chapter  7
12 Pages

THE FIRST CRISIS OF LABOUR 1929–39

After a brief spell in office in 1924, Labour returned to power in 1929. Ramsay MacDonald’s second ministry was based on a firmer electoral base than his first: in the 1929 general election Labour had, with 288 seats, become the largest party in the Commons, although it was still dependent on Liberal support. MacDonald now had the opportunity to prove that Labour could do more than merely survive. He could continue the foreign and domestic policies of 1924 and demonstrate that, in future, Labour could be entrusted with an overall majority as a mandate for extensive reform.