Ghost in the Machine: The Electoral Revolution of 1945 and the Veto
‘When I reached the Dorchester for my luncheon with [J. Arthur] Rank, there was a huge board (with results) in the hall. Many people were watching it, mostly with glum faces. Already Labour had gained over a hundred seats.’ So wrote the former spy, Sir Robert Bruce Lockhart of the Foreign Office in his diary for 26 July 1945 about the outcome of the General Election. ‘When I came down from Rank’s room, the faces round the board were even glummer’, Bruce Lockhart recorded. ‘Labour had now over 300 seats with over 150 more results to come. A complete majority over all other parties was therefore certain … . Labour had won a complete and, to the extent of its magnitude, a startling victory.’1
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