Better Goverment: Conservatives or Liberal party?
The Liberal Party was one of the two major political parties of the United Kingdom during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was the third largest political party throughout the latter half of the 20th century. The party moved towards social liberalism during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and came to be seen as being on the centre-left of British politics.
It grew out of the Whig Party in 1859, and William Gladstone carried the party through governments in the late 19th century. The party split over the issue of Irish Home Rule, but returned to power in 1906 through a landslide victory. During this time in government, the Liberals are credited with the so-called Liberal Reforms, which saw the creation of a basicwelfare state. During World War I, the Liberals governed Britain through a coalition with the Conservatives, which ended in 1922. In the 1920s, the Labour Party permanently replaced the Liberals as the largest opponent of the Conservative Party in British politics, and the Liberals went into decline, which culminated in them winning as few as 6 seats at general elections during the 1950s. A comeback of sorts was seen during the 1960s and 1970s, but it was not until 1981, when the Liberals allied with the newly formed SDP to form theSDP-Liberal Alliance, that the party enjoyed significant electoral success. In the 1983 general election, the alliance took 25% of the popular vote, but this only translated into 23 seats (out of a total of 650). During 1988, the Liberals formally merged with the SDP to form the Liberal Democrats, though a small splinter Liberal Party was formed in 1989 by former members opposed to the merger.
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-rightpolitical party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism andBritish unionism. It is the largest single party in the House of Commons with 306 MPs, the largest party in local government with 9,391 councillors, and the largest British party in theEuropean Parliament with 25 MEPs. It governs in coalition with the Liberal Democrats, withparty leader David Cameron as Prime Minister.
Colloquially referred to as the Tory Party or the Tories, the Conservative Party emerged in 1834 out of the original Tory Party, which dates to 1678. The party was one of two dominant parties in the nineteenth century, along with the Liberals. It changed its name toConservative and Unionist Party in 1912 after merging with the Liberal Unionist Party, although that name is rarely used and it is generally referred to as simply the Conservative Party.
In the 1920s, the Liberal vote greatly diminished and the Labour Party became the Conservatives' main rivals. Conservative Prime Ministers led governments for 57 years of the 20th century, including Winston Churchill (1940–45, 1951–55) and Margaret Thatcher(1979–90). Thatcher's tenure led to wide-ranging economic liberalisation, placing the Conservatives firmly as the most free market and eurosceptic of the three major parties. The party was returned to government in 2010 under the more liberal leadership of David Cameron.
In the European Parliament, the Conservatives are the largest British party with 25 MEPs, who sit with the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group, while the party is a member of the soft eurosceptic AECR. They are the third-largest party in the Scottish Parliament and second-largest in the Welsh Assembly. They are currently allied to theUlster Unionist Party, which is part of the five-party Northern Ireland Executive.
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