The reasons why Labour won the General Election of 1945.

If Churchill’s popularity rating rarely dropped below 80% during the Second World War, why then was there a landslide victory for Labour in 1945?

Building on the obvious paradox of the question, students need to work out for themselves a convincing explanation and be able to create a compelling set of arguments based on evidence. As they work towards THEIR answer they are encouraged to look at the reasons in different ways: labour strengths; Conservative weaknesses; wartime changes; wartime politics. They also consider long, medium and short-term factors and prioritise individual causes.

Learning objectives

  • Students classify different types of causes, creating categories of their own e.g. Conservative handicaps, Labour advantages;
  • they look at long, medium and short term causes;
  • they are able to select compelling evidence to support their arguments;
  • they are able to compare the contemporary explanations of shocked Conservatives with those of later historians.

Starter
Set up the paradox: If Churchill’s popularity rating rarely dropped below 80% during the Second World War, why then was there a landslide victory for Labour in 1945?

Slide 2 of the PowerPoint presentation sets the context. Explain the task, using slide 3 which suggests a possible reason for Labour’s appeal, but which

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