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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
1951: Churchill's return
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Overview
Battlefield
Campaign
Personalities
Issues
Results
1951: Steel worker
Labour had nationalised industry with vigour

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
Manifestos
Labour
Full employment
Build 200,000 houses a year
Conservatives
Repeal nationalisation of -
Iron
Steel
Road transport
Work towards end of red tape and lower taxes

With little new in the way of policies to offer the voters Labour focused on what it believed were its successes since coming to power in 1945.

The partyís manifesto boasted: "Full employment through six years of peace is the greatest of all Labour's achievements," and no opportunity to beat the Tories with the stick of the mass unemployment of the 1930s was wasted.

As public anxieties about a possible third world war were heightened by the fighting in Korea, both parties were keen to paint themselves as the guardians of peace and a strong Commonwealth.

For their part, Churchillís Conservatives promised to ease the housing shortage by building up to 300,000 new homes a year and pledged to tackle Labourís failure to deal with rising prices.

The Liberals, whose ambition was limited in this campaign, made their reasoned plea for support, putting themselves once more above the "class war" they accused the main parties of fighting.