CLASSICAL LIBERALISM IN THE LIBERAL PARTY SINCE 1886

Authors


Stephen Davies is Education Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs (sdavies@iea.org.uk).

Abstract

Although the Liberal Party has seen a clear shift towards social liberalism as its main philosophy since 1890 and has seen a series of defections to the Conservative Party, there has been a classical liberal element within the party throughout this period. Moreover, even when such people have left the Party they have typically not gone over to conservatism but have rather entered the world of think tanks and independent thought. Others have stayed in the party. This reflects the way that supporters of the ideas have rejected conservative social attitudes and have worked out a radical market position.

Ancillary