Why did the Conservatives remain in power

There are many arguments to why the conservatives managed to stay in power for a long thirteen years. When Churchill came to power in 1951 it was a bitter revenge to his defeat in the polls of 1945, when he was seen as the saviour of Britain during the Second World War. When in power Churchill and the Conservatives grew in confidence as they witnessed an economic recovery happening in Britain. They saw an end to economic problems that had occurred in the 1940s. Ration books were finally discarded after rationing had been at its worst when for the first time bread had been rationed.

This meant much more freedom in spending for the British public. There was a boom in spending on consumer goods like washing machines, refrigerators, cars and televisions. The ownership of Television sets quadrupled in Britain. The Conservatives benefited from this by the introduction of commercial television in 1954. Income tax was also cut in budgets in 1952 and 1953 and the bank rate was reduced, this applied to the process of 'setting the people free. At the same time iron and steel industry were returned to private ownership after they had been nationalised.

It was Harold Macmillan however who was the real hero of the Churchill government. In 1951 the Conservatives had pledged the party to build 300,000 houses a year and Macmillan achieved this comfortably. A total of 327,000 were built in 1953 and 354,000 for 1954, this was a remarkable achievement for him. With this boom in country and the coronation of the Queen helped to put a sense of well – being in the country. The conservatives were in a good position to exploit this mood in the country and this boom contributed to them being able to stay in power between the years of 1951 to 1964.

In January 1957 Harold Macmillan became prime minister and was faced by many problems when he came to power. A year after entering Downing Street Macmillan faced the resignation of three Treasury ministers, the most important being the resignation of Chancellor of the Exchequer Peter Thorneycroft who was frustrated by the cabinets refusal to make deeper cuts in the welfare state. Macmillan dismissed these events as 'little local difficulty'. Macmillan wanted improvements to occur and the turning point came in 1958 when the government stood firm against industrial action by London bus workers.

The effects were consequent as they saw support in local elections rise. Macmillan's pushed his new Chancellor of the Exchequer Heathcoat-Amory to adopt reflationary economic measures. Income tax was cut sharply in the 1959 budget, industrial production was racing ahead and unemployment was falling. Macmillan had also established his reputation as a world statesman. This meant that he was capable of holding his own with the leaders of the 'superpowers' like America and the Soviet Union.

This earned Macmillan the name of 'Supermac' and he had pulled off a stunning triumph as the Conservatives won a third successive election victory in October 1959. Harold Macmillan turned the Conservatives around superbly after being made Prime Minister in 1957. Macmillan was faced with many problems when he came to power but he managed to turn the Conservatives fortunes around and record a third successive victory for them in the 1959. Macmillan was another important reason to why the Conservatives managed to stay in power between the years of 1951 and 1964.