The injustices of the old system and the promises of the new are sufficient to bind together a coalition in opposition, but only positive leadership, discipline and a clear consensus on the most important goals can sustain a reforming administration. The municipal politics of Liverpool were clearly partisan from the beginning. After their initial set-back the Tories soon established a wide party organization. The reformed Corporation’s most politically-contentious innovation involved its attempted educational reforms. The Catholic and Dissenting population of Liverpool was estimated at fifty-five per cent of the total population in 1835. The Reform Party was put under strain politically by the worsening economic situation. Further, several of its members were forced to withdraw from politics because of business failures. The Liverpool Reformer’s role as the permanent opposition party after 1841 was reminiscent the old Corporation and in marked contrast to other northern and midland cities.