18 posters in which the Conservatives promise to build more houses. The last one appeared in 1979

by Stephen Tall on February 19, 2014

The Conservative Party: the party of house-building. Really. Don’t believe me? It’s true. They used to talk about little else.

Of course you have to go back a little way…

Here we are in 1950, the year before the Conservatives began 13 years of continuous rule…

con house poster 1950

A one-off? Nope. Here’s 1951…

con house poster 1951

By the time it got to 1954, one poster just wasn’t enough…

con house poster 1954

So they did a second…

con house poster 1954 - 2

Then a third…

con house poster 1954 - 3

Then it was an election year, 1955. Time to hit the message home…

con house poster 1955

Again (1956)…

con house poster 1956

And again (1957)…

con house poster 1957

And again (1958)…

con house poster 1958

A new decade began. But, in 1960, it was the same old message…

con house poster 1960

With no let-up in 1962…

con house poster 1962

Or 1963. Got the message yet? No? Well, then…

con house poster 1963

Let’s keep ’em coming…

con house poster 1963 - 2

And coming…

con house poster 1963 - 3

Then it was time for another election (1964)…

con house poster 1964

Which meant more posters…

con house poster 1964 - 2

The Tories lost power in 1964. Labour governed for six years. So what did the Tories do in 1970?

Attack Labour for not building more houses…

con house poster 1970

After five more years out of power, Margaret Thatcher’s Conservatives repeated the attack on Labour for not building more houses in 1979…

con house poster 1978

And: that’s it.

After 1979, the Conservatives turned their attention from house-building to home-owning, from those in need of a house to those who already have one.

There hasn’t been a single Conservative Party poster calling for more house-building in the last 35 years (to my knowledge).

Unless you count David Cameron’s oh-so-specific pledge in 2007:

con house poster 2007

(All images above sourced from the Conservative Party Archive digital poster collection held at the Bodleian Library, Oxford.)


I presume that because I earn very well and ‘just’ about managed to buy a family home I am supposed to be really grateful to Osborne for stoking another house price boom.

Yet my younger siblings have no chance of getting their own home and my children can certainly forget about it.

I’m not grateful, I’m seething at the injustice of it, for heavens sake drop the draconian planning restrictions and building regs and taxes, get Britain building again!

by Dan on February 20, 2014 at 12:25 pm. Reply #

The last Tory one on Labour cutting NHS and schools spending, was a bit hypocritical considering the cuts they made to education and the NHS after 1979

by John Reid on February 20, 2014 at 3:56 pm. Reply #

Pre 1979: Baby boomers wanted to get on the housing later, so wanted cheap homes

Post 1979: Baby boomers own houses and want to protect their home value.

This entire country is run for the benefit of a single generation at the expense of everyone else. Go to any NIMBY protest and tell me how many under 50s you see. Hardly any.

by Trevor Stedman on February 20, 2014 at 5:22 pm. Reply #

Great post. More blood boiling that a Daily Fail article.

The obvious turn away from the needs of people to the needs of the few could not be better highlighted.

How did it go so far wrong?

by Gavin Donald on October 4, 2015 at 1:58 pm. Reply #

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