The unions’ political development down to July 1914 indicated the firmness o f their formal commitment to the Labour Party. Both unions had successfully held ballots under the 1913 Act for the creation o f a political fund, and were committed to the sponsoring of candidates.5 In particular, the NUR expansion of its slate to five candidates contrasted with the relatively cautious response of some unions to the greater scope available following the funding ballots. Yet commitment to the Labour Party did not indicate any great confidence that the electoral balance between the parties of the Progressive Alliance was likely to change in the near future, or that the Alliance would disintegrate. Suggestions that Labour’s strategy in an anticipated 1915 election would involve a significant increase in candidates, should be treated sceptically. Ambitions had been scaled down before the January 1910 election, and would probably be reduced again. Prudent trade union officials would be reluctant to invest money in candidacies where success seemed unlikely.6 Moreover, all candidates sponsored by the NUR fitted easily into the Progressive understanding; the choice of John Bromley as ASLEF nominee introduced a more radical note, but perhaps only at the level of rhetoric. In general, a Labour identity and a Labour programme seemed compatible with Progressivism.