The progressive vote in some areas of the East End often fell well short of its potential. But of course voter abstention by itself could not deliver a seat to an opponent. The Conservatives still collected a large number of votes in these areas. The arguments above do not deny that factors such as an interest in ‘sectional’ benefits, and the impact of a range of political issues, could gather working class support for Conservatives in the East End. It is difficult to determine the precise effect of any such individual concerns. This chapter suggests that it remains more important to look at the overall milieu of voters in understanding their motivations, and that the ‘occupational’ assumptions made by many historians regarding politics in the East End have been much too simple.
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