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BBC News Vote 2001 Vote2001 | Audio Video 
Election Battles 1945-1997
Intro 1945
1950
1951 1955 1959 1964 1966 1970 1974
Feb
1974
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1979 1983 1987 1992 1997
1950: Labour limps home
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Overview
Battlefield
Campaign
Personalities
Issues
Results
1950: Posters and slogans
Tories pick up steam after their drubbing in 1945

Watch and listen 1950
The election results in a special announcement from the BBC Home Service
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The BBC visits the three main parties at campaign headquarters
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The BBC reports on the highs and lows of election night
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Winston Churchill at his constituency count
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Clement Attlee’s speech after his re-election
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Key events
1946 Bank of England nationalised
1947 Coal nationalised
1948 Health Service set up
1949 Iron and steel nationalisation postponed
1949 Sterling devalued

Both Labour and the Tories entered the election campaign in good heart and public interest was high.

During the previous five years the government had not lost a single by-election and although the Tories spurned the radical step of changing their name after the humiliation of 1945, they had thoroughly revamped their polices and their grassroots organisation.

Crucially, the playing field on which the election was fought had undergone several significant changes.

Dual votes for owners of business were scrapped as were the separate seats representing the older universities - benefiting Labour.

On the plus side for the Conservatives, the boundary commission had attempted to reduce the electoral representation of some urban seats now no longer heavily populated. The introduction of postal votes proved another great plus for the party.