party name and code number
British Conservative Party, 012
Strictly speaking, the term Conservative Party applies only to the parliamentary organization, which is supported outside of parliament by the national union of Conservative and Unionist associations of England and Wales and separate organizations in Scotland and northern ireland.
information base and researchers
The United Kingdom did not appear in the random sample of 50 countries that was drawn for study in the icpp project. Therefore, no special information base was created on microfilm for British party politics. The British Conservative party has been included in our study on the basis of the codes and comments prepared by David Prysor-Jones, who employed conventional library research methods. His codes were compared with those produced earlier in a more impressionistic fashion by Kenneth Janda in consultation with Val Herman and David Robertson. The coefficient of reliability between the two sets of codes for the Conservative party on 69 variables was .91.
1.01 year of origin and 1.02 name changes
1832, ac7
0, ac9
Since the origins of the Conservative Party antedate the era of democratic politics, its year of origin is difficult to fix exactly. The earliest and most defensible date is 1832, when party organization outside parliament grew in response to the reform act. But 1867, the year of the second reform act with its radical extension of the franchise and the foundation of the national union is an alternative possibility, since it marks the party's commitment to a nationwide electoral effort. There were no name changes in the period. The soubriquet "and Unionist" was added to the party's name with the absorption of the liberal Unionists in 1912. The party appears in Ulster simply as the "Unionist Party" and for the purposes of this survey the link between the sections of the party in Ulster and those in England, Wales and Scotland will be treated as an electoral and legislative alliance rather than as an organic link, in order to exclude anomalies. The party is colloquially known as the "Conservative" or "Tory" party.
1.03 organizational discontinuity
0, ac9
There was no organizational discontinuity in this period.
1.04 leadership competition
13, ac7
The party leadership changed hands twice in this period, passing from Sir Winston Churchill to sir Anthony Eden in april 1955, and from Eden to Harold Macmillan in January 1957. During our period, there were no formal rules for selecting a leader though custom dictated that he appear elected by a convention of the conservative members of both houses, all prospective candidates thereto and the executive council of the national union. In fact the "election" was an acclamatory device and the leader was supposed to be " evolved" not elected. The recommendation of the outgoing incumbent, soundings of the party activists and MPs and a good deal of covert manuevering aided such "evolution." in 1965, formal election replaced evolution as the method of leadership selection.
1.05 legislative instability
Instability is .05, ac9
Conservative strength in the lower house rose steadily during our time period from 48 percent in 1948 to 58 percent in 1962.
1.06 electoral instability
Instability is .04, ac9
General elections were held in 1950, 1951, 1955, and 1959. Although the conservatives won a majority of the seats from 1951 on, they failed to win a majority of total votes cast in any of these elections, coming closest with 49.6 percent in 1955.
2.01 government discrimination
0, ac9
There is no evidence of discrimination against the party in the period. The position of the electoral boundaries favored the Labour Party in 1950-51 but this was coincidental and not deliberate.
2.02 governmental leadership
5 out of 7 for 1950-56, ac9 and 6 out of 6 for 1957-62, ac9
The conservatives led the government almost completely throughout our time period, from october 1951 until december 1962. Although the maximum statutory life of a government is five years, the average gap between elections was 3.7 years from 1918 to 1970. In this period an election was held an average every 3.25 years. The party won 3 out of the 4 elections in the period, each time increasing its margin of victory.
2.03 cabinet participation
5 out of 7 for 1950-55, ac9 and 6 out of 6 for 1956-62, ac9
Conservative ministers monopolised cabinet seats during their party's administration and were completely excluded from them when in opposition.
2.04 national participation
6, ac9
Party support was spread universally if not evenly across the country. Support was stronger in rural and suburban areas than in industrial towns and cities. The chief regions of conservative predominance were Ulster, the highlands and islands of Scotland, south east England, the west country, Wessex, the east and north ridings of Yorkshire and East Anglia. This distribution can be explained largely but not entirely in terms of occupational residence, since the conservatives are traditionally the party of the privileged and middle classes, although they also have significant working class support. In rural areas the remnants of deference voting and the absence of strong trades union activity are usually held responsible for conservative preferences. Based on 1959 survey data, the average deviation of conservative support from the population distribution in five main regions was only 1.7 percentage points.
