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Pages in category "Harold Wilson"
The following 21 pages are in this category, out of 21 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Harold Wilson.|
The following 21 pages are in this category, out of 21 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Harold Wilson – James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx, KG, OBE, PC, FRS, FSS was a British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1976. Wilson narrowly won the 1964 election, going on to win an increased majority in a snap 1966 election. Wilsons first period as Prime Minister coincided with a period of low unemployment and relative economic prosperity, in 1969 Wilson sent British troops to Northern Ireland. After losing the 1970 general election to Edward Heath, he spent four years as Leader of the Opposition before the February 1974 general election resulted in a hung parliament. A period of crisis was now beginning to hit most Western countries. He took little action to pursue the Labour Party constitutions stated dedication to such nationalisation, Labour Party historians see his years in office as lost opportunities for major reforms. However, in keeping with the mood of the 1960s his government sponsored liberal changes in a number of social areas and his stated ambition of substantially improving Britains long-term economic performance remained largely unfulfilled. He lost his energy and drive in his second government 1974–76 and accomplished little as the split over Europe. Wilson was born at 4 Warneford Road, Huddersfield, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England and he came from a political family, his father James Herbert Wilson was a works chemist who had been active in the Liberal Party and then joined the Labour Party. His mother Ethel was a schoolteacher before her marriage, and her brother, when Wilson was eight, he visited London and a later-to-be-famous photograph was taken of him standing on the doorstep of 10 Downing Street. He was a supporter of his football club, Huddersfield Town. Wilson won a scholarship to attend Royds Hall Grammar School, his grammar school in Huddersfield in Yorkshire. In December 1930, his father, working as an industrial chemist, was made redundant and he moved to Spital on the Wirral, Cheshire in order to do so. Wilson was educated in the Sixth Form at the Wirral Grammar School for Boys, at Oxford, Wilson was moderately active in politics as a member of the Liberal Party but was strongly influenced by G. D. H. Cole. He graduated in PPE with an outstanding first class Bachelor of Arts degree, with alphas on every paper in the examinations. Biographer Roy Jenkins says, Academically his results put him among prime ministers in the category of Peel, Gladstone, Asquith, and no one else. What he was superb at was the assimilation of knowledge, combined with an ability to keep it ordered in his mind. He continued in academia, becoming one of the youngest Oxford dons of the century at the age of 21 and he was a lecturer in Economic History at New College from 1937, and a Research Fellow at University College
2. United Kingdom general election, 1964 – The United Kingdom general election of 1964 was won by the Labour Party with an overall majority of four seats. The election was held on 15 October 1964, just over five years after the previous election, Douglas-Home shortly afterwards disclaimed his title under the Peerage Act 1963 in order to lead the party from the Commons. Macmillan had led the Conservative government since January 1957, Wilson had begun to try to tie the Labour Party to the growing confidence of Britain in the 1960s, asserting that the white heat of revolution would sweep away restrictive practices. The Liberal Party enjoyed a resurgence after a virtual wipeout in the 1950s, although Labour did not increase its vote share significantly, the fall in support for the Conservatives led to Wilson securing an overall majority of four seats. This proved to be unworkable and Wilson called an election in 1966. The pre-election campaign was prolonged, as Douglas-Home delayed calling an election to give himself as much time as possible to improve the prospects of his party. The election campaign began on 15 September 1964 when Douglas-Home saw the Queen. The campaign was dominated by some of the more voluble characters of the scene at the time. While George Brown, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, toured the country making energetic speeches, the image of Hogg lashing out at a Wilson poster with his walking stick was one of the most striking of the campaign. Many party speakers, especially at televised rallies, had to deal with hecklers, the election night was broadcast live by the BBC, and was presented by Richard Dimbleby, with Robin Day, Ian Trethowan, Cliff Michelmore and David Butler. NOP, Lab swing 3. 5% Gallup, Lab swing 4% Research Services, Lab swing 2. 75% Daily Express, the election resulted in a very slim majority of four seats for the Labour Party, so they were in government for the first time since 1951. Labour achieved a swing of just over 3%, although its vote rose by only 0. 2%, the main shift was the swing from the Conservatives to the Liberals of 5. 