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Culture, Politics, and National Identity in Wales 1832-1886$
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Matthew Cragoe

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198207542

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207542.001.0001

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Registration and Organization

Registration and Organization

(p.80) 3 Registration and Organization
Culture, Politics, and National Identity in Wales 1832-1886

Matthew Cragoe (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the bodies charged with organizing the local electorate and the changing nature of their role. Local organizational efforts were directed simply towards voter registration in the years between 1832 and 1867, ensuring that those friendly to the party were included on the register and those hostile to it were not. After 1867, although the business of registration remained central to the work of the local party organizations, a much greater effort was made to integrate supporters more fully into the life of the constituency party, through the development of clubs which allowed party supporters to socialize together between elections. However, there were considerable differences between the approaches taken by the parties in this respect. The chapels provided the Liberal party with a ready-made associational network which made the creation of newer clubs less urgent. For the Conservatives, the drift of tenant farmers away from the party after the introduction of secret voting in 1872 meant that new groups of supporters had to be wooed and organized. The result was the creation of new clubs: workingmen's clubs to cater for the labouring classes, and the Primrose League for those of slightly higher social standing.

Keywords:   local electorates, local organizations, Liberal party, Conservatives, workingmen's clubs, Primrose League

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