Labor Wins 390 Seats Out of 640

New York Times Special to The Globe and Mail. Copyright

[ Potsdam Conference ]

Potsdam Conference, Unknown, 1945-07, U.S. government, Churchill, Truman and Stalin make friendly at the Potsdam Conference

London, July 26. —In what is surely the most stunning election surprise in the history of democracy, Great Britain has swung to the Left in a landslide which smothered the Conservatives and put Labor into power with a great majority. Winston Churchill has resigned the Premiership and Clement Attlee has accepted the King’s invitation to form a Labor Government. The Liberals also went down to an equally surprising defeat.

When the final result came in Labor had the staggering total of 390 of the 640 seats in Parliament.


Such a tremendous majority means that the Labor Party can confidently count on a full five years’ tenure of office, for it cannot be beaten on any vote of confidence.

The world which looked to England for a guiding trend has had its tremendous answer. Today and tomorrow and for months or years to come the Left is the dominating power in global politics.

The results were a personal decisive repudiation of Mr. Churchill as a peacetime leader. He himself personalized the election: he asked the votes be cast for him and that he be returned to power. The answer came not only in overwhelming defeat for his party, but even in his constituency […] where […] 10,500 people voted against him out of 38,000. […]

The mandate was all too clear. He who had proved one of the greatest wartime leaders this fighting country has had in its long history wasn’t wanted for peace.

A few hundred people who had been waiting with idle curiosity outside 10 Downing St. saw the familiar burly figure with the inevitable cigar, stump out of the gates and into his automobile at 7 o’clock this evening. The car drove to Buckingham Palace.

There even fewer people waited. They saw Winston Churchill for the last time as Prime Minister as he sat alone, grave face, in the back seat of the automobile which drove through the gates. Some of them cheered and the Premier smiled and raised his hand in that familiar characteristic gesture of the V-sign. It may have been instinctive […]

Source: Herbert L. Matthews, "Labor Wins 390 Seats Out of 640," Globe and Mail, July 27, 1945

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