The Conservative Party in Wales, 1945-1997 by Sam Blaxland


University of Wales Press
15 April 2024

Wales is often considered to be one of the most anti-Conservative parts of Britain, with the party unable to connect with voters. The Conservative Party in Wales, 1945–1997 offers a more nuanced perspective as the first book-length study of Wales’s second political party in the decades after the Second World War. From the places where Conservatism was often successful, the book questions why it failed to find any purchase in other parts of Wales, discussing how the party communicated its policies, who its candidates were, and how the party deliberately crafted specific policies ‘for the nation’ – from introducing the first Minister for Welsh Affairs to making Welsh a compulsory subject in schools. Adopting an holistic approach to the party, the book scrutinises activists and prominent Tories at the grassroots, asking what they reveal about understudied aspects of Welsh history, particularly the lives of the Anglicised and socially conservative middle class.

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