BBC Homepage News World Service Sport Education My BBC BBC News Vote 2001
BBC HOMEPAGE | NEWS | WORLD SERVICE | SPORT | MY BBC help
BBC News Vote 2001 Vote2001 | Audio Video 
Election Battles 1945-1997
Intro 1945 1950
1951
1955 1959 1964 1966 1970 1974
Feb
1974
0ct
1979 1983 1987 1992 1997
1951: Churchill's return
Back
Next

Overview
Battlefield
Campaign
Personalities
Issues
Results
1951: British troops
British troops in Korea made the cold war a key issue

Watch and listen 1951
Winston Churchill celebrates victory
real 28k
British troops advance into North Korea
quicktime 56k real 56k
Campaigning starts as Attlee announces the election date
quicktime 56k real 56k
Conservative celebrations led by party chairman, Lord Woolton
real 28k
Clement Attlee on Labour's defeat
real 28k


1951: Rationing queues
Some food rationing was still in place
Key events
1950, June, North Korea invades South Korea
1951, Feb, Iron and steel nationalised
1951, April Bevin dies, Bevan resigns
1951, May Festival of Britain opens

With its precarious majority it needed every vote, the ambulances queued in New Palace Yard as the halt the sick and the lame were wheeled through the lobbies
Labour MP Hugh Dalton
The Labour government had been hobbled since its narrow win in 1950. With a majority of just five, MPs had been wheeled in from hospital sick beds to vote in the Commons.

But even while some wartime rationing continued the government launched the Festival of Britain, to mark the 100th anniversary of the Great Exhibition and to revive flagging post-war optimism.

This attempt to show Britain had recovered from the ravages of war was to some extent successful, but though the Second World War was over the Cold War was in full swing.

And with British soldiers fighting in Korea against Chinese and Korean communists, the issue of which party would be better able to keep the seemingly shaky peace with the Soviet Union featured heavily.