United Kingdom general election, 1970


United Kingdom general election, 1970

Infobox Election
election_name = United Kingdom general election, 1970
country = United Kingdom
type = parliamentary
ongoing = no
previous_election = United Kingdom general election, 1966
previous_year = 1966
previous_mps = MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, 1966
next_election = United Kingdom general election, February 1974
next_year = 1974
next_mps = MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, February 1974
seats_for_election = All 630 seats to the House of Commons
election_date = 18 June 1970



leader1 = Edward Heath
leader_since1 = 28 July 1965
party1 = Conservative Party (UK)
leaders_seat1 = Bexley
last_election1 = 253 seats, 41.9%
seats1 = 330
seat_change1 = +69
popular_vote1 = 13,145,123
percentage1 = 46.4%
swing1 = %



leader2 = Harold Wilson
leader_since2 = 14 February 1963
party2 = Labour Party (UK)
leaders_seat2 = Huyton
last_election2 = 364 seats, 48%
seats2 = 288
seat_change2 = -77
popular_vote2 = 12,208,758
percentage2 = 43.1%
swing2 = %



leader3 = Jeremy Thorpe
leader_since3 = 18 January 1967
party3 = Liberal Party (UK)
leaders_seat3 = North Devon
last_election3 = 12 seats, 8.5%
seats3 = 6
seat_change3 = -6
popular_vote3 = 2,117,035
percentage3 = 7.5%
swing3 = %
title = PM
before_election = Harold Wilson
before_party = Labour Party (UK)
after_election = Edward Heath
after_party = Conservative Party (UK)

The United Kingdom general election of 1970 was held on 18 June 1970, and resulted in a surprise victory for the Conservative Party under leader Edward Heath, who defeated the Labour Party under Harold Wilson. The election also saw the Liberal Party and its new leader Jeremy Thorpe lose half their seats. The Conservatives, including the Ulster Unionists, would be given a majority of 31.

Most opinion polls prior to the election had predicted a comfortable Labour victory and had put Labour up to 12.4% ahead of the Conservatives. However on election day, a late swing gave the Conservatives a 3.4% lead.

Commentators believed that an unexpectedly bad set of balance of payments figures released in polling week, and loss of national prestige after the England football team's defeat in the World Cup, contributed to the Labour defeat. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/vote_2005/basics/4393297.stm 1970: Heath's surprise victory] - BBC News]

In "exhaustive research" of the election, the American pollster Douglas Schoen and Oxford University academic R. W. Johnson believed it "beyond dispute" that Enoch Powell had attracted 2.5 million votes to the Conservatives. Johnson later wrote that "It became clear that Powell had won the 1970 election for the Tories...of all those who had switched their vote from one party to another in the election, 50 per cent were working class Powellites. Not only had 18 per cent of Labour Powellites switched to the Tories but so had 24 per cent of Liberal Powellites". Johnson further believed that the votes Powell brought to the Conservatives were "quite possibly four or five million". [Simon Heffer, "Like the Roman: The Life of Enoch Powell" (London: Phoenix, 1999), p. 568.]

The most notable casualty of the election was George Brown, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, who lost to the Conservative candidate in the Belper constituency. Brown had held the seat since 1945.

On the BBC, the election coverage was led by Cliff Michelmore along with Robin Day, David Butler and Robert McKenzie. There were various cutaways to the BBC regions. The coverage was shown again on BBC Parliament on 26 September 2003, and a third time on 18 July 2005 as a tribute to Edward Heath upon his death the previous day.

Opinion poll summary

ORC (Opinion Research Council): Conservative lead of 1%
Harris (Express Newspapers): Labour lead of 2%
NOP (National Opinion Polls): Labour lead of 4%
Marplan: Labour lead of 9%
BBC Exit Poll in Gravesend constituency: Conservative lead of 1%

It should be noted that the ORC and BBC poll were conducted the day before and the day of polling. All other polls were conducted the weekend before polling.

