A Short History of the Labour Party by Henry Pelling (auth.)

By Henry Pelling (auth.)

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By 1914, then, the Labour Party was consolidating its influence in towns and industrial areas throughout Britain. It had little or no support in purely agricultural constituencies, but it was getting into a position from which it might be able to contest a much increased range of constituencies, instead of the mere fifty of 1906. In the first 1910 election it had seventy-eight candidates; in the second 1910 election, for obvious reasons, it dropped back to fifty-six. But it was equally obvious that at an election in 1914 or 1915 it would be able to contest a hundred or more seats.

This decision broke up the existing federal structure of the party, whereby both the Socialist societies 39 A Short History of the Labour Party and the trade unions elected their separate representatives; and it inevitably meant trade-union nomination of the entire body. P. leaders naturally found it particularly obnoxious, and they began to talk of leaving the party. P. candidates for the Executive. . - the proposal had only come up after the election of the Executive members for the following year; and by 1918, as we shall see, the political situation had entirely changed, so that the use of the block vote became far from 'oppressive', at least in the sense that MacDonald wished to imply.

Leaders naturally found it particularly obnoxious, and they began to talk of leaving the party. P. candidates for the Executive. . - the proposal had only come up after the election of the Executive members for the following year; and by 1918, as we shall see, the political situation had entirely changed, so that the use of the block vote became far from 'oppressive', at least in the sense that MacDonald wished to imply. The main changes that took place in the political climate in 1917 were due to the two revolutions in Russia and to the entry of the United States into the war.

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