the government Britain’s membership was rejected No!

10 Labour as party of modernisation First we must produce more scientists. Secondly, having produced them we must be a great deal more successful in keeping them in this country. Thirdly, having trained them and kept them here, we must make more intelligent use of them when they are trained than we do with those we have got. Fourthly, we must reorganise more purposively to our national production effort

11 Youthful image of Wilson The Labour campaign was based around Harold Wilson, who was plugged as a man of the people. "If the past belongs to the Tories", Wilson declared, "the future belongs to us, all of us."

12 THE RESULT PartyVotesSeatsChange UK Vote Share (%) GB Vote Share (%) Labour12,205, Conservative12,002, Liberal3,099, Others349, the Tory turnout was two million down on 1959.

13 Why did Labour win the 1964 General Election? The various factors can be remembered as.... SNIELY

14 Why did Labour win the 1964 General Election? Scandal Night of the Long Knives Illness of Macmillan Europe Labour as party of modernisation Youthful image of Wilson

15 Why did Labour win the 1964 election? Scandal Night of the Long Knives Illness of Macmillan Europe Labour as party of modernisation Youthful image of Wilson WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR?

16 QUESTIONS 1.Who was the Labour leader during the election? 2.Who was the Conservative leader? 3.What did the Vassal scandal involve? 4.What did the Profumo scandal involve? 5.Who said no to Britain’s entry to Europe? 6.What was the Night of the Long Knives? 7.Where did Home spend most of his political career before becoming leader? 8.Why was Labour seen as the party of modernisation? 9.Who was described by the press as a ‘cretin’? 10.How can the factors that led to a Labour victory be easily remembered?


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