As the election had been fought on the Conservative proposals for tariff reform, it was inevitable that they could not retain office. As a result, MacDonald formed the first ever Labour government with tacit support from the Liberals. Asquith's motivation for permitting Labour to enter power, rather than trying bring the Liberals back into government, was that he hoped they would prove to be incompetent and quickly lose support. Being in a minority, MacDonald's government only lasted 10 months and another election was held in October 1924.
During 1923 the Ruhr crisis led to a growing feeling of German sympathy in Britain, with people increasingly fed up of international crises in Europe. By May 1923 the then Prime Minister Bonar Law fell ill and resigned on 22 May, after just 209 days in office. He was replaced by Baldwin. Having only had an election just the year before, Baldwin's party had a comfortable majority in the Commons and could have waited another four years, but the government was concerned with unemployment and protectionism. He felt the need to receive a mandate from the people,which, if successful, would strengthen his grip on the Conservative party leadership.
The result however backfired on Baldwin, who lost a host of seats to Labour and the Liberals. For the first time in history, Labour would be in government, albeit without a clear mandate or majority.