The National Liberal Federation is launched by Gladstone at the Bingley Hall Birmingham

The aim of the new Federation was, ‘to form new Liberal Associations based on popular representation’. Whilst its decisions were non-binding on the party leadership, they came to be seen to represent the party’s grass roots and to be sympathetic to radical causes within the party, such as universal male suffrage, extension of the factory acts and reform of the House of Lords. Joseph Chamberlain was a dominant force in the Federation in its early days, though his influence declined after the mid 1880s when the NLF decided to ally with Gladstone over the 1886 Irish Home Rule Bill.