Today marks the 72nd anniversary of Clement Attlee’s Labour Party victory over Winston Churchill’s Conservative Party.
On the 26th July, 1945, it was officially declared that the Labour Party had won a landslide victory – Attlee defeated Churchill, despite Churchill declaring victory in Europe against Nazi Germany some 3 months before the general election and coming out of the war as a hero.
Labour won 393 seats out of 640 seats, the largest number of seats it had ever won at the time. The Conservatives had 145 seats fewer, winning 197. It would be the biggest Labour victory until Tony Blair’s landslide victories of 1997 and 2001.
The Labour Party ran on promises to create full employment, a tax-funded universal National Health Service, the embracing of Keynesian economic policies and a cradle-to-grave welfare state, with the campaign message ‘Let us face the future.’
Labour’s greatest achievement and gift to the nation, the National Health Service, was created under this administration, in 1948.
by Berk Bektas
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