Faction and Failure: 1905–1910

  • Frans Coetzee


When Arthur Balfour’s Conservative government left office in December 1905, it was the last to do so in anticipation, rather than as a consequence, of electoral defeat.1 The Conservatives could look back on an enviable political record, having won three of the previous four general elections and having governed for 17 of the past 20 years. Few, if any, members looked to the immediate future with any expectation of comparable success. Balfour clung to the hope that after his resignation, his successor, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, and the notoriously fractious Liberals might prove unable to form an administration. But his hopes were dashed, and when the electorate went to the polls in January 1906, it was the Conservative campaign that was hobbled by division and discord.


Free Trader Social Reform Conservative Party Home Rule Bodleian Library 
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© Frans Coetzee 2005

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  • Frans Coetzee

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