Sir Martyn John Dudley Lewis is a Welsh television news presenter and journalist. He was a presenter for various BBC News programmes between 1986 and 1999 and was known for his involvement in the coverage of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997, he is active in the charity sector and is the Founder & Executive Chairman of YourBigDay Ltd. Lewis was born in Swansea, though was educated at the co-educational Dalriada School in Northern Ireland and graduated with a BA degree from Trinity College, Dublin, he joined BBC Northern Ireland in 1967. Lewis holds an honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Ulster and is a Freeman of the City of London, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Member of the Garrick Club and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, he was a news presenter and reporter on HTV and ITN, before joining the BBC in October 1986 to present BBC News bulletins until the major relaunch of all output in 1999–2000. Lewis became the first presenter of the One O'Clock News on BBC One on 27 October 1986 when it was launched as part of the introduction of the channel's daytime schedule, replacing News After Noon.
Subsequently, he presented other bulletins including Nine O'Clock News. He created a modicum of controversy in 1993 when he claimed that television should feature more "good news", he subsequently stated. Lewis played a prominent role in the announcement of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales on Sunday 31 August 1997, he was called into the BBC in the early hours of that morning to present short national bulletins about the car accident in Paris. He returned home afterwards to get some sleep – expecting the Princess to pull through – only to be drafted in again in time for the special 6 am bulletin covering Diana's death. During the marathon coverage, simulcast on BBC1, BBC World as well as broadcasters around the world which took in the BBC news feed, Lewis was brought to tears following Tony Blair's "People's Princess" statement, his uninterrupted presenting stint ended mid-afternoon. On 26 April 1999, a few weeks before the BBC relaunched its news programmes, he presented the Six O'Clock news bulletin with Jennie Bond on the day his co-host Jill Dando was murdered outside her home in West London.
He appeared on rival ITN that evening to pay tribute to his dead colleague. He presented his last bulletin at the start of May 1999 from Edinburgh, reporting on Scottish devolution, signing off with, "And from me, it's goodbye." As part of the celebrations for ITN's 50th anniversary, he returned to television news to present a special edition of the ITV Evening News with Mary Nightingale in September 2005. Lewis was the long-running host, from 1993, of the BBC news-based quiz show Today's the Day and the primetime BBC TV series Crimebeat, he retired from newsreading in 1999 and since has presented occasional programmes on ITV including Dateline Jerusalem and Ultimate Questions. He played himself in brief cameo roles in several films, appearing as a newsreader in the 1999 James Bond film The World Is Not Enough, in The Bill and The Vicar of Dibley in 2000, in archive footage featured in the 2006 film The Queen, as well as Argo and The James Bond Story. In 2008, he appeared in the video on board the Heathrow Express as a guide to the airport security.
In 2013, he appeared as the presenter in television commercials for Calgon, acting out interviews with'experts' in a series entitled "Smart Washing with Calgon". Lewis was chairman and co-founder of Teliris, one of the first telepresence systems developed, he was involved in the marketing of this solution through personal contacts, speaking engagements and "Telepresence Times", his vlog launched in 2009. He retired as chairman in 2012, he is Founder & Executive Chairman of YourBigDay Ltd, which uses the ITN & Reuters archives to produce birthday & anniversary videos covering most of the last century. Lewis is a vice-president of Hospice UK, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Macmillan Cancer Support, East Anglia Children’s Hospices and Demelza Children’s Hospice, he is president of United Response, a charity supporting people with learning disabilities or mental health needs to live in the community, in England and in Wales. He founded the youth charity YouthNet in 1995, stayed as chairman until stepping down in July 2014, though he remains an advisor.
