Sir Robert Peel: The Making of a Party

Douglas Hurd looks at the way in which a Tory leader took a defeated and demoralized party, and reinvented it to appeal to a different and much more modern constituency.

The election results could hardly have been worse. The Tory Party was smashed. Their opponents achieved a big working majority; it was clear that the Tories would be out of office for many years to come. Worse, the election had not simply been about policies. The electorate had shown a deep dislike for the Tories as a party and for all they stood for. Many of the parties leading figures spoke in public and private of their despair.

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