chapter  7
22 Pages

The Election Campaign

ByLorna S. Jaffe

The heat of the election campaign, which began in mid-November, soon led Coalition leaders to abandon – at least publicly – their attitude of restraint towards Germany. Faced with a fiercely anti-German electorate, members of the government, along with other Coalition candidates, adopted a rhetoric which matched that of the most extreme Germanophobes. Yet, despite the virulent anti-Germanism which characterised the campaign, German disarmament was not among the electorate’s anti-German demands. While not demanded by the electorate, Germany’s disarmament became a declared campaign goal of the Coalition as a result of two other issues raised during the campaign. A post-election survey of voter attitudes confirmed the reports of individual candidates, noting that ‘the possibility of the survival of Conscription aroused the deepest hostility’ among the Liberal electorate. In its report on election issues, Gleanings and Memoranda, the publication of the National Unionist Association, also gave high priority to conscription.