The charity provides advice and support through websites aimed at young people. From 2010 to 2016 he was chair of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, an umbrella body for charities in England and Wales with over 13,000 members, he is chairman of the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. He was chairman of Families of the Fallen 2010–15, he is a patron of The Patchwork Foundation, the quarterly broadsheet Positive News, Dementia UK. In September 2015, it was announced that Lewis had become the first ambassador of Pennies, a fintech charity that enables charitable micro-donations, he married Liz Carse in 1970. They met while working at HTV Wales in the late sixties – she as a continuity announcer, he as a reporter and presenter. Liz died in 2012 after a long battle with Huntington's Disease. Martyn and Liz have Kate Lewis and singer-songwriter Sylvie Lewis. Martyn is now married to Patsy Baker, Senior Group Adviser to the Huntsworth Group of public relations companies. Lewis was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1997 for his services to young people and the hospice movement and was knighted in the 2016 New Year Honours
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left political party in the United Kingdom, described as an alliance of social democrats, democratic socialists and trade unionists. The party's platform emphasises greater state intervention, social justice and strengthening workers' rights; the Labour Party was founded in 1900, having grown out of the trade union movement and socialist parties of the nineteenth century. It overtook the Liberal Party to become the main opposition to the Conservative Party in the early 1920s, forming two minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in the 1920s and early 1930s. Labour served in the wartime coalition of 1940-1945, after which Clement Attlee's Labour government established the National Health Service and expanded the welfare state from 1945 to 1951. Under Harold Wilson and James Callaghan, Labour again governed from 1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1979. In the 1990s Tony Blair took Labour closer to the centre as part of his "New Labour" project, which governed the UK under Blair and Gordon Brown from 1997 to 2010.
After Corbyn took over in 2015, the party has moved leftward. Labour is the Official Opposition in the Parliament of the United Kingdom, having won the second-largest number of seats in the 2017 general election; the Labour Party is the largest party in the Welsh Assembly, forming the main party in the current Welsh government. The party is the third largest in the Scottish Parliament. Labour is a member of the Party of European Socialists and Progressive Alliance, holds observer status in the Socialist International, sits with the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament; the party includes semi-autonomous Scottish and Welsh branches and supports the Social Democratic and Labour Party in Northern Ireland. As of 2017, Labour had the largest membership of any party in Western Europe; the Labour Party originated in the late 19th century, meeting the demand for a new political party to represent the interests and needs of the urban working class, a demographic which had increased in number, many of whom only gained suffrage with the passage of the Representation of the People Act 1884.
Some members of the trades union movement became interested in moving into the political field, after further extensions of the voting franchise in 1867 and 1885, the Liberal Party endorsed some trade-union sponsored candidates. The first Lib–Lab candidate to stand was George Odger in the Southwark by-election of 1870. In addition, several small socialist groups had formed around this time, with the intention of linking the movement to political policies. Among these were the Independent Labour Party, the intellectual and middle-class Fabian Society, the Marxist Social Democratic Federation and the Scottish Labour Party. At the 1895 general election, the Independent Labour Party put up 28 candidates but won only 44,325 votes. Keir Hardie, the leader of the party, believed that to obtain success in parliamentary elections, it would be necessary to join with other left-wing groups. Hardie's roots as a lay preacher contributed to an ethos in the party which led to the comment by 1950s General Secretary Morgan Phillips that "Socialism in Britain owed more to Methodism than Marx".
In 1899, a Doncaster member of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, Thomas R. Steels, proposed in his union branch that the Trade Union Congress call a special conference to bring together all left-wing organisations and form them into a single body that would sponsor Parliamentary candidates; the motion was passed at all stages by the TUC, the proposed conference was held at the Memorial Hall on Farringdon Street on 26 and 27 February 1900. The meeting was attended by a broad spectrum of working-class and left-wing organisations—trades unions represented about one third of the membership of the TUC delegates. After a debate, the 129 delegates passed Hardie's motion to establish "a distinct Labour group in Parliament, who shall have their own whips, agree upon their policy, which must embrace a readiness to cooperate with any party which for the time being may be engaged in promoting legislation in the direct interests of labour." This created an association called the Labour Representation Committee, meant to co-ordinate attempts to support MPs sponsored by trade unions and represent the working-class population.
It had no single leader, in the absence of one, the Independent Labour Party nominee Ramsay MacDonald was elected as Secretary. He had the difficult task of keeping the various strands of opinions in the LRC united; the October 1900 "Khaki election" came too soon for the new party to campaign effectively. Only 15 candidatures were sponsored. Support for the LRC was boosted by the 1901 Taff Vale Case, a dispute between strikers and a railway company that ended with the union being ordered to pay £23,000 damages for a strike; the judgement made strikes illegal since employers could recoup the cost of lost business from the unions. The apparent acquiescence of the Conservative Government of Arthur Balfour to industrial and business interests intensified support for the LRC against a government that appeared to have little concern for the industrial proletariat and its problems. In the 1906 election, the LRC won 29 seats—helped by a secret 1903 pact between Ramsay MacDonald and Liberal Chief Whip Herbert Gladstone that aimed to avoid splitting the opposition vote between Labour and Liberal candidates in the interest of removing the Conservatives from office.
