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Election Battles 1945-1997
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1979
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1979: The Thatcher era begins
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1979: Thatcher at Downing Street
Thatcher - the UK's first woman prime minister

Watch and listen 1979
The election results from BBC Radio
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The BBC looks back at Harold Wilson’s career after he resigns
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Conservative leader Margaret Thatcher attacks the unions
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Prime Minister James Callaghan defends his policies
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Margaret Thatcher: “Where there is discord, may we bring harmony”
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Labour’s failure to manage the economy or control the unions was heavily punished by the voters as Margaret Thatcher - Britain's first woman prime minister - led the Conservatives back to power in what proved to be a landmark election.

Thatcher’s tough, aggressive style promised a fresh start in dealing with Britain’s problems, but whether it would be successful once in office remained to be seen.

Defeated Labour leader Jim Callaghan’s decision not to hold an election in 1978 had cost him dear.

His party received its lowest share of the vote since the war, while the Liberals and the Scottish and Welsh nationalists saw their support slump from the highs enjoyed in 1974.