Stanley Baldwin's Successful Political Gamble: A TL from 1923

The Conservative, Liberal and Radical Liberal ministers, and Winston Churchill left the British government on 28 January 1946. Thomas Johnston replaced them with Labour ministers. Here is the new cabinet (previous minister if different):
Prime Minister: Thomas Johnston
Lord Chancellor: Sir Stafford Cripps. He was created Lord Cripps (Lord Somervell)
Lord Privy Seal: Viscount Addison (Viscount Cranborne)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons: Arthur Greenwood (Anthony Eden)
Chancellor of the Exchequer: Hugh Dalton
Foreign Secretary: Clement Attlee (Hugh Seely)
Home Secretary: George Buchanan (William Wedgwood Benn)
Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food : David Grenfell (Walter Morrison)
Colonial Secretary: George Hall (Leo Amery)
Commonwealth Relations Secretary: Philip Noel-Baker
Minister of Defence: Emmanuel Shinwell (Winston Churchill)
Minister of Education: Sir Chuter Ede (Lucy Masterman)
Minister of Fuel and Power: Tom Williams (David Grenfell)
Minister of Health: Charles Key (George Buchanan)
Minister of Labour and National Service: Ellen Wilkinson
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster: Herbert Morrison (Osbert Peake)
Paymaster-General: Earl of Listowel (Arthur Greenwood)
Secretary of State for Scotland: Arthur Woodburn (Emmanuel Shinwell)
Minister of Town and Country Planning: John Hynd (Richard Acland)
President of the Board of Trade: Evan Durbin (Charles Waterhouse)
Minister of Transport: George Tomlinson (Leslie Burgin)
Last edited:
Here are thec ministers outside the cabinet:
First Lord of the Admiralty: Albert Victor Alexander
Secretary of State for Air: John Strachey (Geoffrey Mander)
Minister of Civil Aviation: Lord Pakenham (Duke of Devonshire)
Minister of National Insurance: Wilfrid Paling (Margery Ashby)
Minister of Pensions: Edith Summerskill (Richard Austen Butler)
Postmaster-General: James Griffiths ( Alfred Ernest Brown)
Minister of Supply: Hugh Gaitskell (Ronald Cartland)
Secretary of State for War: Aneurin Bevan
Minister of Works: Lewis Silkin (Brendan Bracken)
Attorney-General: Sir Hartley Shawcross (Sir Stafford Cripps)
Solicitor-General: Sir Frank Soskice (Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe).
Selected junior ministers:
Financial Secretary to the Treasury: George Isaacs (Oliver Lyttleton)
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Government Chief Whip): William Whiteley
Minister of State Foreign Office: Hector McNeil.
On 29 January 1946, the Prime Minister announced in a statement in the House of Commons that a general election would be held on Thursday 28 February. Parliament would be dissolved on 8 February and nominations close on 18 February . Parliament would assemble on 12 March.

There was a fair amount of speculation about Liberal reunion. The Liberals and Radical Liberals entered into negotiations to limit the number of constituencies in which they competed. These were moderately successful and in only 44 constituencies were there both Liberal and Radical Liberal constituencies.
Labour campaigned as the party which won the war against Italy, and attacked the Tories and Liberals as the parties which were losing the war when they were the government. Of course those two parties strongly objected to this, and accused Labour of playing the patriotic card for partisan advantage.

The hours of voting on polling day were from 7am to 9pm. When all the results were in, the number of seats in the House of Commons for each party were as follows (1944 general election) :
Labour: 332 (285)
Conservative: 182 (232)
Liberal: 90 (117)
Radical Liberal: 30 (n/a)
Independent (Winston Churchill) : 1 (n/a)
(Independent Conservative: 1)
Total: 635 (635)
Labour's overall majority of 29 was co nsiderably less than most people expected. Churchill was re-elected as MP for Eastbourne without Liberal and Radical Liberal

The number of seats for each party elected by FPTP were as follows:
Labour: 230 (196)
Conservative: 133 (167)
Liberal: 79 (101)
Radical Liberal: 22 (n/a)
Independent (Churchill): 1 (n/a)
(Independent Conservative : 1)
Total: 435 (435)
Seats for each party elected by STV were as follows :
Labour: 102 (89)
Conservative : 49 (65)
Liberal: 11 (16)
Radical Liberal: 8 (n/a)
Total: 170 (170)
The percentage votes for each party were as follows:
Labour: 44.7 (41.9)
Conservative: 32.1 (35.3)
Liberal: 15.3 (21.5)
Radical Liberal: 6.5 (n/a)
Other parties and Independents: 1.4 (1.3)
Total: 100.0 (100.0)
The national swing from Conservative to Labour was 3.0%. The turnout was 74.1% (73.4%).
One of the new Labour MPs elected was Major Denis Healey, who gained Pudsey from the Tories. He served in Egypt and Libya in the war. Richard Austen Butler was defeated in Saffron Walden by the Liberal Party candidate. He was Minister of Pensions in the all party coalition government.
Last edited:
In February 1946, Sir Drummond Shiels was appointed British High Commissioner in Eritrea. Shiels was a Labour MP for Edinburgh and was Under-Secretary of State for India from 1934 to 1937. Also Francis Agar-Robartes, 7th Viscount Clifden, was appointed British High Commissioner in Somalia. Clifden was a Liberal Peer and Under-Secretary at the Commonwealth Relations Office from June 1944 to January 1946.
Last edited:
It'll be interesting to see the effects of all these changes on:

1. The British Economy
2. The nature and size of the commonwealth (if it occurs TTL)
3. British demographics - will they go through the decades of practically no growth caused by poverty, migration and WW2 deaths/WW2 changing the role of women