In their first meeting after the election the group's Members of Parliament decided to adop
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom. The governing party since 2010, it is the largest in the House of Commons, with 313 Members of Parliament, has 249 members of the House of Lords, 18 members of the European Parliament, 31 Members of the Scottish Parliament, 12 members of the Welsh Assembly, eight members of the London Assembly and 8,916 local councillors; the Conservative Party was founded in 1834 from the Tory Party—the Conservatives' colloquial name is "Tories"—and was one of two dominant political parties in the nineteenth century, along with the Liberal Party. Under Benjamin Disraeli it played a preeminent role in politics at the height of the British Empire. In 1912, the Liberal Unionist Party merged with the party to form the Conservative and Unionist Party. In the 1920s, the Labour Party surpassed the Liberals as the Conservatives' main rivals. Conservative Prime Ministers — notably Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher — led governments for 57 years of the twentieth century.
Positioned on the centre-right of British politics, the Conservative Party is ideologically conservative. Different factions have dominated the party at different times, including One Nation Conservatives and liberal conservatives, while its views and policies have changed throughout its history; the party has adopted liberal economic policies—favouring free market economics, limiting state regulation, pursuing privatisation—although in the past has supported protectionism. The party is British unionist, opposing both Irish reunification and Welsh and Scottish independence, supported the maintenance of the British Empire; the party includes those with differing views on the European Union, with Eurosceptic and pro-European wings. In foreign policy, it is for a strong national defence; the Conservatives are a member of the International Democrat Union and the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe and sit with the European Conservatives and Reformists parliamentary group. The Scottish, Northern Irish and Gibraltan branches of the party are semi-autonomous.
Its support base consists of middle-class voters in rural areas of England, its domination of British politics throughout the twentieth century has led to it being referred to as one of the most successful political parties in the Western world. The Conservative Party was founded in the 1830s. However, some writers trace its origins to the reign of Charles II in the 1670s Exclusion Crisis. Other historians point to a faction, rooted in the 18th century Whig Party, that coalesced around William Pitt the Younger in the 1780s, they were known as "Independent Whigs", "Friends of Mr Pitt", or "Pittites" and never used terms such as "Tory" or "Conservative". Pitt died in 1806. From about 1812 on the name "Tory" was used for a new party that, according to historian Robert Blake, "are the ancestors of Conservatism". Blake adds that Pitt's successors after 1812 "were not in any sense standard-bearer's of true Toryism"; the term "Conservative" was suggested as a title for the party by a magazine article by J. Wilson Croker in the Quarterly Review in 1830.
The name caught on and was adopted under the aegis of Sir Robert Peel around 1834. Peel is acknowledged as the founder of the Conservative Party, which he created with the announcement of the Tamworth Manifesto; the term "Conservative Party" rather than Tory was the dominant usage by 1845. The widening of the electoral franchise in the nineteenth century forced the Conservative Party to popularise its approach under Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby and Benjamin Disraeli, who carried through their own expansion of the franchise with the Reform Act of 1867. In 1886, the party formed an alliance with Spencer Compton Cavendish, Lord Hartington and Joseph Chamberlain's new Liberal Unionist Party and, under the statesmen Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, Lord Salisbury and Arthur Balfour, held power for all but three of the following twenty years before suffering a heavy defeat in 1906 when it split over the issue of free trade. Young Winston Churchill denounced Chamberlain's attack on free trade, helped organize the opposition inside the Unionist/Conservative Party.
Balfour, as party leader, followed Chamberlain's policy introduced protectionist legislation. The high tariff element called itself "Tariff Reformers" and in a major speech in Manchester on May 13, 1904, Churchill warned their takeover of the Unionist/Conservative party would permanently brand it as: A party of great vested interests, banded together in a formidable confederation. Two weeks Churchill crossed the floor and formally joined the Liberal Party. )He rejoined the Conservatives in 1925.) In December, Balfour lost control of his party, as the defections multiplied. He was replaced by Liberal Prime Minister Henry Campbell-Bannerman who called an election in January 1906, which produced a massive Liberal victory with a gain of 214 seats. Liberal Prime Minister H. H. Asquith enacted a great deal of reform legislation, but the Unionists worked hard at grassroots organizing. Two general elections were held in one in January and one in December; the two main parties were now dead equal in seats.
