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Election Battles 1945-1997
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1992
1997
1992: Major confounds the polls
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1992: John Major
John Major fires the starting gun

Watch and listen 1992
Election results from the Today Programme
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The poll tax riots in London
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BBC Radio’s newsflash of Margaret Thatcher’s resignation
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John Major gets on his soapbox
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Labour in triumphant mood at the Sheffield Rally
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Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown on the campaign trail
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In 1992 John Major stretched the Tories’ winning streak to four general election victories in a row.

It was an impressive feat, all the more startling as it had been pulled off against the backdrop of one of the worst recessions of the 20th century.

Major's victory confounded pollsters and pundits alike, many of whom had been predicting a hung parliament or an end to Labour's years in the wilderness.

For Labour it was an incredibly depressing result and the question was raised, as it had been in 1959, could Labour ever be returned to power again?