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Election Battles 1945-1997
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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 October: Manifestos
The Tory and Labour manifestos

Watch and listen 1974 Oct
The election results from BBC Television
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Harold Wilson talks up Labour's Social Contract
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Heath pitching for votes
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Wilson's after election speech
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Manifestos
Labour
Referendum on Europe
Fight inflation
Full employment
Conservatives
Stable prices
Fight inflation
Commitment to Europe

At the head of all the partiesí lists was - understandably - tackling the runaway inflation plaguing the economy.

But there were also the stock in trade pledges to deal with rising prices and bring harmony to the acrimonious field of industrial relations. The issue of devolution also featured strongly in this election.

Devolution had long been a Liberal policy while, understandably, the Scottish National Party merely saw it as a step on the road to independence.

But by now Labour had signed up, promising to grant a significant degree of autonomy to Scotland and Wales - while the Conservatives also made concessions in the same direction.

The Liberal leadership, in the shape of both Jeremy Thorpe and David Steel, made noises signalling they would be willing to work with Labour, but with a hung parliament less than likely Labour showed little interest.

Labourís manifesto - Britain Will Win - also carried commitments to nationalising ship and aircraft building.

The Conservative manifesto - with its plan for national government - was leaked before the election had even been called. And the Liberals simply re-published the manifesto they had issued in February.