The Unionists had more popular votes but the Liberals kept control with a coalition with the Irish Parliamentary Party. In 1912, the Liberal Unionis
Leonard James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff known as Jim Callaghan, was a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1976 to 1979 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1976 to 1980. So far the only holder of all four of the Great Offices of State, Callaghan served as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary prior to his appointment as Prime Minister; as Prime Minister, he had some successes, but is remembered for the "Winter of Discontent" of 1978–79. During a cold winter, his battle with trade unions led to immense strikes that inconvenienced the public, leading to his defeat in the polls by Conservative leader Margaret Thatcher. Callaghan was the last Prime Minister born before the First World War. Upon entering the House of Commons in 1945, he was on the left wing of the party. Callaghan moved towards the right, but maintained his reputation as "The Keeper of the Cloth Cap"—that is, he was seen as dedicated to maintaining close ties between the Labour Party and the trade unions.
Callaghan's period as Chancellor of the Exchequer coincided with a turbulent period for the British economy, during which he had to wrestle with a balance of payments deficit and speculative attacks on the pound sterling. On 18 November 1967, the government devalued the pound sterling. Callaghan became Home Secretary, he sent the British Army to support the police in Northern Ireland, after a request from the Northern Ireland Government. After Labour was defeated at the 1970 general election, Callaghan played a key role in the Shadow Cabinet, he became Foreign Secretary in 1974, taking responsibility for renegotiating the terms of the UK's membership of the European Communities, supporting a "Yes" vote in the 1975 referendum to remain in the EC. When Prime Minister Harold Wilson resigned in 1976, Callaghan defeated five other candidates to be elected as his replacement. Labour had lost its narrow majority in the House of Commons by the time he became Prime Minister, further by-election defeats and defections forced Callaghan to deal with minor parties such as the Liberal Party in the "Lib–Lab pact" from 1977 to 1978.
Industrial disputes and widespread strikes in the 1978 "Winter of Discontent" made Callaghan's government unpopular, the defeat of the referendum on devolution for Scotland led to the successful passage of a motion of no confidence on 28 March 1979. This was followed by a defeat at the ensuing general election. Callaghan remained Labour Party leader until November 1980, in order to reform the process by which the party elected its leader, before returning to the backbenches where he remained until he was made a life peer as Baron Callaghan of Cardiff, he went on to live longer than any other British prime minister in history -- 364 days. Leonard James Callaghan was born at 38 Funtington Road, Portsmouth, England, on 27 March 1912, he took his middle name from his father, the son of an Irish Catholic father who had fled to England during the Great Irish Famine, a Jewish mother. Callaghan's father ran away from home in the 1890s to join the Royal Navy, he rose to the rank of Chief Petty Officer.
His mother was Charlotte Callaghan an English Baptist. As the Catholic Church at the time refused to marry Catholics to members of other denominations, James Callaghan senior abandoned Catholicism and married Charlotte in a Baptist chapel, their first child was Dorothy Gertrude Callaghan. James Callaghan senior served in the First World War on board the battleship HMS Agincourt. After he was demobbed in 1919, he joined the Coastguard and the family moved to the town of Brixham in Devon, however he died only two years of a heart attack in 1921 at the age of 44, leaving the family without an income, forced to rely on charity to survive, their financial situation was improved in 1924 when the first Labour government was elected, introduced changes allowing Mrs Callaghan to be granted a widows pension of ten shillings a week, on the basis that her husband's death was due to his war service. In his early years, Callaghan was known by his first name Leonard, when he entered politics in 1945 he decided to be known by his middle name James, from on he was referred to as James or Jim.
He attended Portsmouth Northern Secondary School. He gained the Senior Oxford Certificate in 1929, but could not afford entrance to university and instead sat the Civil Service entrance exam. At the age of 17, Callaghan left to work as a clerk for the Inland Revenue at Maidstone in Kent. While working as a tax inspector, Callaghan joined the Maidstone branch of the Labour Party and the Association of the Officers of Taxes a trade union for those in his profession, and within a year of joining he became the office secretary of the union. In 1932 he passed a Civil Service exam which enabled him to become a senior tax inspector, that same year he became the Kent branch secretary of the AOT; the following year he was elected to the AOT's national executive council. In 1934, he was transferred to Inland Revenue offices in London. Following a merger of unions in 1936, Callaghan was appointed a full-time union official and to the post of Assistant Secretary of the Inland Revenue Staff Federation, resigned from his Civil Service duties.
