Alun Wyburn-Powell
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Liberal defectors to the Conservatives
in Defectors and the Liberal Party 1910–2010
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This chapter considers all the defectors who left the Liberal/Liberal Democrat Party to join the Conservatives. In contrast to the majority of the former Liberals who went to the Conservatives, the first two, Reginald McKenna and Ronald Munro-Ferguson (Viscount Novar), were anti-coalitionists. Reginald McKenna was offered, and negotiated about, the position of Chancellor of the Exchequer under two Conservative prime ministers, Bonar Law and Baldwin. 'Fusion' was the term used for a scheme to merge the Coalition Liberal and Unionist supporters of the Lloyd George Government at all levels. The aims of the Constitutionalists were similar to those of the Fusionists, and some of the groups' membership overlapped. In addition to the Liberals who left the party over their disagreement with Lloyd George's policies, there were also three other defectors (Henry Cowan, Albert Bennett and Walter Forrest) who left, primarily because they changed their views on protection.

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Defectors and the Liberal Party 1910–2010

A study of inter-party relations


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