British Conservative Party vs. British Labour Party

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Difference between Conservative Party and Labour Party In England

Like many other countries, England has had a long and turbulent history marked by numerous political struggles and conflicts in ideology. The Conservative Party and the Labour Party in this country often stands at opposing sides of these conflicts and these two illustrious parties are the subjects of this revealing comparison article.

Conservative Party
Labour Party In England

Profile

The Conservative Party is also known as The Conservative and Unionist Party. It is a political party that adopts a center-right philosophy marked by conservatism and unionism. The Conservative Party is the current ruling party in the United Kingdom, and it functions in a coalition government along with the Liberal Democrat party. The Conservative Party’s leader, David Cameron, is the current Prime Minister of Great Britain and the party holds 307 spots in the House of Commons.

The Labour Party, on the other hand, is a center-left political party which first won over the Liberal Party in the general elections held in the early 1920s. The party was involved in a coalition during World War II, after which it assumed its first majority government role under the leadership of Clement Attlee.

Origins

The Conservative Party can trace its roots to the Tory Party, although it was founded in 1834. It is interesting to note that the Conservative Party is still informally referred to as the Tory Party to this day and its members are in fact often referred to as “Tories”.

Another point of interest is that the "Tory" name is not something that all the party's members accepted wholeheartedly. This stems from the 1820s when George Canning first suggested the term 'Conservative' as an alternative. This name was later adopted by the party in 1834.

The Labour Party for its part traces its origins to the late 19th century, when the need arose for a party that would represent the interests of urban proletariats, which had recently grown in number. With a less than stellar performance in the 1895 general elections, party leader Keir Hardie sought to forge alliances with other left-wing groups in the country. Hardie was a known Methodist preacher, and it was in fact said that the Labour Party in Great Britain was actually more akin to Methodism than Marxism.

Policies

The Conservative Party appears to be somewhat divided in terms of policy, with some factions pushing for a modification of party policy with regard to social issues and others maintaining an adherence to the party's traditional platform. Nevertheless, the party remains largely united it its stand against the Labour Party’s stand on "state multiculturalism", citing its inherent danger in contributing to a state in which extremists flourished. Interestingly enough, the party has also been accused of in fact encouraging the same extremists that they rally against.

As for the Labour Party, it continues to bill itself as a "Democratic Socialist Party", although much of its support has recently come from middle-class votes. Many observers in fact see the middle class as instrumental in the electoral success of the Labour Party.

Summary

Conservative Party

  • Also known as The Conservative and Unionist Party
  • Follows a center-right philosophy of conservatism and unionism
  • Is the current ruling party in the United Kingdom

Labour Party

  • Is a center-left political party
  • Traces its origins to the late 19th century, when the need arose for a party that would represent the interests of urban proletariats
  • Has relied on the middle class for its electoral success

Which party should be in power today?
  • Conservative Party
  • Labour Party In England
 
 

Discuss It: comments 1

  • Guest
  • Bryan Augarde wrote on August 2014

Conversely the Conservative Party relies on a section of the working class to gain power mainly because of revered attitudes of deference to power and money or a misplaced snobbish belief that to vote conservative signifies middle class associations. These are English traits not so prominent amongst the Scots and Welsh.

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