By Henry Pelling
Delivering an introductory account of the Labour occasion from its origin, this e-book covers the full interval as much as the final Election of 1992 and the following collection of John Smith to prevail Neil Kinnock as celebration chief. It additionally discusses the position of labour unions in the occasion.
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Additional resources for A Short History of the Labour Party
The decision of the executive was endorsed by a large majority at the 1921 Labour Party Conference. In 1922 came a new general election and with it the reward for the skilful generalship of Henderson in the preceding eight years. The party increased the number of seats that it contested to 414, which was now over two-thirds of the total. It won altogether 142 of them - almost double its strength at the dissolution, which had already been recruited by successes at by-elections. Although there was a clear Conservative majority in Parliament, in many ways the rise of the Labour Party to a total exceeding that of the broken segments of the Liberal Party was the most important single feature of the election.
Although Henderson was returned to the Commons in a by-election in 1919, he did not attempt to resume the chairmanship, preferring to occupy himself in the task of extending extra-parliamentary organisation. In 1920 the obviously incompetent Adamson was succeeded as chairman by Clynes, an abler if not exactly dashing figure. But Henderson held the initiative with his external activities, such as the special Labour Party Commission of Enquiry sent to Ireland to investigate the outrages of the 'Black and Tans'.
The total of these two - 78 - was beginning to compare with the total trade-union representation, which had moved up merely from 85 to 101. The Conservatives, with 258 members, were still the largest party in the Commons, but they had no clear majority. As the election had largely been fought on tariff reform, which the electorate had rejected, it was clearly the duty of the parties advocating free trade to form a government between them, and the Liberals decided to support a Labour government.
A Short History of the Labour Party by Henry Pelling