Khaki election

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In British political history, a khaki election is any national election which is heavily influenced by wartime or postwar sentiment.[1] In the British general election of 1900, the Conservative Party government of Lord Salisbury was returned to office with an increased majority over the Liberal Party. The reason for this name is that the main issue of the election was the Second Boer War, as "khaki" was the colour of the relatively new military uniform of the British army that had been universally adopted in that war.[1]

The term was later used to describe two later British elections, the 1918 general election, fought at the end of the First World War and resulting in the huge victory of David Lloyd George's wartime coalition government, and the 1945 general election, held during the closing stages of the Second World War, where the Labour Party candidate, Clement Attlee, won by a landslide.

The term is also applied to the 1917 Canadian federal election, which was held during the First World War.[2] By allowing servicemen and women related to servicemen to vote, Sir Robert Borden's Unionist Party won a majority.


  1. ^ a b Mason, Ian Garrick (31 October 2004). "Kerry needn't settle for honorable defeat". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  2. ^ James, Alanna (Fall–Winter 2012). "Prince Edward Island and the 1917 Election: Part Two". the Island Magazine (70): 23. Retrieved 17 June 2014. (subscription required (help)).