Friday, February 05, 2010

Today -100: February 5, 1910: Of British elections

Nothing of interest in the NYT today, so I’ll backtrack to the British general election, which I think is finally finished. In those days voting didn’t take place in one day but over a couple of weeks – someone could lose in one constituency, then stand again somewhere else in the same general election. The result was a near exact split between Conservatives and Liberals, 273 to 275, but with the Liberal government firmly in control of Parliament with the support of the Irish Nationalists (82) and Labour (40, up from just 2 in 1900 and 30 in 1906). But the closeness between the two major parties gave the heavily Conservative House of Lords the excuse to continue obstructing implementation of the Liberal platform, leading to another “peers versus the people” election in December.

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