During his time working as a tax inspector in the early-1930s, Callaghan met his future wife Audrey Moulton, an
Jeremy John Durham Ashdown, Baron Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon, known as Paddy Ashdown, was a British politician and diplomat who served as Leader of the Liberal Democrats from 1988 to 1999. He gained international recognition for his role in Bosnia–Herzegovina as its High Representative from 2002 to 2006, following his vigorous lobbying for military action against Yugoslavia in the 1990s. After serving as a Royal Marine and Special Boat Service officer and as an intelligence officer in the UK security services, Ashdown was elected Member of Parliament for Yeovil in 1983 before retiring in 2001. Ashdown received national recognition for his services by appointment as Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George in the 2006 New Year Honours and Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour in the 2015 New Year Honours. A polyglot, Ashdown had an interpretership qualification in Mandarin and was fluent in several other languages. Ashdown was the eldest of seven children: he had four brothers and two sisters.
He was born in New Delhi, British India, on 27 February 1941 to a family of soldiers and colonial administrators who spent their lives in India. His father was a lapsed Catholic, his mother a Protestant, his mother was a nurse in the Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps. Ashdown's father, John William Richard Durham Ashdown, was a British Indian Army officer serving in the 14th Punjab Regiment and the Royal Indian Army Service Corps, in 1944 attained the rank of temporary lieutenant colonel. Ashdown was brought up in Northern Ireland, where his father bought a farm in 1945 near Comber, Donaghadee, he was educated first at a local primary school as a weekly boarder at Garth House Preparatory School in Bangor and from age 11 at Bedford School in England, where his accent earned him the nickname "Paddy". After his father's business collapsed, Ashdown passed the naval scholarship examination to pay for his school fees, but left before taking A-levels and joined the Royal Marines in 1959, he retired with the rank of captain.
He served in Borneo during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation and the Persian Gulf, before training as a Swimmer Canoeist in 1965, after which he joined the elite Special Boat Section and commanded a Section in the Far East. He went to Hong Kong in 1967 to undertake a full-time interpreter's course in Chinese, returned to the UK in 1970 when he was given command of a Royal Marine company in Belfast. Ashdown left the Royal Marines to join the Secret Intelligence Service; as diplomatic cover, he worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as first secretary to the United Kingdom mission to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. At the UN, Ashdown was responsible for relations with several UN organisations, involved in the negotiation of several international treaties, some aspects of the Helsinki Accords in 1975. While in the Marines, Ashdown had been a supporter of the Labour Party but switched support to the Liberal Party in 1975, he had a comfortable life in Switzerland, where he lived with his wife Jane and their two children Simon and Katherine in a large house on the shores of Lake Geneva, enjoying plenty of time for sailing and climbing.
Ashdown decided to enter politics after the UK had two general elections in one year and the Three-Day Week. He said that "most of my friends thought it was utterly bonkers" to leave the diplomatic service, but that he had "a sense of purpose". In 1976 Ashdown was selected as the Liberal Party's prospective parliamentary candidate in his wife's home constituency of Yeovil in Somerset, took a job with Normalair Garrett part of the Yeovil-based Westland Group. Yeovil's Liberal candidate had been placed second in the February 1974 and third in the October 1974 general elections, he subsequently worked for Tescan, was unemployed for a time after that firm's closure in 1981, before becoming a youth worker with Dorset County Council's Youth Service, working on initiatives to help the young unemployed. That position being an unpaid "volunteer" one, Ashdown himself being classified at the time as "long term unemployed", having applied unsuccessfully for 150 jobs. In the 1979 general election which returned the Conservatives to power, Ashdown regained second place, establishing a clear lead of 9% over the Labour candidate.
