Working with Labour: The Liberal Party and the Balance of Power 1923-31

The 1920s were a challenging decade for the Liberal Party. With the advance of Labour, the Liberals were now the third force in British politics. The Asquith and Lloyd George factions united to contest the 1923 general election as one party, but tensions remained.

The election resulted in a hung parliament, with the Liberals holding the balance of power. They opted to sustain Ramsay MacDonald’s minority Labour government, but the party remained divided over the decision. The Labour government fell the following year and the Conservative Party won a landslide victory in the ensuing general election, with the Liberals suffering heavy losses.

After the 1929 general election, MacDonald formed another minority Labour government, supported once more by the Liberal Party – which, yet again, led to division and dissent among Liberal factions.

Join Professor Philip Williamson (Durham University) and Michael Meadowcroft (former Liberal MP) to discuss the Liberal Party’s dilemmas and choices. Chair: Wendy Chamberlain MP.

This is a fringe meeting at the Liberal Democrats’ federal conference, which be held online, via the Hopin online conference platform. It will be open to anyone participating in the conference; to register, click here. You do not need to register separately for this meeting.