The Victory of the Second Eleven

  • Michael Kinnear


One of the most striking things about the 1922 election was that such a confused campaign had clear and lasting significance to each major party. Four independents and Constitutionalists were in effect Liberals, three more were Conservatives and one was Labour. Thus the operating strength of the parties was Conservatives 346, Labour 143 and Liberals 120. This gave the Conservatives a working majority of 77. Labour solidified its position as the official Opposition, and the Conservative opponents of the old Coalition kept office. While the Conservatives had just a third of the votes, their majority of seats helped determine the electoral future of Britain. Also the election pushed Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain to prominence, as both owed their rapid promotion in 1923 to the fact that numerous Conservatives better known than they were, were out of office when Bonar Law retired in May. The Liberals, in contrast with the other two parties, received a setback, for they remained divided over leadership. While the election helped settle the question of leadership in the Conservative and Labour Parties, it accentuated the Liberal difficulties, and hence hastened the party’s decline. This chapter considers the effect of the 1922 crisis on the development of the three parties, and also examines briefly the change in political attitudes during 1923 which made coalitions less likely than they had been before the election.


Labour Party Liberal Party National Party Conservative Party Rent Control 
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  1. 1.
    Conservatives won because of Liberal splits in: East Ham North, Portsmouth Central, Sunderland (1) and Sudbury. Labour won because of Liberal splits in: Bermondsey West, Bradford East, Cannock, Clay Cross, Don Valley, Hanley, Leicester West, Newcastle East and West and Walthamstow North.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
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Copyright information

© Michael Kinnear 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Kinnear

There are no affiliations available

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