The Conservative majority of 11,382 was still large enough to be regarded as a safe seat when the sitting MP John Peyton stood down at the 1983 general election to be made a life peer. Ashdown had gained momentum after his years of local campaigning; the Labour vote fell to only 5.5% and Ashdown won the seat with a majority of over 3,000, a swing from the Conservatives of 11.9% against a national swing of 4% to the Conservatives. Ashdown had long been on his party's social democratic wing, supporting the 1977 Lib–Lab pact, the SDP–Liberal Alliance. In the early 1980s he was a prominent campaigner against the deployment in Europe of American nuclear-armed cruise missiles, describing them at a Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament rally in Hyde Park in 1983 as "the front end of the whole anti-nuclear struggle, it is the weapon we HAVE to stop."Shortly after entering the House of Commons, he was appointed SDP–Liberal Alliance spokesman on Trade and Industry and on Education. He opposed the privatisation of the Royal Ordnance Factories in 1984, in 1986 he criticised the Thatcher Government for allowing the United States to bomb Libya from UK bases, in 1987 he campaigned against the loss of trade union
1945 United Kingdom general election
The 1945 United Kingdom general election was held on 5 July 1945, with polls in some constituencies delayed until 12 July and in Nelson and Colne until 19 July, because of local wakes weeks. The results were counted and declared on 26 July, to allow time to transport the votes of those serving overseas; the result was an unexpected landslide victory for Clement Attlee's Labour Party, over Winston Churchill's Conservatives. It was the first time. Labour won its first majority government, a mandate to implement its postwar reforms; the 10.7% national swing from the Conservative Party to the Labour Party remains the largest achieved in a British general election. Held less than two months after VE Day, it was the first general election since 1935, as general elections had been suspended during the Second World War. Clement Attlee, Leader of the Labour Party, refused Winston Churchill's offer of continuing the wartime coalition until the Allied defeat of Japan. Parliament was dissolved on 15 June.
The caretaker government led by Churchill was defeated. The result of the election came as a major shock to the Conservatives, given the heroic status of Winston Churchill, but reflected the voters' belief that the Labour Party were better able to rebuild the country following the war than the Conservatives. Ralph Ingersoll reported in late 1940 that "Everywhere I went in London people admired energy, his courage, his singleness of purpose. People said, he was respected. But no one felt, he was the right man in the right job at the right time. The time being the time of a desperate war with Britain's enemies". Henry Pelling, noting that polls showed a steady Labour lead after 1942, explained the long-term forces that caused the Labour landslide, he pointed to the usual swing against the party in power. Though voters respected and liked Churchill's wartime record, they were more distrustful of the Conservative Party's domestic and foreign policy record in the late 1930s. Labour had been given, during the war, the opportunity to display to the electorate their domestic competence in government, under men such as Attlee as Deputy Prime Minister, Herbert Morrison at the Home Office and Ernest Bevin at the Ministry of Labour.
Churchill and the Conservatives are generally considered to have run a poor campaign in comparison to Labour. The Labour manifesto'Let Us Face the Future' included promises of nationalisation, economic planning, full employment, a National Health Service, a system of social security; the Conservative manifesto,'Mr. Churchill's Declaration to the Voters', on the other hand, included progressive ideas on key social issues but was vague on the idea of post-war economic control; this was the first election in which Labour gained a majority of seats, the first time it won a plurality of votes. The election was a disaster for the Liberal Party. According to Baines, the defeat marked its transition from being a party of government to a party of the political fringe; the National Liberal Party fared worse, losing two-thirds of its seats and falling behind the Liberals in seat count for the first time since the parties split in 1931. This was the final election that the Liberal Nationals fought as an autonomous party, as they merged with the Conservative Party two years continuing to exist as a subsidiary party of the Conservatives until 1968.
Future prominent figures who entered Parliament included Harold Wilson, James Callaghan, Barbara Castle, Michael Foot and Hugh Gaitskell. Future Conservative Prime Minister Harold Macmillan lost his seat, returning to Parliament at a by-election in the year; this differs from the above list in including seats where the incumbent was standing down and therefore there was no possibility of any one person being defeated. The aim is to provide a comparison with the previous election. All comparisons are with the 1935 election. In some cases the change is due to the MP defecting to the gaining party; such circumstances are marked with a *. In other circumstances the change is due to the seat having been won by the gaining party in a by-election in the intervening years, retained in 1945; such circumstances are marked with a †. With the Second World War coming to an end in Europe, the Labour Party decided to pull out of the wartime national coalition government, precipitating an election which took place in July 1945.