2.05 legislative strength
Strength is .52 for 1950-56, ac9 and .57 for 1957-62, ac9
Conservative strength in the lower house rose steadily during our time period from 48 percent in 1948 to 58 percent in 1962.
2.06 electoral strength
Strength is .47 for 1950-56, ac9 and .49 for 1957-62, ac9
General elections were held in 1950, 1951, 1955, and 1959. Although the conservatives won a majority of the seats from 1951 on, they failed to win a majority of total votes cast in any of these elections, coming closest with 49.6 percent in 1955.
2.07 outside origin
4, ac7
The party was founded by Tory leaders within parliament who sought to organize electoral registration following the reform act of 1832.
5.01 ownership of means of production
2, ac7
The party's attitude to the ownership of the means of production in this period was somewhat ambiguous. Party oratory consisently denounced state ownership in principle and aligned itself with free private enterprise and on accession to power in 1951 the party denationalized several industries, notably steel and road haulage. Both actions and rhetoric, however, were deceptive. As a consequence of their crushing electoral defeat in 1945 the party leadership had come to realise that certain social-democratic programmes, including a degree of nationalisation, were inseparable from electoral success. In opposition, therefore, the party concentrated its attack upon recently and inefficiently nationalised industries, while criticising only the management of others. In government, moreover, the extent of denationalisation was less than pledged and the party even voluntarily expanded the state sector into electrical generation by atomic power, seeking credit for this action in its propaganda.
5.02 government role in economic planning
0 for 1950-56, ac7 and 2 for 1957-62, ac7
The party's reiterated preference for a free economy was of course relative, though this was obscured by the impractical and outdated rhetorical laissez faire. Practical concern for economic prosperity necessitated the exercise of Keynesian controls over purchasing power, as well as support of the pound. The existing concentration of economic decision-making on the treasury and bank of England represented a fait accompli of control and centralisation that the party was unwilling to reverse. "Voluntary moderation" was urged in wages and prices and informal negotiations between the government, the unions and the employers supplemented this. The party did show itself opposed to excessive centralisation, at least at first, and fixed prices for farm produce for instance were replaced by a system of subsidies and marketing boards. On the other hand, the party was perfectly willing even to propose fresh controls, as with its advocacy from opposition of an excess profits tax, and with the failure of voluntary methods, passed over to increasingly stringent controls. The Selwyn Lloyd chancellorship in particular marked an increased penetration of government into economic life with its national plan, wage freeze, regional development policies and proposals for EEC membership.
5.03 redistribution of wealth
1, ac9
The Conservative Party did not seek to redistribute wealth and stood for the preservation of economic inequalities as a consequence of differential efforts and contributions. By ignoring massive loopholes in the redistributive taxation and inheritance duty system it inherited, the conservative government escaped the consequences of ambiguity in practice. Unearned incomes remained heavily taxed and social prejudice against excessive wealth necessitated its justification by economic and social "spin-off" but wealth remained concentrated in very few hands.
5.04 social welfare
4, ac9
The Conservative Party realised after 1945 that a social welfare programme had the support of a vast electoral majority. Right-wing resistance was mollified by the continuing co-existence of a private sector for health, insurance and pensions, and the party accepted the principle of universal social welfare through a compulsory system of public assistance. The party tempered its enthusiasm, however, by continuing to stress the value of self-reliance and by insisting that the nation could not afford a comprehensive social welfare programme. Cuts in food subsidies and increases in insurance contributions for health service constituted part of a policy to reduce reliance on the state to the poorest classes only. Capital development of the welfare system on the other hand was not grudged and increasingly large sums were spent on government educational facilities and services.
5.05 secularization of society
1, ac9
The Conservative Party traditionally stood for the protection of the established church but its attitude was one of benevolence towards all Christian sects and tolerance towards other religions. Religion had ceased to be an important political issue by this period as dissent became socially respectable. Freedom of worship and the exemption of church property from taxation supplemented state support for the Anglican church. The permeation of the state education system by the Anglican church was paralleled by insistence upon some form of religious instruction in other schools. Far from being secularising, the party displayed great respect for both the church of England in particular and christianity in general and could be embarassed by clerical objection to its policies, as occurred in colonial Africa. Social factors continued to dictate that the overwhelming majority of conservative MPs were members of the established church.
