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Election Battles 1945-1997
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1983: Maggie's landslide
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1983: Foot and Gill
Michael Foot marched Labour to the left

Watch and listen 1983
The election results from BBC Radio News
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Kinnock on the Falklands Factor
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Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher announcing the election date: "You'll have difficulty in keeping up with me"
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Party leaders on the campaign trail
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Mrs Thatcher speaks after her landslide victory
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1983: Thatcher applause
Thatcher signs up comedian Kenny Everett for the Tories
 

The commanding figure of Margaret Thatcher, fresh from victory in the Falklands War, cast a dominant presence over the 1983 election.

The conflict, from April to June 1982, had succeeded in turning Thatcher’s strong personality and resolve into a formidable electoral asset for the Tories.

Although in possession of a sharp mind, Labour leader Michael Foot was seen by few as the best possible choice for prime minister in what was presented as an electoral contest between Foot and Thatcher as much as it was between Tory and Labour.

Foot, a former journalist, was the choice of the party’s left and his policies drew little support, even from the former Prime Minister Jim Callaghan.

His leadership saw the Labour split that lead to the Alliance's birth.

Roy Jenkins, the former Labour chancellor and home secretary, was initially the key figure of their campaign but as he failed to create an impression with the voters his presence was scaled down, and the Alliance’s ratings grew in response.