King George VI dissolved Parliament, sitting for ten years without an election. What followed was one of the greatest swings of public confidence of the twentieth century. In May 1945, the month in which the war in Europe ended, Churchill's approval ratings stood at 83%, although the Labour Party held an 18% lead as of February 1945. Labour won overwhelming support while Churchill "was both surprised and stunned" by the
1918 United Kingdom general election
The 1918 United Kingdom general election was called after the Armistice with Germany which ended the First World War, was held on Saturday, 14 December 1918. The governing coalition, under Prime Minister David Lloyd George, sent letters of endorsement to candidates who supported the coalition government; these were nicknamed "Coalition Coupons", led to the election being known as the "coupon election". The result was a massive landslide in favour of the coalition, comprising the Conservatives and Coalition Liberals, with massive losses for Liberals who were not endorsed. Nearly all the Liberal M. P.s without coupons were defeated, although party leader H. H. Asquith managed to return to Parliament in a by-election, it was the first general election to include on a single day all eligible voters of the United Kingdom, although the vote count was delayed until 28 December so that the ballots cast by soldiers serving overseas could be included in the tallies. It resulted in a landslide victory for the coalition government of David Lloyd George, who had replaced H. H. Asquith as Prime Minister in December 1916.
They were both Liberals and continued to battle for control of the party, fast losing popular support and never regained power. It was the first general election to be held after enactment of the Representation of the People Act 1918, it was thus the first election in which women over the age of 30, all men over the age of 21, could vote. All women and many poor men had been excluded from voting. Women showed enormous patriotism, supported the coalition candidates, it was the first parliamentary election in which women were able to stand as candidates following the Parliament Act 1918, believed to be one of the shortest Acts of Parliament given Royal Assent. The Act was passed shortly, it followed a report by Law Officers that the Great Reform Act 1832 had specified parliamentary candidates had to be male and that the Representation of the People Act passed earlier in the year did not change that. One women, Nina Boyle, had presented herself for a by election earlier in the year in Keighley but had been turned down by the returning officer on technical grounds.
The election was noted for the dramatic result in Ireland, which showed clear disapproval of government policy. The Irish Parliamentary Party were completely wiped out by the Irish republican party Sinn Féin, who vowed in their manifesto to establish an independent Irish Republic, they refused to take their seats in Westminster, instead forming a breakaway government and declaring Irish independence. The Irish War of Independence began soon after the election. Lloyd George's coalition government was supported by the majority of the Liberals and Bonar Law's Conservatives. However, the election saw a split in the Liberal Party between those who were aligned with Lloyd George and the government and those who were aligned with Asquith, the party's official leader. On 14 November it was announced that Parliament, sitting since 1910 and had been extended by emergency wartime action, would dissolve on 25 November, with elections on 14 December. Following confidential negotiations over the summer of 1918, it was agreed that certain candidates were to be offered the support of the Prime Minister and the leader of the Conservative Party at the next general election.
To these candidates a letter, known as the Coalition Coupon, was sent, indicating the government's endorsement of their candidacy. 159 Liberal, 364 Conservative, 20 National Democratic and Labour, 2 Coalition Labour candidates received the coupon. For this reason the election is called the Coupon Election.80 Conservative candidates stood without a coupon. Of these, 35 candidates were Irish Unionists. Of the other non-couponed Conservative candidates, only 23 stood against a Coalition candidate; the Labour Party, led by William Adamson, fought the election independently, as did those Liberals who did not receive a coupon. The election was not chiefly fought over what peace to make with Germany, although those issues played a role. More important was the voters' evaluation of Lloyd George in terms of what he had accomplished so far and what he promised for the future, his supporters emphasised. Against his strong record in social legislation, he called for making "a country fit for heroes to live in".
This election was known as a khaki election, due to the immediate postwar setting and the role of the demobilised soldiers. The coalition won the election with the Conservatives the big winners, they were the largest party in the governing majority. Lloyd George remained Prime Minister, despite the Conservatives outnumbering his pro-coalition Liberals; the Conservatives welcomed his leadership on foreign policy as the Paris Peace talks began a few weeks after the election. An additional 47 Conservatives, 23 of whom were Irish Unionists, won without the coupon but did not act as a separate block or oppose the government except on the issue of Irish independence. While most of the pro-coalition Liberals were re-elected, Asquith's faction was reduced to just 36 seats and lost all their leaders from parliament. Nine of these MPs subsequently joined the Coalition Liberal group; the remainder became bitter enemies of Lloyd George. The Labour Party increased its vote share and surpassed the total votes of either Liberal party.
Labour became the Official Opposition for the first time, but they lacked an official leader and so the Leader of the Opposition for the next fourteen months was the stand-in Liberal leader Donald Maclean (Asquith