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Richard Wainwright, the Liberals and Liberal DemocratsUnfinished Business$
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Matt Cole

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780719082535

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719082535.001.0001

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The Parliamentary Liberal Party

The Parliamentary Liberal Party

(p.141) 10 The Parliamentary Liberal Party
Richard Wainwright, the Liberals and Liberal Democrats

Matt Cole

Manchester University Press

This chapter discusses the history of the Parliamentary Liberal Party. From the end of the World War 2 the Party existed as Parliamentary LP until it merged with the Social Democratic Party (SDP) forty-three years later. During this period, the Party had a limited size. From 1966, when Richard Wainwright became Member of Parliament (MP), until the 1970s the Party had an average of only 12 representatives in parliament. Even the electoral boost provided by the SDP-Liberal Alliance in 1983 could not raise the size of the Parliamentary group. This chapter explains that the restricted number of Liberal MPs imposed a harsh burden upon those who were elected, in terms both of portfolio responsibilities and of media appearances and touring other constituencies to drum up support.

Keywords:   Liberal Party, parliament, SDP, Richard Wainwright, SDP-Liberal Alliance, Member of Parliament

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