The winter of 1908–9 found the Liberal Government at the nadir of its fortunes. The by-elections were running strongly against it. The Government’s legislative programme had been mutilated by the Lords; powerful interests had been alienated by its attempts at reform; and a deepening trade recession gripped the country. Moreover this winter found the Liberal Party itself tom by a deep division over naval policy and expenditure. 1909 promised to be bleak indeed and the Liberals seemed hesitant as to how to combat the troubles that beset them. Thus, within three years of the Liberal annus mirabilis, it appeared that the party’s tenure of power would be both short and rather barren.
KeywordsLabour Party Liberal Party Conservative Party Plural Vote Trade Dispute
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