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Emlyn Hooson and the Welsh Liberal Party, 1962 – 1979

Alderton, Nicholas ORCID: 2022. Emlyn Hooson and the Welsh Liberal Party, 1962 – 1979. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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The immediate post-War years saw the status of the Liberal Party of Wales (LPW) fall from the great hope of British Liberalism to near irrelevance. The neglect of the LPW by the leadership of the British Liberal Party contributed to the decline in Wales. Its two federations, the South Wales Liberal Federation and the North Wales Liberal Federation, were mutually distrustful and acted autonomously of each other. By 1959, Welsh Liberalism was suffering, facing a challenge to its third-party status by Plaid Cymru, and with just two MPs, the Liberal Party of Wales was on life support. This thesis details the rise of Emlyn Hooson and his decision to undertake a root and branch reform of the organisation and create the Welsh Liberal Party, a federal party with fraternal links to the British Liberal Party. The thesis focuses on the organisation, finances, policy process and electoral record of the new party under Hooson’s leadership. It argues that the Welsh Liberal Party remained the third party of Wales and was just as influential as Plaid Cymru in the nationalist debate. The thesis offers a revisionist interpretation of the party and its place within Welsh politics during the late 1960s and 1970s. It argues that the neglect of the party within the Welsh political historiography has been short-sighted and detrimental to Welsh history. The major themes explored in this thesis are Welsh nationalism, political organisations, Welshness and the relationship with Plaid Cymru.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 11 May 2023
Date of Acceptance: 10 May 2023
Last Modified: 12 May 2023 09:30

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