Results

Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidates = 628
seats = 330
gain = 75
loss = 6
net = + 69
votes = 13,145,123
votes % = 46.4
seats % =
plus/minus = + 4.5
government = yes
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Labour Party (UK)
candidates = 625
seats = 288
gain = 10
loss = 87
net = - 77
votes = 12,208,758
votes % = 43.1
seats % =
plus/minus = - 4.9
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidates = 332
seats = 6
gain = 0
loss = 6
net = - 6
votes = 2,117,035
votes % = 7.5
seats % =
plus/minus = - 1.0
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Scottish National Party
candidates = 65
seats = 1
gain = 1
loss = 0
net = + 1
votes = 306,802
votes % = 1.1
seats % =
plus/minus = + 0.6
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Plaid Cymru
candidates = 36
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 175,016
votes % = 0.6
seats % =
plus/minus = + 0.4
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Unity (Northern Ireland)
candidates = 5
seats = 2
gain = 2
loss = 0
net = + 2
votes = 140,930
votes % = 0.4
seats % =
plus/minus = "N/A"
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Independent (politician)
candidates = 40
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 39,264
votes % = 0.1
seats % =
plus/minus = 0.0
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Communist Party of Great Britain
candidates = 58
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 37,970
votes % = 0.1
seats % =
plus/minus = - 0.1
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Protestant Unionist Party
candidates = 2
seats = 1
gain = 1
loss = 0
net = + 1
votes = 35,303
votes % = 0.1
seats % =
plus/minus = "N/A"
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Republican Labour Party
candidates = 1
seats = 1
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 30,649
votes % = 0.1
seats % =
plus/minus = "N/A"
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Independent Labour
candidates = 3
seats = 1
gain = 1
loss = 0
net = + 1
votes = 24,685
votes % = 0.1
seats % =
plus/minus = + 0.1
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Independent Conservative
candidates = 8
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 24,014
votes % = 0.1
seats % =
plus/minus = + 0.1
Election Summary with Candidates
party = Democratic
candidates = 5
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 15,292
votes % = 0.1
seats % =
plus/minus = "N/A"
Election Summary with Candidates
party = National Democratic
candidates = 4
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 14,276
votes % = 0.1
seats % =
plus/minus = "N/A"
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = National Front (UK)
candidates = 10
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 11,449
votes % = 0.1
seats % =
plus/minus = "N/A"
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = National Democratic Party (Northern Ireland)
candidates = 2
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 10,349
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus = "N/A"
Election Summary with Candidates
party = Vectis National
candidates = 1
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 1,607
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus = "N/A"
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Independent Liberal
candidates = 2
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 1,456
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus = 0.0
Election Summary with Candidates
party = World Government
candidates = 2
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 1,016
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus = "N/A"
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Mebyon Kernow
candidates = 1
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 960
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus = "N/A"
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Independent Labour Party
candidates = 1
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 847
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus = 0.0
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = British Movement
candidates = 1
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 704
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus = "N/A"
Election Summary with Candidates
party = Independent Progressive
candidates = 1
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 658
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus = "N/A"
Election Summary Party with Candidates
party = Socialist Party of Great Britain
candidates = 2
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 376
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus = 0.0
Election Summary with Candidates
party = Young Ideas
candidates = 1
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 142
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus = "N/A"
Election Summary with Candidates
party = British Commonwealth
candidates = 1
seats = 0
gain = 0
loss = 0
net = 0
votes = 117
votes % = 0.0
seats % =
plus/minus = "N/A"

"Total votes cast: 28,305,534. All parties are listed. The Conservative figure includes eight Ulster Unionists."

Votes summary

bar box
title=Popular vote
titlebar=#ddd
width=600px
barwidth=360px
bars=

eats summary

bar box
title=Parliamentary seats
titlebar=#ddd
width=600px
barwidth=360px
bars=

Televised declarations

(From BBC Parliament Replay.)These declarations were covered live by the BBC where the returning officer was heard to say "duly elected".

ee also

*MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, 1970

References


*F. W. S. Craig, "British Electoral Facts: 1832-1987"
* [http://www.election.demon.co.uk/geresults.html United Kingdom election results - summary results 1885-1979]

Manifestos

* [http://www.psr.keele.ac.uk/area/uk/man/con70.htm A Better Tommorow] - 1970 Conservative manifesto.
* [http://www.psr.keele.ac.uk/area/uk/man/lab70.htm NOW BRITAIN'S STRONG - LET'S MAKE IT GREAT TO LIVE IN] - 1970 Labour Party manifesto.
* [http://www.psr.keele.ac.uk/area/uk/man/lib70.htm What a Life!] - 1970 Liberal Party manifesto.


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