Why did Harold Wilson win the 1964 Election

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“Thirteen years of conservative misrule” How far does this explain Labour's election victory in 1964? (50)

In 1951 Winston Churchill's Conservative party, won the general election, and this would be the start of 13 years of Conservative rule spanning three prime ministers. This rule was ended in 1964 by Harold Wilson’s reunited Labour party. In this essay, I will look at the factors which led to the Labour victory.

Whilst in power the Conservative government made many mistakes, a key example of a Conservative mistake would be the 1957 Suez crisis in Egypt, when its leader (Nasser) wanted to nationalise the Suez Canal, an important trade route from Northern Africa and Middle East for France and Great Britain, which would force any ships using it to pay large taxes. This led to Sir Anthony Eden having to take military action to secure the canal, and stop the nationalisation. However he could not just invade the Suez Canal, so instead he hatched up a plan with France and Israel secretly. This plan involved Israel invading parts of egypt and France and Great Britain acting as peace keepers, securing the Canal for themselves. The plan went off militarily perfect and the Canal was secured. However, Great Britain did this without the consent of the US and UN. The US, perhaps seeing this as Imperialism, threaten to halt economic aid unless Eden was to withdraw his troops from Egypt, of which GB was reliant on, so reluctantly Eden was forced to remove his troops. Meaning a failure to stop the nationalisation of the Suez canal and leading Great Britain isolated on the world scale, and Anglo-American relations at a low. It was now clear that GB was no longer a dominant power in the world, and could not do much without the support of the Americans and would have to stop its Imperialism. However it is likely that the crisis would have had a much less domestic impact, as the labour opposition were unable to capitalize on this Conservative failure without looking

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