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|Prime Minister of the United Kingdom|
1929 - 1931
1935 - 1937
|Chancellor of the Exchequer|
1923 - 1924
|Preceded by:||Reginald McKenna|
|Succeded by:||Winston Churchill|
|Leader of the Opposition|
1925 - 1929
1931 - 1935
David Lloyd George
August 3 1867, Bewdley, Worcestershire, United Kingdom
|Died||December 14 1947, Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire, United Kingdom|
Trinity College, Cambridge
Stanley Baldwin was a British politician who served as Prime Minister on two occasions (1929 - 1931), (1935 - 1937).
Early Political Career
Opposition 1924 - 1929
The 1929 election returned another hung parliament, but with the Conservatives four seats short of a majority.
First Premiership 1929 - 1931
Baldwin eagerly formed a government, hoping to hold an election at some point in the new year.
What Baldwin couldn't have predicted was the economic crisis that would hit the worl following the wall street crash, plans for an early election were scrapped.
The economic situation continued to deteriorate in 1931. An unbalanced budget, and the well publicised criticism's by economist and liberal perr John Maynard Keynes of government economic policies also contributed to the government's woes.
On August 24th 1931 Baldwin resigned as Prime Minister, realising that a coalition with either of the other parties would be both unsustainable and unworkable. Lloyd George briefly attempted to for a coalition government with Labour and independent MP's as he had attempted two years earlier, but he failed to do so.
Reluctantly Baldwin decided to advise the king - as leader of the largest party in the commons - to call a crisis election to resolve the political crisis. The King - even more reluctantly - agreed. Baldwin resumed office as caretaker Prime Minister until the election's conclusion.
The tories lost nearly 100 seats in the subsequent election, but all three parties held roughly the same number of seats: Liberal 206, Conservative 203, Labour 201. The result startled many, who had expected the Labour party to gain the most seats at the expense of both of the other parties.
Baldwin's poor relationship with Lloyd George ruled out a possible Lib-Con coalition, and many tories would rather bide their time in opposition than enter government with labour.
When the final results came in on September 26th Baldwin resigned as Prime Minister, advising the King to send for Lloyd George to form a government.
Opposition 1931 - 1935
In opposition the conservatives made much of the liberals "creeping into bed with the socialists", and welcomed John Simon and his steadily growing group of Liberal defectors to the opposition.
Baldwin and Simon came to an agreement whereby both the National Liberals (as they called themselves) and Conservatives operated as separate parties within the commons, but would not stand against each other at elections and each would enter into government with the other regardless of whether they had a majority. This agreement in effect made the National Liberals a wing of the conservative party.
At the 1933 election the tories gained only 19 seats, but significantly all 34 National Liberal MP's held their seats, giving them a total strength of 256 MP's.
Throughout 1934 and early 1935 the coalition government lurched from crisis to crisis, and in May 1935 an election was forced. Baldwin led the tories to an outright majority, but maintained the coalition with the National Liberals.
Second Premiership 1935 - 1937
Baldwin's second government was much more successful than his first.
Following his resignation he withdrew from frontline politics, although he was consluted by Chamberlain several times during his premiership.