5.06 support of the military
3, ac9
The Conservative Party was consistently supportive of the armed srvices in this period, regarding the international area best held by negotiation from strength. The Korean experience, however, resulted in an increasing reliance on nuclear capacity with consequent reductions in priority for conventional military forces. Although a sizable minority of conservative MPs had had military careers, there are no indications that the military was excessively favored over other programs once the necessity for military preparedness is accepted in the first place, although rearmament did strain the economy. Presumed sympathy with military values aided the party's implementation of measures such as the ending of conscription.
5.07 alignment with east-west blocs
5, ac9
The Conservative Party continued and strengthened its commitment to the western alliances (NATO, SEATO, etc.) in this period, refusing recognition to the People's Republic of China and the DDR. The formation of the western European union worked the consolidation of NATO in specifically European terms. However, in the second part of the period, after Suez, dwindling faith in the American alliance saw increased committment to Europe and conciliatory moves towards the ussr. A strong opposition to communism whether in Malaya, Lebanon or Europe remained a touchstone of policy.
5.08 anti-colonialism
1 for 1950-56, ac7 3 for 1957-62, ac7
The Conservative Party was slow to come to terms with the "winds of change" blowing through the colonial world and in the first part of the period stressed the maintenance of the Commonwealth and imperial preference rather than decolonisation. Independence, however, was not seen as undesirable in principle but rather as premature and as circumstances changed the party revised its policy, as for instance over cyprus. Reservations remained in certain areas, nevertheless, and efforts to protect white minorities in Kenya or the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland were pursued in the face of widespread African resistance. The republic of South Africa was gently but firmly condemned, especially after its rejection of Commonwealth membership in 1961, but commercial and "kith and kin" ties hedged policy with johannesburg, as indeed with salisbury. The party's attitude to the constitutional position of Ulster remained unchanged.
5.09 supranational integration
1 for 1950-1956, ac9 and 1 for 1957-1962, ac9
The Conservative Party identified itself strongly with the preservation of national sovereignity throughout the period. However, as economic difficulties increased, the conservative government moved closer to political and economic rapprochement with europe. The formation of efta in 1960 was followed by an attempt to join the EEC, although difficulties in accommodating Commonwealth trading privileges to the European tariff agreements were partly responsible for the deadlock of negotiations. The party's support of the UN, including cochairmanship of the 1954 Geneva conference on Indochina, was motivated more by traditional considerations of international security than a desire to set precedents for world government.
5.10 national integration
1, ac7
The attitude of the Conservative Party to national integration reflected indifference to nationalist movements in Wales and Scotland. The nationalist vote was only 2 to 5 percent of the Welsh and .5 percent of the Scottish vote.
5.11 electoral participation
5, ac9
The Conservative Party supported the maintenance of universal adult suffrage, introduced in 1928. The party did pledge the reinstatement of the university seats in 1950 but did not act on this thereafter.
5.12 protection of civil rights
3, ac9
The Conservative Party cherished a concept of the unwritten liberties of the British subject but preferred to rely on cultural pressures and common law to protect civil rights. Written formulas were thus deemed unnecessary, despite the existence of strong strains of class discrimination and rather weaker ones of race and religion within society. In 1961, however, legislation was introduced to restrict the immigration of Commonwealth citizens, a clear concession to colour prejudice as well as economic strain.
5.13 interference with civil liberties
3, ac9
The Conservative Party advocated the recognition and enforcement of civil liberties in this period, except as concerned deliberate provocations of breaches of the peace. "D" notices to censor press releases that jeopardized national security or embarassed the government were used, but infrequently. Extremist political groups were tolerated, if watched, as long as they did not plan violence.
5.14 / 5.15 us--soviet experts left-right ratings
US says 1, conservative
Soviets say 1, represented by the ruling classes of England and reflects the interests of major financial and industrial capital and landowners. Members also include upper military officers, civil servants, part of the bourgeoisie intelligentsia, merchants, and workers aristocracy.
6.00 open competition in the electoral process
4, ac9
The Conservative Party relied exclusively on open competition in the electoral process to place its candidates in government.
6.01--0 for 1st half , ac6 and 2 for 2nd half, ac9.
Large scale advertising of party candidates in the press was introduced into British politics by the Conservative Party in the second half of our time period. Before then, the party relied on the traditional practice of news releases for attention in the national press. Beginning in 1957, the party engaged in a public relations campaign to develop its image through press advertising. No advertising was allowed in the broadcast media.
