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BBC News Vote 2001 Vote2001 | Audio Video 
Election Battles 1945-1997
Intro 1945 1950
1951
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1951: Churchill's return
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1951: Clement Attlee
Attlee would not let go of the Labour leadership

Watch and listen 1951
Winston Churchill celebrates victory
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British troops advance into North Korea
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Campaigning starts as Attlee announces the election date
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Conservative celebrations led by party chairman, Lord Woolton
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Clement Attlee on Labour's defeat
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As the third and final contest between Attlee and Chuchill kicked off, the Labour leader was now 68 while Churchill himself was nearly a decade older at 77.

But despite suffering a minor stroke two years earlier Churchill was in good heart, believing victory was in his grasp.

Electoral successes in 1950 had brought new blood into the Commons for the Tories while the Labour benches were looking increasingly fatigued.

Worryingly for the government key figures in the cabinet were either ill, dying or had resigned.

Attlee himself was not a well man and lost his chancellor, Stafford Cripps, to illness while his most important cabinet ally, Ernest Bevin, died shortly after leaving office.

Labour was also rocked by the resignation of left-winger Nye Bevan in the spring of 1951 as re-armament to cope with the Korean war saw the implementation of some health care charges.

With policy splits now coming to the surface, Labour could expect to be punished by the voters.