LABOUR VIC­TORY

In July 1945, vot­ers gave Labour a man­date to build a new Bri­tain

History Revealed - - IN PICTURES POST-WAR BRITAIN -

PEACE­TIME PROM­ISES

With many ex­hausted from war, Labour of­fered vot­ers a pro­gramme of univer­sal health care, full em­ploy­ment and a wel­fare state. This res­onated more strongly with the Bri­tish elec­torate than Con­ser­va­tive no­tions of grant­ing India ‘do­min­ion’ sta­tus.

A DAY TO RE­MEM­BER

Polling day saw record num­bers of turnout. Nearly 73 per cent of vot­ers went to their lo­cal polling sta­tions, which were set up in makeshift lo­ca­tions. This one was at the Ital­ian Hos­pi­tal in Hol­born – its bricked-up win­dows a hang­over from the war.

SUR­PRISE SUC­CESS

The re­sults of the elec­tion were not an­nounced un­til nearly three weeks after polling day, to al­low votes to ar­rive from elec­tors still serv­ing abroad. The firstLabour prime min­is­ter, Cle­ment At­tlee, pic­tured here in West­min­ster, emerged vic­to­ri­ous. The 12 per cent swing in favour of Labour came as a shock to all – not least to At­tlee him­self.

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