6.02--2, ac9.
The party regularly advertised its candidates by publicly displayed signs and posters, as well as by mail. This activity diminished after 1951 with the introduction of legislation to control candidates" expenditures.
6.03--2, ac9.
The local constituency organisations of the party regularly contacted and canvassed voters.
6.04--2, ac9.
The local constituency organisations arranged rallies and public meetings to the most important of which national and regional party leaders came as speakers.
6.05--2, ac9.
The local constituency organisations regularly "brought out the vote" by ensuring that domestic duties or lack of transport did not keep supporters from the polls.
6.10 restricting party competition
0, ac9
The Conservative Party did not seek to disrupt the activity of other parties in the electoral process. Under a Labour government in 1953, the party agreed to the granting of airtime to the British communist party for a party political broadcast, in recognition of its number of candidates.
6.20 subverting the political system
0, ac9
The party was not oriented to subverting the political process, which it regarded as appropriate.
6.30 propagandizing ideas and program
6.31-- 0, ac9. The party had no newspaper of its own, although a number of papers were its regular partisans. The party organisation published a constant stream of periodicals, pamphlets and leaflets expounding its philosophy and outlining its policies. Limited broadcasting time for "party politcal broadcasts" was allotted to the party on the basis of an annually renewed agreement between the major parties and the broadcasting authorities.
6.32-- 0, ac9. The party did not operate party schools, although political education is an occasional aspect of local political socialisation.
6.33-- 2, ac9. A policy platform is produced by the leadership and endorsed by resolutions of the annual party conference.
6.34-- 2, ac9. Position papers were published regularly by the party organization. Manifestos precede each election.
6.40 allying with other parties
6.41 2, ac9. The party made electoral arrangements for co-sponsorship throughout this period with the national Liberal Party. The national liberals supplied some twenty members to each parliament but their representatives were functionally indistinguishable from Conservative and Unionist members. The absorption of their constituency associations by the local conservative organisations in this period ensured their eventual merger with the larger party, though not in this time period.
6.42, 6.43 0, ac9 the party had no need to form a legislative bloc in this period, since national liberal support was unconditional. The party did not share its cabinet positions with any other party when in office.
6.50 providing for welfare of party members
6.51, 6.52, 6.53, 6.54--0, ac9.
The party did not provide these social welfare services.
6.55--2, ac9. Many local Conservative and Unionist associations attached clubs which provided recreational facilities and services as an adjunct to their political functions. The young Conservative and Unionist association also organised a great many recreational events for its members.
7.01 sources of funds
1 (sector 04), ac6
No figures available for this period but projection from data available for later years indicates that the party received about two- thirds of its financial support from commercial and business circles, notably the city and certain large firms. Constituency sources of funds, taken as a whole, did not cover current expenditure. Sporadic appeals for election funds or moneys to cancel deficits are presumably also met by business concerns and wealthy private supporters.
7.02 source of members
5, ac9
Membership of the Conservative Party is on an individual basis only. Membership in 1953 was given as approximately 2,800,000 in the wake of a vigorous recruitment drive.
7.03 sources of leaders
2 (sectors 04, 03), ac9
The leaders of the Conservative Party in this period came almost without exception from the upper and middle classes, with the professions and business supplying nearly three-quarters of the total of mps. The largest single group was that of company directors and managers with roughly 25 percent followed by the legal profession with 23 percent and the armed services with 11 percent. The teaching profession and small businessmen, however, were barely represented and MPs of private means alone gradually disappeared in this period. Those chosen for cabinet office tended to come from the higher strata of their callings, and those with a more traditionally upper class background were more likely to attend cabinet than their numbers would suggest. Some 75 percent of conservative MPs had public (private) school educations and those without them had less chance of attaining cabinet rank.
7.04 relations with domestic parties
6, ac9
The party did have an arrangement of co-sponsorship of candidates with the small national Liberal Party, not to be confused with the opposition Liberal Party. Conservative party strength in parliament was augmented by some 20 National Liberals, who accepted the Conservative whip. A comparable arrangement existed with some 10 Ulster Unionists, who also accepted the conservative whip. An attempt was made to woo the Liberal Party in 1951 and an alliance was made in bolton to prevent Labour victories in its two constituencies as a result of three-cornered fights, but long-term alliances failed to appear.
