Baldwin's election

It was under this headline that a letter from Alistair Lexden was published in the TLS: The Times Literary Supplement on November 9.

Sir, Jonathan Benthall (In Brief, November 2) ticks off Albert Weale for stating in his The Will of the People that the last election at which any political party won over half the popular vote was in 1935, insisting that the 1931 election holds that distinction.

The author is right, the reviewer wrong. 53.7 per cent of those who voted in 1935 backed Stanley Baldwin’s request for a mandate for general rearmament so that he could extend his plans to give Britain massively increased air defence through the programme to build bombers and fighter aircraft which he had started the previous year.

Alistair Lexden
House of Lords, London SW1