Explain Why the Conservatives Lost the 1906 General Election

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Explain why the conservatives lost the 1906 General Election
There are three main reasons the conservatives lost the 1906 General Election, one of the main reasons was the tariff reform.
The Tariff Reform was a pressure group setup in 1903 to protest against unfair foreign imports to protect British industry from foreign competition. It was launched by Joseph Chamberlain; he wanted to reintroduce tariffs, with a lower level tariff for goods coming into Britain from the empire than for goods imported from non-empire countries. This policy was knows as imperial protectionism. Chamberlain argued, this would protect British jobs, help pay for social reforms and strengthen Britain’s position in the world be integrating the empire into an effective unit. At this time Balfour was the conservative prime minister and he was a very weak leader with not very many political skills he was also a weak leader, at this time he did not understand the working men’s reaction to the tariff and he allowed Joseph Chamberlain to make the Tariff Reform a key unionist policy from 1903 onwards this is showing us he could not control Joseph Chamberlain showing he was a weak and unsuitable leader. The Tariff Reform did damage the conservatives as there was a split in the party with people moving over to the liberals as the middle class and working class feared dearer foods and falling in living standards. The liberals voted for free trade so did disagree with the Tariff Reforms, Winston Churchill actually voted with the liberals against Tariff Reforms on the issue in 1904. This issue did help pull together and make the Liberals stronger as the all deeply supported free trade. The fact that most of the conservatives did split away from the party and supported the liberals this did make the party a lot weaker during the 1906 election meaning they did not have the full support of all their…...

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