7.05 relations with foreign organizations
5, ac9
The party had no affiliations with international organisations, the more so since a narrow definition of patriotism was attractive to many of its supporters.
8.01 structural articulation
9, ac9
Six major national organs were identifiable for the Conservative Party in this period, three within the legislature and three without. In parliament the leader's consultative committee or "shadow cabinet" aided in the formation of policy when the party was in opposition, the 1922 committee of backbench MPs met weekly to discuss issues on an informal basis and the conservative members in the Lords had their own organisation and leader. The party outside the legislature had the annual party conference, the central council and the executive committee of the national union of Conservative and Unionist associations. The latter body met six times a year on average and heard the reports of its standing committees on women, trade unions, finance, the young conservatives, etc. The party also possessed an administrative organ with its central office and research, publicity, and other departments that paralleled and coordinated with the advisory committees to the executive committee. The important advisory committees on finance, candidate selection (for both the legislative and administrative office) and policy also reported to the central office, whose chairman and deputies were appointed by the party leader in parliament. As with the national leadership position, informal cooptation lay behind apparently elective processes, though the functions of the various organs were well specified in standing orders.
8.02 intensiveness of organization
4, ac9
The Conservative Party was organized in nearly all constituencies and tried as far as possible to extend its organisation to the ward level. Paid full time party agents existed in most of the constituencies.
8.03 extensiveness of organization
6, ac9
Conservative local associations were spread more or less evenly over the country.
8.04 frequency of local meetings
6, ac6
Records are incomplete, but ward meetings seem to have occurred on average once a month, though divergencies from the norm were great in places.
8.05 frequency of national meetings
5, ac9
The executive committee of the national union met on average six times yearly in this period, the central council and party conference annually.
8.06 maintaining records
16, ac9
The central office of the party organisation published a considerable quantity of printed matter, maintained a research department and kept extensive records. Membership lists are notable for quality.
8.07 pervasiveness of organization
6, ac9
The Conservative Party was represented by several youth and women's movements but only the young Conservative and Unionist association succeeded in attracting wide membership, mostly as a result of its social activities. Claiming a membership of 150,000 in 1955 it was the largest political youth movement in a liberal democracy. Organisations of conservative teachers, lawyers, trades Unionists and others remained small. Partisan self-selection for membership and a lack of ideological doctrinism in the party ensured easy central control of these organisations. Employers organisations, such as the federation of British industry, were in no sense controlled by the party, although naturally friendly towards it.
9.01 nationalization of structure
5, ac9
Conservative party was organized into twelve area councils in England and Wales and two divisions in Scotland. Area councils met from two to four times yearly, while area executive committees functioned in the interim. An agent of the central office represented the interests of the national party, acting as honorary secretary for the area council. These regional organizations in the Conservative Party, which had no restrictions on the topics they could discuss, exercised somewhat more independence of action than their counterparts in the Labour Party.
9.02 selecting the national leader
7, ac7
The leader emerged from an obscure process of elite interaction and consensus building, ratified by acclamation by party membbers in both houses, conservative candidates, and the executive committee of the national union. When the party was in power, the monarch conditioned the choice of leadership by naming the prime minister. Upon the resignation of Anthony Eden in 1957, for example, sounding in the two houses and the constituency parties were made by lords salisbury, kilmuir, and others, and the queen chose Harold Macmillan to succeed Eden as prime minister upon advice from conservative leaders. Macmillan subsequently became party leader, but some concern was registered over the role of the monarch in the process. This was heightened after our time period with the selection of home to replace Macmillan in 1963. As of 1965, this informal process was replaced by balloting among all conservative mps, with a 15 percent majority required to win the leadership on the first ballot.
9.03 selecting parliamentary candidates
5, ac7
The national union's standing advisory committee on candidates submitted a list of potential candidates to the constituency, which was also able to suggest names of its own. A selection committee within the constituency drew up a list of candidates to be interviewed by the executive committee in the constituency, which recommended a candidate to the association for approval. The choice must also have been approved by the central office, and almost invariably was.
9.04 allocating funds
2, ac6
Funds were collected at all levels of the party organisation, with most of the funds raised by constituency associations. Locally collected moneys were allocated to the centre but the constituencies collectively received more than they supplied. The central board of finance seemed to be responsible for dunning wealthy private supporters at the regional level.
