How Is the Liberal Electoral Victory of 1906 Best Explained?

Topics: Conservatism, Liberalism, Voting Pages: 4 (1468 words) Published: August 19, 2013
The liberal’s victory in the 1906 was a very significant one due to how they won it with such an overwhelming majority; it was the biggest electoral victory since 1832. In the 1890’s the liberals were suffering from a crisis identity and they were lacking in money and morale. In the 1906 election the liberals won 49.4% of the vote and that amounted to 399 seats which was such a large margin compared to in 1900 where 45% of the vote was only 183 seats. There are four main reasons arguably why the Liberals won the1906 election and these are through Conservative faults such as the massacre in the Boer war. The education act in 1902 and Chamberlain’s tariff reform campaign also lost the conservatives a lot of support, which meant people turned to liberals just due to disliking the conservatives. The most important reason was Arthur Balfour getting involved and not making the right decisions for the conservatives and losing a lot of the voters they had before. The liberals also used a very negative campaign in order to get voters to realise the flaws in the conservative’s ideals and make them vote for the liberals just through dislike of the other parties. The most important factor in the liberal victory in the 1902 election was the involvement of Balfour and miscalculations whilst running the conservatives as Prime Minister. Balfour was not the only cause but was the main reason for the turnaround in electoral fortunes. Salisbury had the conservative party well under control and there were no signs of a turnaround; when Balfour took over everything changed. It is argued that if Arthur Balfour never took over then the electoral turnaround would never of happened. The first major mistake by Balfour was the 1902 education act, Salisbury knew the dangers of the act but Balfour nevertheless carried on with the education bill. The bill was so unpopular with the non-conformist Liberals and due to Balfour supporting the act and having been the one to get the act through...
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