A Pressure-group under Pressure (1906–14)

  • Henry Pelling


As soon as the 1906 Parliament assembled, the L.R.C. assumed the name of ‘Labour Party’ and its twenty-nine M.P.s elected officers and whips. The life of the party in the following eight years, 1906-14, although undergoing many vicissitudes, yet has a certain unity for analytical purposes. The great tide of Liberal feeling, which had brought the Labour Party to Parliament, ebbed considerably, as was shown by the two elections in 1910; and the Labour Party, only too much like a cork, ebbed with it, and lost a few seats in the 1910 elections. The apparent increase in the number of Labour M.P.s — from twenty-nine in 1906 to forty after the first 1910 election and forty-two after the second 1910 election — is entirely accounted for by the accession of most of the miners’ M.P.s, formerly ‘Lib-Labs’, after the Miners Federation decided to join the Labour Party in 1909. Furthermore, after the second 1910 election the Labour Party strength was reduced by the loss of by-elections, and at the outbreak of war numbered only thirty-seven, of whom twelve were miners’ representatives.


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  1. 5.
    Leonard Hall et al., Let Us Reform the Labour Party (1910), p. 3.Google Scholar
  2. 6.
    MacDonald to Master of Elibank, 4 Oct. 1911, quoted Frank Owen, Tempestuous Journey (1954), pp. 207 f.Google Scholar
  3. 8.
    Quoted W. P. Maddox, Foreign Relations in British Labour Politics (Cambridge, Mass., 1934), p. 209.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Henry Pelling 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry Pelling
    • 1
  1. 1.St John’s CollegeCambridgeUK

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