Campaign for a More Prosperous Britain

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Campaign for a More Prosperous Britain
Leader Tom Keen
Founded 1974
Dissolved c.1982
Headquarters Manchester
Ideology Anti-labourism

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.

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 UK 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 UK 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 UK general election as an independent.[2]

Results[edit]

February 1974 general election[edit]

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

October 1974 general election[edit]

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

By-elections, 1974-1979[edit]

Election Candidate Votes Percentage Position Result
Coventry North West by-election, 1976 Keen, TomTom Keen 40 0.1 6 Labour hold

1979 general election[edit]

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

By-elections, 1979-1983[edit]

Election Candidate Votes Percentage Position Result
Warrington by-election, 1981 Keen, TomTom Keen 10 0.0 11 Labour hold
Beaconsfield by-election, 1982 Keen, TomTom Keen 51 0.1 6 Conservative hold

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

References[edit]

  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