7%. The Liberals won nearly twice as many votes as in 1959, Wilson became Prime Minister, replacing Douglas-Home. The four-seat majority was not sustainable for a full Parliament, and this was the only election in Britains recent history when all seats were won by the three main parties, no minor parties, independents or splinter groups won any seats. Conservative total includes Scottish Unionists, Ulster Unionists, and National Liberals, orpington was won by the Liberals in a by-election in 1962 and held in the general election. When this happens, it is described as a win as opposed to a gain or hold, mPs elected in the UK general election,1964 Barberis, Peter. The 1964 General Election and the Liberals False Dawn, Contemporary British History, 21#3 pp 373–387 Butler, the British General Election of 1964 the standard scholarly study F. W. S. Craig, British Electoral Facts, 1832-1987 Denver, David. The 1964 General Election, Explaining Voting Behaviour Then and Now, Contemporary British History 21#3 pp 295–307 Favretto, wilsonism reconsidered, Labour party revisionism 1952–64, Contemporary British History 14#4 pages 54–80 doi,10. 1080/13619460008581603 Fielding, Steven
3. United Kingdom general election, 1966 – The 1966 United Kingdom general election on 31 March 1966 was won by incumbent Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson and was regarded as an easy victory. Wilsons decision to call a snap election turned on the fact that his government, the Labour government was returned following this snap election with a much larger majority of 96 seats. Prior to the 1966 general election, Labour had performed poorly in elections in 1965. Labour ran its campaign with the slogan You know Labour government works, shortly after the local elections, Sir Alec Douglas-Home was replaced by Edward Heath as Leader of the Conservative Party. The Conservatives had not really had time to prepare their campaign, there had been little time for Heath to become well known among the British public, having led the party for just eight months before the election. For the Liberals, money was an issue, two elections in the space of just two years had left the party in a financial position. The election night was broadcast live on the BBC, and was presented by Cliff Michelmore, Robin Day, Robert McKenzie, the election was replayed on the BBC Parliament channel on the 40th anniversary of the event and again in 2016 to mark the 50th anniversary of the election. The Prime Minister Harold Wilson announced on 28 February that Parliament would be dissolved on 10 March, for an election to be held on 31 March. The key dates were as follows, Research Services, 3% swing to Labour National Opinion Polls,3. 5% swing to Labour Gallup,4. 5% swing to Labour Express,7. 5% swing to Labour All parties shown. The Conservative figure includes Ulster Unionists and National Liberals, to mark the 50th anniversary of the election BBC Parliament will be reshowing the election night coverage in full on Monday 28 March 2016. The 5,117 votes polled for the Others in Nelson and Colne were all polled for Patrick Downey, Downey advocated the return of hanging. MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election,1966 Butler, time for Decision -1966 Labour Party manifesto. For All the People, the Liberal Plan of 1966 -1966 Liberal Party manifesto
4. United Kingdom general election, 1970 – The Liberal Party and its new leader Jeremy Thorpe lost half their seats. The Conservatives, including the Ulster Unionists, were given a majority of 31, the election was the first in which people could vote from the age of 18, after the Representation of the People Act 1969. Most opinion polls prior to the election had indicated a comfortable Labour victory and had put Labour up to 12. 4% ahead of the Conservatives. On election day, however, a late swing gave the Conservatives a 3. 4% lead and ended almost six years of Labour government, as defending world champions, Englands venture in the World Cup attracted a much keener public interest than the general election did. Election night commentators Michael Barratt and Jeffrey Preece dismissed any special ‘Powell factor’, as did Conservative MPs Reginald Maudling, Timothy Raison and Hugh Dykes. The 1970-74 Parliament has to date been the time since the 1924-29 Parliament in which the Conservative Party were only in government for one term before returning to opposition. The most notable casualty of the election was George Brown, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Brown had held the seat since 1945. Unusually for the Liberals the by-elections between 1966-1970 had proved almost fruitless, with many Liberal candidates losing deposits, the one exception was their by-election gain of Birmingham Ladywood in June 1969, promptly lost in the General Election the following year. The Liberals found themselves struggling to introduce their new leader Jeremy Thorpe to the due to the extensive coverage. The election result was poor for the Liberals, with Thorpe only narrowly winning his own seat in North Devon, on the BBC, the election coverage was led by Cliff Michelmore along with Robin Day, David Butler and Robert McKenzie. There were various cutaways to the BBC regions, the coverage has been rerun on BBC Parliament on several occasions, including