Back from the dead: the Liberal Party in the 1950s. 19th March 2021
In 1951, the Liberal Party’s existence was in grave doubt. At the October general election, the party contested a mere 109 seats, and only six MPs were returned. The party was badly divided over basic questions of strategy, and membership and morale were low.
The late 1950s saw an upturn in the Liberals’ fortunes. In March 1962, they won a sensational by-election victory at Orpington and, soon after, reached 25 per cent in the Gallup poll. The party’s performance at local elections was similarly impressive and it claimed a record 350,000 members.
Lord William Wallace of Saltaire and Mark Egan (Greffier of the States of Jersey) discussed how the Liberal Party survived a near-death experience and revived. Chaired by Baroness Liz Barker.