9.05 formulating policy
7, ac9
The formation of policy was the sole responsibility of the party leader, acting on the advice of his cabinet or consultative committee colleagues and the standing advisory committtee on policy. The 1922 committee and the party conference acted as sounding-boards for rank-and-file sentiments and party policy had to take these into account. However, deference to the leader's decision ensured the adoption of even initially uncongenial policies. Policy initiatives often came from informal organisations such as the bow group
As well as through established channels.
9.06 controlling communications
7, ac9
Party control of communications media was concentrated at the national level and such communications were influential within the party. Press releases from the chief and area publicity officers often reached the independent national and local press.
9.07 administering discipline
4, ac9
The party leader controlled the personnel at central office, acting through the party chairman he appointed. The party whips, appointed by the leader, controlled the members of the house and may withdraw the whip, the party's regular communication memorandum. The leader can dismiss his cabinet colleagues at will or whim, as Macmillan did in 1962.
9.08 leadership concentration
6, ac9
Leadership in the party was concentrated in the leader, who may commit the party to binding courses of action. This power, however, was maintained by the circumspection of the leader, who had to be careful not to overburden the patience of his followers, who might revolt in a body if pushed too far.
10.01 legislative cohesion
1.0, ac9
Party cohesiveness was extremely high and rebellion aganst a "three- line whip" was extremely rare and usually temporary. Cohesiveness was virtually perfect. Rebellion against party authority was discouraged by the fact that party nomination was well-nigh essential for continued political existence since expulsion from the party was tantamount to expulsion from the legislature at the next election.
10.02 ideological factionalism
1, ac9
The pragmatic nature of conservative policy and the paradoxical co-existence of Tory democracy and classical conservatism within the party pantheon make ideological quarrels rare occurences. Disagreement over issues can often be traced to basic ideological differences but the absence of overt ideological factors is marked.
10.03 issue factionalism
2, ac9
There were no major differences over political issues in this period and such as there were came from the party's right wing. Potential opposition over Suez had been disarmed by its premature appearance over the withdrawal of British troops in 1953, and thus dispersed or, as with julian amery, co-opted into the Eden government. Disputes over Kenya, Cyprus, South Africa, economic controls and other issues were mild and Lord Salisbury's resignation from the cabinet over Cyprus remained a personal revolt thanks to Macmillan's political skill.
10.04 leadership factionalism
0, ac6
Leadership competition in the Conservative Party tended to revolve around individuals rather than factions, especially since the party leader was expected to represent unifying rather than partisan forces. As old leaders lost the confidence of the party, their obvious successors moved into their places having previously themselves won the loyalty of their colleagues.
10.05 strategic or tactical factionalism
0, ac9
There was no significant disagreement within the party on electoral strategy or tactics in this period, the more so since the party's showing at the polls continually improved.
10.06 party purges
0, ac9
There were no party purges in this period. The cabinet "purge" of 1962 was a figure of speech, though doubtless unpleasant for its victims.
11.01 membership requirements
1, ac7
The "model rules" of the Conservative and Unionist central office specified signing an enrollment form and paying a subscription, but certainly these practices were not universal among conservative constituency associations . This was especially true for subscriptions, for voluntary political work was more valued than party subscriptions.
11.02 membership participation
0, ac6
Of a stated 2,805,000 members in 1953 only 100,000 or so were politically active, attending meetings or working for the party at elections or fund raising drives.
11.03 material incentives
0, ac5
Party work was largely voluntary and unpaid so that material incentives were almost non-existent, especially at the lower levels. However, since political partisanship, donations and activity were the usual paths to civilian decorations and honors, such incentives were thus important to some middle class aspirants.
11.04 purposive incentives
3, ac4
The majority of party activists seemed motivated by political convictions and thus were led to political work by its purposive incentives.
11.05 doctrinism
0, ac9
References to a corpus of literature in justification of party philosophy or policies is rare as the Conservative Party's political tradition is perceived as organic. Burke and the Bible are often quoted in speeches and the ideas of Samuel Smiles, Adam Smith and others are detectable in content but no structured doctrine is detectable.
11.06 personalism
0, ac9
The Conservative Party was a well institutionalised organisation and changed its leaders several times in the period without trauma. Personalism was of little importance to party activists.