chapter  2
34 Pages

Social Structure and Social Change in the Twentieth-Century

This chapter focuses on recent electoral statistics, the Poulson affair in historical context, and generalisations about single-party dominance. Local politics in Durham is largely an academic terra incognita. What follows are hypotheses to be tested in future research. But there is a particular danger in generalisation from an individual to the character of local politics or of a county council as a whole. One may not assume that particular individuals are typical or representative of the Council as a whole. A remarkable feature of the election of councillors was that a significant proportion, averaging 56 per cent over all parties in the nine elections, were elected unopposed without a contest. A further measure of the political character of the dominant group is provided by an analysis of the 26 Labour aldermen elected in 1970. The links between county council and district councils are also important to trace.