The answer was ‘no’

At the General Election of 1959 the Labour Party suffered an unexpectedly emphatic defeat: it had been hoped that the election might be won, but instead the Conservatives were returned with a majority of one hundred seats. The mood in the Party afterwards was dark. In 1960 a market research specialist and an academic joined forces to write a book with the provocative title Must Labour Lose? It would not be unfair to summarise its conclusions as ‘yes – unless the Party changes radically’. The next General Election was that of 1964, which Labour under Harold Wilson narrowly won. About the only way in which Wilson could be reasonably accused of changing the Labour Party at all (let alone radically) was to introduce to it a (regrettably temporary) enthusiasm for sophisticated Madison Avenue style advertising, which is presumably not exactly what the authors of Must Labour Lose had in mind.

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