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General Election after WWII

1945

General Election after WWII

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  • Intro

    This front page of the Daily Mirror from July 1945 calls people to vote in the first general election since the end of World War II. The dramatic front page re-uses a classic cartoon by Zec, first drawn to illustrate VE Day (May 8 1945). The aftermath of war was bleak: millions of Britons were dead or missing in action, hundreds of thousands of troops were being brought back home and almost every family had lost loved ones, or knew of a friend who had.

     

    Winston Churchill, who was the conservative Prime Minister from 1940 to 1945, had played a major part in helping the allies win the war. But the people of Britain wanted a change of government. Many remembered the terrible economic depression before the war, and the resulting poverty and high unemployment. The war had helped create full employment, and there was a determination that the country should not fall back into old habits. The Labour party promised a ‘total war on bad housing, unemployment, poverty, ignorance and ill health’. Twenty-one days after this front page appeared, Labour under Clement Attlee won a huge victory over the Conservatives and Liberals. Churchill resigned immediately, his war hero status intact nevertheless.   

     

    Shelfmark: British Library Newspaper Archive

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