Labour Party (UK)/Timelines

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A timeline (or several) relating to Labour Party (UK).

1834-1929

  • 1834: The Tolpuddle martyrs[1] - 5 trade unionists are sentenced to 7 years transportation to Australia
  • 1838: The People's Charter[2] We demand universal suffrage
  • 1871: The Paris Commune[3] - Paris workers seize power and form the world's first socialist government
  • 1881: Democratic Federation formed[4]
  • 1884: The Democratic Federation was renamed the Social Democratic Foundation
 Fabian Society formed[5] - a socialist pressure group that wanted to create a "society in accordance with the highest moral possibilities".
  • 1891: The Condition of the Working Class in England by Frederick Engels - depicting overcrowded housing, abject poverty, child labour, sexual exploitation, dirt and drunkenness.
  • 1892: Keir Hardie, a Scottish trade union leader, elected Member of Parliament as "Independent Labour"
  • 1893: Independent Labour Party[6] formed by Keir Hardie "to secure the collective ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange".
  • 1900: Labour Representation Committee[7] - brought socialist groups togethe for the purpose of increasing working class representation in Parliament.
  Keir Hardy elected as the first "Labour" Member of Parliament
  • 1901: Taff Vale judgement[8] - upheld the right of a company to sue a trade union for the recovery of losses due to a strike
  • 1906: The Labour Repesentation Committee renamed "The Labour Party"
  • 1916: Sidney Webb joined the Labour Party Executive and helped to draft its constitution[9]

1924-1945

  • 1924: 1st Labour Government[10]. Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald a short-lived minority government that passed laws on housing, education, unemployment and social insurance.
  • 1929: 2nd Labour Government[11]. Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald - a second minority government that struggle unsuccessfully with the problems of deflation and unemployment arising from the Great Recession.
  • 1931 Recession raises the budget deficit and Ramsay Macdonald's proposed unemployment benefit leads to a cabinet split.
  • 1931: National Government (coalition). Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald
  • 1934: Stanley Baldwin (Conservative) replaced Ramsay MacDonald as Prime Minister
  • 1935: Clement Attlee became leader of the Labour Party
  • 1940: Wartime coalition. Neville Chamberlain (Conservative) Prime Minister
  • 1941: Winston Churchill (Conservative) became Prime Minister and Clement Attlee became Deputy Prime Minister
  • 1942: The Beveridge Report[12] - prposal to set up a "welfare atate
  • 1944: Bretton Woods Agreement - to maintain a fixed rate of exchange with the US $.

1945-1964

  • 1945: General Election Labour victory- voting: Labour 49.7%, Conservative 36.2%, Liberal 9.0%; - seats won: Labour 393, Conservative 197, Liberal 12
  • 1st and 2nd Attlee Governments[13]. Prime Minister Clement Atlee - nationalisation of the coal mining, railways, road haulage, electricity and gas and steel industries.
  • 1946: Anglo-American Loan[14] - $3.75 billion dollars at two per cent repayable over fifty years starting in 1951.
  • 1949: Devaluation - the £ is devalued by 30%, from $4.03 to $2.80[15]
  • 1950: General Election: Labour victory - voting: Labour 46.1%, Conservative 43.5%, Liberal 9.1%; - seats won: Labour 315, Conservative 298, Liberal 6
  • Korean War - 90,000 British troops suffered over 1,000 fatalities[16].
  • 1951: General Election: Conservative victory - Labour (48.8%) Conservative (48.0%) Liberal (2.5%); - seats won: Labour 295, Conservative 321, Liberal 9
  • 1955 Hugh Gaitskell[17] elected party leader and made an unsuccessful attempt to remove the party's clause IV commitment to nationalisation.
  • 1957: The Future of Socialism"[18](Questia members) - book by Anthony Crossland that questioned the case for further nationalisation.
  • 1960: Campaign for Democratic Socialism

