The 1974-1979 parliament was packed with incident.
All the main parties had changed leader, the UK had voted to remain in the Common Market in a referendum and had undergone a series of economic crises - leading to the nation’s humiliating bailout by the International Monetary Fund in 1976 - as well as the now notorious Winter of Discontent of 1978-1979.
Prime Minister Harold Wilson’s decision to step down in 1976 stunned most of his cabinet, although he had hinted as much to his cabinet colleague Jim Callaghan, enabling him to prepare for the coming leadership battle which he won.
Despite losing two elections in 1974 Edward Heath attempted to soldier on as Tory leader only to find himself out of a job as Margaret Thatcher won the leadership in 1975.
The party had elected its first woman leader, whose only major experience of holding office had been as education secretary.
Labour was hoping to benefit from her relative inexperience, but left-winger Tony Benn identified her as a strong opponent early on.
Not to be outdone the Liberals also changed leader, but under much more difficult circumstances than the other two parties.
David Steel took over from Jeremy Thorpe after a man claiming to be the latter’s homosexual lover alleged Thorpe and others had tried to have him killed.
Not long after Callaghan had ruled out an election in autumn 1978 a series of strikes took hold of the country. They were to reek havoc with Labour's attempts to secure re-election, and were a gift to the Conservatives.