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Campaign for a More Prosperous Britain

The Campaign for a More Prosperous Britain was a political party in the United Kingdom. It was founded prior to the February 1974 general election by Tom Keen and Harold Smith, both business owners in Manchester.

Campaign for a More Prosperous Britain
LeaderTom Keen
Founded1974
Dissolvedc. 1982
HeadquartersManchester
IdeologyAnti-labourism

Keen was the party's leader. He had become a millionaire through property development, and before forming the campaign, had donated money to the National Front.[1]

The party called for voters not to vote for its candidates, but for tactical voting to defeat the Labour Party; it distributed anti-Labour literature. Despite this, some of its candidacies received hundreds of votes, with Keen's candidacy in Portsmouth South at the October 1974 general election attracting 1.0% of all the votes cast.[2]

The party first came to public attention when members plastered the headquarters of the Trades Union Congress with anti-union posters.[3] It was also strongly opposed to the Communist Party of Great Britain.[4]

Smith stood against Labour Party leader Harold Wilson at the February 1974 general election, taking 234 votes.[2] At the October general election, Keen and Smith set a new record by standing simultaneously in eleven and twelve constituencies, respectively.[5] With two associates who stood in a single constituency each, the campaign stood in a total of 25 seats, receiving 4,301 votes.[4] Each constituency was a marginal seat held by the Labour Party, but Labour held each seat at the election.[6]

Keen stood for the party again in the 1979 general election and several by-elections. However, the party was apparently dissolved in the early 1980s, Keen standing in five Labour seats at the 1983 general election as an independent.[2]

ResultsEdit

February 1974 general electionEdit

Constituency Candidate Votes[2] Percentage Position Result
Huyton Harold Smith 234 0.4 4 Labour hold

October 1974 general electionEdit

Constituency Candidate Votes[4] Percentage Position Result
Aldridge-Brownhills Tom Keen 210 0.4 4 Labour hold
Battersea South Tom Keen 170 0.6 4 Labour hold
Birmingham Handsworth Tom Keen 105 0.3 4 Labour hold
Birmingham Perry Barr Tom Keen 86 0.2 5 Labour hold
Birmingham Yardley Tom Keen 111 0.2 5 Labour hold
Bolton East Harold Smith 149 0.3 5 Labour hold
Bradford West Harold Smith 339 0.8 4 Labour hold
Chorley Harold Smith 185 0.3 4 Labour hold
Coventry South West Tom Keen 144 0.3 5 Labour hold
Derby North Harold Smith 242 0.4 4 Labour hold
Glasgow Govan T. Clyde 27 0.1 6 Labour hold
Gravesend Tom Keen 239 0.4 5 Labour hold
Huddersfield West Harold Smith 136 0.3 5 Labour hold
Ilford South Tom Keen 169 0.4 4 Labour hold
Keighley Charles William Deakin 179 0.4 5 Labour hold
Loughborough Harold Smith 125 0.2 5 Labour hold
Manchester Moss Side Harold Smith 96 0.3 5 Labour hold
Middleton and Prestwich Harold Smith 234 0.4 4 Labour hold
Portsmouth North Tom Keen 527 1.0 4 Labour hold
Preston North Harold Smith 138 0.3 4 Labour hold
Preston South Harold Smith 87 0.2 5 Labour hold
Putney Tom Keen 125 0.3 4 Labour hold
Sowerby Harold Smith 157 0.4 4 Labour hold
Walsall South Tom Keen 150 0.4 5 Labour hold
York Harold Smith 304 0.5 4 Labour hold

By-elections, 1974–1979Edit

Election Candidate Votes Percentage Position Result
1976 Coventry North West Tom Keen 40 0.1 6 Labour hold

1979 general electionEdit

Constituency Candidate Votes Percentage Position Result
Bristol North West Tom Keen 73 0.1 5 Conservative gain
Bristol South East Tom Keen 66 0.1 5 Labour hold
Colne Valley Tom Keen 101 0.2 4 Liberal hold
Coventry North West Tom Keen 98 0.3 4 Labour hold
Coventry South West Tom Keen 144 0.3 5 Conservative gain
Huddersfield West Tom Keen 101 0.2 4 Conservative gain

By-elections, 1979–1983Edit

Election Candidate Votes Percentage Position Result
1981 Warrington Tom Keen 10 0.0 11 Labour hold
1982 Beaconsfield Tom Keen 51 0.1 6 Conservative hold

At Beaconsfield, Keen stood under the description "Benn in 10 unless Proportional Representation".

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Labour Research Department, The National Front investigated, p. 23.
  2. ^ a b c d David Boothroyd, Politico's guide to the history of British political parties, p. 28.
  3. ^ Institute for the Study of Conflict, Sources of conflict in British industry, p. 34.
  4. ^ a b c F. W. S. Craig, Minor Parties at British Parliamentary Elections 1885–1974, p. 128.
  5. ^ Peter Barberis et al, Encyclopedia of British and Irish Political Organizations, p. 320.
  6. ^ Labour Party, Conference (vol. 74), p. 27.