The nationalists remained within the Catholic Club despite forming a separate Home Rule Association in 1873. Rather than break with the Club, the nationalists attempted to influence it in the direction of Home Rule. In an attempt at conciliation, the Home Rule Association and the Catholic Club conferred together and prepared a scheme to fuse moderate and radical sections into a single Catholic Association. The Catholic vote had dislodged one Liberal in 1875 but it may well have helped return another, this time not on the issue of Home Rule but of temperance. By 1877 the Liberal Party nationally and locally was broadly sympathetic to Home Rule. The contests, in 1877, were of Conservative versus either Liberal or Home Rule; the Liberals and Home Rulers did not oppose each other. The Liberals and Home Rulers, therefore, only needed to gain five places by 1880 to control the Aldermanic elections, and, thereby the Council.