1964-1997

  • 1964: General Election: narrow Labour victory - voting: Labour 44.1%, Conservative 43.4%, Liberal 11.0%; - seats won: Labour 317, Conservative 314, Liberal 9
  • 1965: The National Plan[19] an unsuccessful attempt at "indicative planning".
  • 1966: General Election: Labour victory - voting: Labour 48.0%, Conservative 41.9%, Liberal 8.5%; - seats won: Labour 364, Conservative 253, Liberal 12
  • 1967: Devaluation of the £[20].
  • 1968: Basle Agreement - 12 central banks and the Bank for International Settlementsprovide a $2 billion loan facility, for the UK to guarantee the $ value of the £
  • January White Paper: In Place of Strife[21] - an unsuccessful attempt at legal control of the trades unions.
  • 1970: General Election: Conservative victory - voting: Labour 43.1%, Conservative 46.4%, Liberal 7.5%; - seats won: Labour 288, Conservative 330, Liberal 12
  • 1972: The floating £[22] - the Bretton Woods regime of a fixed exchange rate between the £ and the $ was abandoned in favour of a regime in which market forces are allowed to determine the exchange rate.
  • 1973: Oil price crisis[23] - the OPEC oil producers quadruple their prices: from $3 to $12 a barrel, triggering an international recession
  • 1974: General Elections:
  • February: Lib/Lab victory - voting: Labour 37.2%, Conservative 37.9%, Liberal 19.3%; - seats won: Labour 301, Conservative 297, Liberal 6
  • October: narrow Labour victory - voting: Labour 39.2%, Conservative 35.8%, Liberal 9.0%; - seats won: Labour 393, Conservative 197, Liberal 12, others 26
  • 1975: Common Market referendum[24][25] - a 2-1 majority in favour of continued membership.
  • 1976: Sterling crisis - international concern about the budget deficit and growth of the money supply leads to a rapid fall in the exchange rate.
  • 1978: Winter of Discontent[28] - widespread industrial disruption in defiance of the Government's planned 5 per cent limit on pay increases.
  • 1979: General Election - voting: Labour 36.9%, Conservative 43.9%, Liberal 18.3%; - seats won: Labour 319, Conservative 277, Liberal 13
  • 1980: Labour Party leadership election - 2nd Ballot voting Michael Foot[29] 52%, Dennis Healey 48%.
  • 1981: The Limehouse Declaration[30] by Shirley Williams, David Owen, Bill Rodgers and Roy Jenkins, setting up a Council for Social Democracy - later to become the breakaway Social Democratic Party[31].
  • 1983 General Election voting: Labour 27,6%, Conservative 42.4%, SDP/Lib 25.4%; - seats won: Labour 209, Conservative 397, SDP/Lib 23
  • Labour Party leadership election Neil Kinnock[32] 72%, Roy Hattersley 19%.
  • 1987 General Election voting: Labour 30.8%, Conservative 42,2%, SDP/Lib 22.6%; - seats won: Labour 229, Conservative 376, SDP/Lib 22
  • 1988 Labour Party leadership election - voting: Kinnock 89%, Benn 11%
  • 1992 General Election voting: Labour 34.4%, Conservative 41.9%, Lib Dem 17.8%; - seats won: Labour 271, Conservative 336, Lib Dem 20
  •  : John Smith took over from Neil Kinnock[33]

1997-2010

  • 1997: General Election - voting: Labour 43.2%, Conservative 30.7%, Liberal 16.8%; - seats won: Labour 418, Conservative 165, Liberal 46
Labour Governments. Prime Minister Tony Blair - see Tony Blair timeline
  • 2007: Tony Blair retired. Gordon Brown replaced Tony Blair as Prime Minister - see Gordon Brown timeline
  • 2010: General Election - voting: Labour 29.0%, Conservative 36.1%, Liberal Democrat 23.0%; - seats won: Labour 258, Conservative 306, Liberal Democrat 57.
  • Ed Milliband elected Labour party leader.

References