“Since the end of the 1860s, they had from time to time displayed a wish to secure entry into Parliament for ‘labour’ spokesmen, and set up national bodies for this purpose. The Labour Representation League was founded in 1869, the Labour Electoral Association in 1886, but neither body obtained the substantial and wholehearted baking of the movement. The larger unions, particularly the miners, preferred to adopt their own candidates. But whether acting alone or together, the unions were unwilling to engage in an electoral contest unless they could secure approval of their nominees from a local party association – almost always looking to the Liberals. They were reluctant to assume the entire responsibility for running and maintaining their own chosen candidates, still more those o other trades. As a result of electoral conditions and of their own caution, the unions thus accepted a political dependence on the Liberal party. Karl Marx complained in 1872 that ‘almost every leader of English working men was sold to Gladstone, Morley, Dilke and others’. The number of such ‘Labour’ men who entered the Commons was effectively determined by Liberal wishes: there were only eight so designated at the end of the 1880s. These MPs were expected to give loyal support to Liberal causes and administrations, and were conventionally known as ‘Lib-Labs’. Even so, we should not regard their appearance in the Commons as insignificant. Their present did indicate the desire of the trade unions, clearly expressed if tentatively pursued, to be represented by their own men” [Gordon Phillips, The Rise of the Labour Party, 1893-1931, 1992]