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Parties at WarPolitical Organization in Second World War Britain$
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Andrew Thorpe

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199272730

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199272730.001.0001

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(p.277) Conclusion
Parties at War

Andrew Thorpe (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This Conclusion reverts to the main overall theme of the book. It shows that if ever there was a chance for ‘party’ to come unstuck as the core of British political life, this was it. Yet the challenging bodies like the Communist party and Common Wealth were far too weak to sustain a serious challenge, while the continuation of the Churchill Coalition beyond victory in Europe was impossible. The 1945 election therefore saw a return to party, which had survived despite the severe challenges of wartime. This was in no small part due to the commitment and dedication of those who believed that party mattered, and that it was fundamental to the liberal democracy for which Britain claimed it was fighting. The Conclusion shows the respective impacts of the war on the three major parties, and shows what did — and did not — change as a result of the war.

Keywords:   1945 general election, Churchill, Coalition, Common Wealth, Communist, Conservative, Labour, Liberal, liberal democracy, party

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