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Election Battles 1945-1997
Intro
1945
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Feb
1974
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1979 1983 1987 1992 1997
1945: Labour landslide buries Churchill
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Overview
Battlefield
Campaign
Personalities
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Results
Winston Churchill
Churchill's broadcasts backfired during the campaign

Watch and listen 1945
The BBC Home Service reports the election results
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The first ever postal ballot is sent out to soldiers serving overseas
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The end of the war in Europe as reported by the BBC Home Service
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Winston Churchill attacks "Gestapo" socialism
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Labour leader Clement Attlee replies: "such a travesty" of Labour Party policy
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This has not been a one man government
Ernest Bevin

When choosing the next prime minister the voters could not have been faced with a more different pair than Churchill and Attlee.

The cigar and drink-loving wartime leader whose soaring rhetoric inspired the British defiance of the Nazis was being challenged by the bank manager-like Clement Attlee, once described by a Labour colleague as being a bit of a "mouse".

But Attlee, along with several other key Labour figures, among them Ernest Bevin, had benefited hugely from being given key cabinet appointments during the war.

They had proved their competence and had gained valuable experience of the levers of government.

As Bevin said, digging at the Toriesí over reliance on Churchillís prestige, the wartime coalition had not been "a one man government".

But with Churchill leading the charge against Labour the Conservatives were confident that the voters would "Vote National" and "let him finish the job".