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Title: Recruitment of Liberals into the Conservative party
Authors: Cott, Nicholas Martin
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Consideration of recruitment of Liberal politicians into the Conservative party, in the first third of the twentieth century, is an important but under-explored aspect of the political realignment which saw the demise of the Liberal party and the rise of a new duopoly between the Conservative and Labour parties. A specific and detailed investigation of the phenomenon is necessary. This study provides an opportunity to appreciate the nature of how individual Liberal politicians reacted to changing political circumstances with the weakening of the Liberal party. It examines a range of relevant factors – both of a long-term and immediate nature – and undertakes comparative analysis of the careers of the relevant politicians, including not only prominent politicians but also less well-known ones to assist in ensuring that the topic avoids being merely a study of high politics. All findings point to a diverse range of issues which influenced political thinking about party allegiances, but broadly these relate to the growth of a shared political agenda, between Liberals and Conservatives. Some Liberals wanted positively to coalesce with Conservatives, forming relationships, both in Parliament and in the constituencies, which eventually brought them inside the Conservative party or close to it, whilst others, by contrast, almost fell into working with the Conservatives due to political pressures over time. All seemed to suffer some level of disaffection from the Liberal party, which was therefore a key ingredient in hastening their change of party.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of History, Classics and Archaeology

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