Tudor Jones
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The rise of community politics in uncertain times: 1967–76
in The uneven path of British Liberalism
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The late 1960s was a period of uncertainty for the Liberal Party, which struggled with the question of how to position itself within the British political system. Overshadowing this question, however, was the Party’s declining electoral performance. But the period also witnessed the emergence of a radical Liberal youth movement, which advocated left-wing positions such as American withdrawal from Vietnam and British disengagement from NATO. The 1970 General Election saw the Liberals marginalised, prompting a major reappraisal of the Party’s strategy and purpose. Impetus came from the Young Liberal movement, which advanced a ‘community politics’ approach, stressing grass-roots social and political change. This had a decisive influence on the Party’s strategic and ideological development, and substantial gains were made in the local elections of 1973 and the 1974 General Election, though the first-past-the-post system meant that the Party’s 19.3 per cent national share equated to only 14 parliamentary seats.

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The uneven path of British Liberalism

From Jo Grimond to Brexit


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