Although Labour had pulled back from changing its name or from revoking its commitment to nationalisation after its third successive election defeat in 1959, the party did have a new set of proposals to offer to the voters this time out.
Its manifesto, The New Britain, offered a national plan on the economy as well as a more traditional pitch to core voters with offers of increased workers' rights and union representation.
Labour MP Tony Benn also used his presentational skills to aid the party's efforts to plug its policies.
Commitments to build up to 400,000 new houses a year were given but the party opened itself to charges from the Tory chancellor that its spending plans were a "menu without prices" that would cost the public £1bn.
The Conservative appeal - Prosperity with a Purpose - placed a large amount of emphasis on maintaining the nation's defences in an uncertain world. If events had followed a slightly different path it could have reaped them large dividends.
But as it turned out two key events - the toppling of Khrushchev from power and the explosion by communist China of its first nuclear weapon - took place as the polls closed.
With Europe beginning to figure more and more in British politics a confident Liberal party offered a picture of a federal Britain in a federal Europe. But despite its gains in by-elections and local government the party was painfully aware it could not hope to form the next government.