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Title: Building the Labour Representation Committee : Labour, locality and the 1906 General Election
Author: Parry, Jason
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2013
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It has long been recognised that the 1906 General Election was of particular significance for the Labour Party. Having entered into a secret electoral agreement with the Liberal Party, this was the year in which Labour first secured a significant parliamentary presence and transformed itself from the Labour Representation Committee (LRC) to Labour Party. However, whilst historians have focused on the longer processes launched by the election, little attention has been paid to the conduct of the election itself, either in the constituencies or in relation to how a relatively unknown political party presented itself to the electorate. In using the 1906 General Election as a focal point, this study uses seven constituency case studies to analyse the LRC's variegated growth across the country. In so doing, it will concentrate on the party's grass roots to argue that Labour was essentially a local party, reflective of the socioeconomic and cultural contexts from which it emerged, and with its success dependent on its ability to present its politics as an integrated part of the communities it appealed to. A comparative methodology is applied throughout this study, not only with regard to providing a national and local perspective on Edwardian politics, but also in relation to the experience and approaches of the Liberal and Conservative parties. By exploring a relatively neglected period of Labour's history, this study will facilitate a reappraisal of the LRC and contribute to a growing literature centred on the means by which political parties interacted with the electorate. Rather than being seven local case studies in one, therefore, this thesis fully embraces and considers Labour's relationship with locality in order to explain its early experience of British politics
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available