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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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Constituency Activities: Labour

Constituency Activities: Labour

(p.189) 6 Constituency Activities: Labour
Parties at War

Andrew Thorpe (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter shows that the war provided as stiff a challenge to Labour's constituency parties as it did to the constituency Conservative associations. Most struggled between 1940 and late 1942; limited revival thereafter was common, but far from inevitable. The chapter analyses the impact of war conditions on local Labour organization, surveys the range of political and social activities in which local parties engaged, and shows how factors like the existence of the Communist party and controversies over post-war reconstruction affected Labour attitudes and approaches. It concludes that Labour's grassroots bodies were closer on VE Day to their normal pre-war state than most Conservative associations were to theirs, but they had not had it easy. They had had to work very hard to survive the war and to prosper in its aftermath.

Keywords:   Communist, Conservative, constituency parties, Labour, reconstruction, VE Day

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