The Liberal Party In South-West Britain Since 1918

Political Decline, Dormancy and Rebirth

Garry Tregidga

The Liberal Party In South-West Britain Since 1918

Garry Tregidga

Distributed for University of Exeter Press

288 pages | illustrations | 9-1/2 x 6-3/10
Cloth $85.00 ISBN: 9780859896795 Published January 2000 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only
The decline of the Liberal party is one of the most controversial subjects in twentieth-century British politics, and this book makes a distinctive contribution to the debate by focusing on the South West, where Liberalism remained a powerful force after 1918. During the 1920s it was one of the few areas where the party survived as a major force. By the early 1950s, when the Liberals were fighting for their very existence, it was their early revival in the far west which provided morale and purpose. Victories in Cornwall and Devon after 1958 improved the party's credibility and effectively heralded the national Liberal revival. In recent years the regional Liberal Democrats have built on these historic foundations to emerge on equal terms with the Conservatives at Westminster and as the dominant party in local government.
By concentrating on one region, this book offers fresh insight into issues relating to the UK as a whole. It moves away from the conventional focus on urban Britain to the neglected world of rural and small-town politics, and explores differences within the South West itself, from Celtic Cornwall in the far west to modern 'Wessex' in the east.

Chapter 1            Politics in the Provinces

Chapter 2            Keeping the Faith: 1918–1929

Chapter 3            Into the Wilderness: 1929–1935

Chapter 4            Advance and Retreat: 1936–1945

Chapter 5            Crusade for Survival: 1945–1950

Chapter 6            Towards the Promised Land: 1951–1956

Chapter 7            The Dawn of Victory: 1956–1959

Chapter 8            Past to Present: 1997 in Context


Appendix 1: Parliamentary Representation for the South West, 1918–1997
Review Quotes
English Historical Review

“Tregidga has identified several persistent themes in the survival of Liberalism and makes a good case for the peculiarities of politics in the South West.” –English Historical Review, Sept 2001

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