Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Labour in the party contest : British politics, 1931-39
Author: Hogan, Andrew
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2011
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
The thesis examines the party contest and Labour's role within it between 1931 and 1939. There are therefore two primary threads to this study. First, this thesis challenges the notion of British politics as having been' settled' in 1931 only to be upset by the upheavals of the Second World War. Certainly, the Labour party was in a severely weakened position following the formation of the National government and the government side had much going for it, yet the party contest had the potential to be more volatile during the 1930s than is conventionally acknowledged. This thesis reveals a picture of British politics in perpetual motion, with new issues continually emerging, and various extra-political associations and individuals achieving political prominence and significance at particular points, which presented both opportunities and dangers to the main political parties. It is contended that the National government responded to this environment more effectively than did Labour, and that the political methods adopted by the government (which are outlined in this thesis) are a useful means for understanding the government's success during the 1930s. The second thread to this thesis - albeit treated simultaneously to the first - considers Labour in the context of the competition between the parties for the electorate's approval. It therefore examines a wider range of sources than usual for Labour histories, and pays particular attention to the responses of the Conservatives to what Labour was doing. The research suggests that Labour were presented with opportunities at certain points in the 1930s but were unable to seize advantage. However, although an ineffective competitor for much of the decade, subtle changes in how the Labour leadership approached the party contest after 1936 better prepared Labour in opposing the National government in the last years of the 1930s. Whilst this did not bring immediate success - indeed, politics appeared to be stagnating at the beginning of 1939 -.:... in the summer of 1939 the Labour party was able to secure its greatest reversal against the government with the issue of state old age pensions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available