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BBC News Vote 2001 Vote2001 | Audio Video 
Election Battles 1945-1997
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1966
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1966: Wilson's Labour landslide
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Overview
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1966: Wilson
Wilson heads a presidential Labour campaign

Watch and listen 1966
The election results, complete with swingometer
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Ted Heath takes to the crowds
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Jo Grimond campaigns for the Liberals
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Harold Wilson takes on the hecklers in Birmingham
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Harold Wilson enters Downing Street
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Once again Labour focused its campaign on Harold Wilson, but for Edward Heath, only a few months into the job, the election must have seemed like a baptism of fire.

His election as party leader had healed some of rifts that resulted from Sir Alec Douglas-Home's leadership and saw the party present a much more modern face to the public.

But although he was a product of an ordinary middle class family in a way similar to that of Wilson, his personality was not the asset to the Conservatives that the wisecracking, pipe-smoking family man presented by Wilson was for Labour.

Heath, a bachelor, a former Conservative chief whip and supporter of Macmillan, was quickly seen as cold and aloof by the voters. His campaigning style was wooden while he was prone to sulk when he failed to win his colleagues round to his own point of view.

Liberal leader Jo Grimond fought hard to avoid the inevitable reaction of floating voters to turn to the Conservatives while Labour was in power, but it was a fight he could not win.