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Election Battles 1945-1997
Intro 1945 1950 1951 1955 1959 1964 1966 1970 1974
Feb
1974
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1979 1983 1987 1992 1997
1974 October: Wilson makes it four
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Overview
Battlefield
Campaign
Personalities
Issues
Results
1974: Mine
Miners end their strike once Labour takes office

Watch and listen 1974 Oct
The election results from BBC Television
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Harold Wilson talks up Labour's Social Contract
real 28k
Heath pitching for votes
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Wilson's after election speech
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Key events
March, miners’ strike ends
July, Government defeated 29 times by recess
Sept, 9 Tory manifesto leaked
Sept, 16 Labour manifesto launched
Sept, 18 election called

In the brief period between elections on 28 February and 10 October Labour could point to steady progress.

Inflation may have been running at around 20%, but the miners’ strike had been resolved and the state of emergency imposed by Heath had ended.

In the hope of extracting some of the thorns from the now perennial problem of industrial relations the Pay Board was abolished and the Tories’ Industrial Relations Act was scrapped

Chancellor Denis Healey put through two steady budgets which saw an increase in pensions, but also an increase in the basic rate of income tax and top rate income tax.

Tory leader Edward Heath kept a relatively low profile after his defeat in February. It had been a massive blow to his position, but the Tory party stayed his political execution, fearing a change of leadership with an election imminent.