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The British General Election of 1955 [Hardcover]

David Edgeworth Butler
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan; St. Martin's P; 1st Edition edition (1955)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0000CJA7M
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,686,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


One of 15 volumes in the Nuffield Studies Series, chronicling the British General Elections from 1945 to 1992. The work offers analyses of the major partie's campaigns and the results of the election. --This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent guide to an unexceptional election 30 Dec 2012
By Mark Pack TOP 1000 REVIEWER
In many ways the 1955 general election was about as unexceptional, free of surprises and predictable as a general election can be, even including the occasional close poll that looked like it might, but didn't, upset expectations. That, however, makes it a good one to read about if you are looking for a flavour of how general elections used to be in mid-twentieth century Britain and the 1955 version of David Butler's excellent general election series is a good guide to read.

Some themes are familiar to modern eyes, such as arguments over the impact of redrawing Parliamentary constituency boundaries and Labour's heavy reliance on trade union funding, which supplied just under two-thirds of its election monies.

Others much less so. TV was still new, indeed the very idea that TV or radio might cover contemporary political controversies was still novel. In 1955 the BBC still cleared its coverage of all controversial election matters, once again leaving the general election for the radio and TV election broadcasts by the parties.

Political campaigning was, nominally at least, about few leaflets and lots of canvassing, though the detailed constituency studies in the book show how the golden age of mass canvassing never was universal. Leafleting was certainly rare by modern standards, with even marginal seat campaigns often seeing only two or three leaflets put out locally by a party. There was, however, some reliance on nationally produced literature which partly supplemented this. Even so, leafleting was very sparse compared to the sorts of campaigning first popularised by the Liberal Party in the 1970s.
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