Throughout this book, great emphasis has been placed on the diversity of the nineteenth-century Liberal Party. While this approach seems perfectly justified, given the broad spectrum of political opinions and the wide range of interest groups encompassed within what was very much a Liberal ‘coalition’, it is also necessary to consider what were the bonds that held the Liberals together for so long. Clearly, there had to be some common ground on which all Liberals could comfortably stand, if the party was to find an identity which would enable it to survive as a viable force for future political action.
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