The Biggest Shock In The UK’s Political History
June 20, 2017
There is no doubt that Sir Winston Churchill was the best loved Prime Ministers that the United Kingdom had during the period of World War II.
He was also voted the top Briton to ever live in a poll by the British Broadcasting Corporation in 2002. Mr Churchill took over as Prime Minister ff Great Britain from when Neville Chamberlain resigned just after Nazi Germany had invaded France in May 1940. He led the country to victory through his fiery temperament and incredible knack of rallying the people at the height of the blitz on London.
He took strategic decisions in the Battle of Britain as Britain until the United States entered the alliance. He was immensely popular and at the end of the war, his approval rating was soaring at 83 per cent. It is also interesting to note that his ratings had never gone below the 78 per cent mark. It must also be put into context that Churchill was leading a coalition government during the war.
So how exactly did Churchill lose so heavily in 1945 election when every single poll predicted that he would win a landslide?
There were many factors at play And the first was probably that the UK was suffering from war fatigue and the people wanted a change. Clement Attlee of the Labour Party won by a massive landslide, taking almost 48 per cent of the vote compared to the Conservatives 36 per cent. No one was more surprised than Attlee who went to the King for permission to form a government. He told the King that he had won and the King said: “I know, I heard on the six o’ clock news”.
After the war, Labour was willing to push through social reforms and move the country forward. Unfortunately for Churchill, the very things that made him a great war time leader made him unsuited for leading the country in times of peace. His obstinacy and bullish nature exposed him to the bitter battles of a political party in peacetime, which he did not know how to deal with.