on 18 July 2005 as a tribute to Edward Heath upon his death the previous day. Its most recent screening was on 9 October 2010, BBC coverage of the 1970 general election was parodied by Monty Pythons Flying Circus in its famous Election Night Special sketch. Some ITV regions were not yet broadcasting in colour at the time of the 1970 elections, the Prime Minister Harold Wilson visited Buckingham Palace on 18 May and asked the Queen to dissolve Parliament on 29 May, announcing that the election would be held on 18 June. The key dates were as follows, Summary of the polling results before the general election. This was the first general election where 18-year-olds had the right to vote, therefore, despite 1.1 million more people voting in 1970 compared to 1966, turnout actually fell by 3%. Labours number of votes,12.2 million, was ironically the same amount they had needed to win in 1964, the Tory vote surge cost Labour in many marginal seats. As for the Liberals a small 1% drop in their vote share saw them lose 6 seats,3 of which were held by the narrowest of margins, in the end the Conservatives achieved a swing of 4. 7%, enough to give them a comfortable working majority. As for the parties, they increased their number in the commons from 2 to 6 seats
5. United Kingdom general election, February 1974 – The United Kingdoms general election of February 1974 was held on the 28th day of that month. Instead there was a parliament, even though many people had expected a Conservative victory for Edward Heath. Labour won the most seats with the Conservatives on 297 seats, in contrast the Scottish National Party achieved significant success in this election. They increased their share of the vote in Scotland from 11% to 22%. There were also the first Plaid Cymru MPs to be elected in an election in Wales. But even with over six million votes, only 14 Liberal MPs were elected, there had been some media expectation that the Liberals could take twice as many seats. Heath did not resign immediately as Prime Minister, Thorpe, never enthusiastic about supporting the Conservatives, demanded major electoral reforms in exchange for such an agreement. Unwilling to accept terms, Heath resigned and Wilson returned for his second spell as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The Liberals did not have enough seats to combine with another party to achieve an overall majority and this made the formation of a stable government in this parliament a practical impossibility. Wilson was widely expected from the outset to call another election before long. The election night was covered live on the BBC, and presented by Alastair Burnet, David Butler, Robert McKenzie, the severe economic circumstances in which the election was held promoted both The Sun and the Daily Mirror to characterise it as a ‘crisis election’. Jim Prior later wrote that the miners had been as quiet, the three-day week continued throughout the election, however, Heath did allow the late-night television curfew to be lifted to allow more coverage of the campaign. The low profile of the miners strike allowed worries over inflation to dominate the election, on 15 February it was announced that the Retail Price Index showed a 20% increase in prices over the previous year. This came as a blow to the Conservative position. In a speech in Birmingham on 23 February, Powell claimed the issue in the campaign was whether Britain was to remain a democratic nation. This speech promoted The Sun to run the headline Enoch puts the boot in, a few days later he said he hoped for victory by the party which is committed to a fundamental renegotiation of the Treaty of Brussels and to submitting to the British People. These were the explicit manifesto promises of the Labour party, Heath addressed the country on television on the evening of 7 February, and asked, Do you want a strong Government which has clear authority for the future to take decisions which will be needed. Do you want Parliament and the elected Government to continue to fight strenuously against inflation, or do you want them to abandon the struggle against rising prices under pressure from one particularly powerful group of workers
6. United Kingdom general election, October 1974 – The United Kingdom general election of October 1974 took place on 10 October 1974 to elect 635 members of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. It was the general election of that year and resulted in the Labour Party led by Harold Wilson winning an overall majority of just 3 seats. The election of February that year had produced a hung parliament. Coalition talks between the Conservatives and other such as the Liberals and the Ulster Unionists failed, allowing Labour leader Harold Wilson to form a minority government. The October campaign was not as vigorous or exciting as the one in February, despite continuing high inflation, Labour was able to boast that it had ended the miners strike, which had dogged Heaths premiership, and had returned some stability. In the election the Labour Party won 319 seats, allowing them to form a majority government, the Scottish National Party won 11 of Scotlands 71 seats and 30% of the Scottish popular vote, their best Westminster representation until 2015. Subsequently, Labours narrow parliamentary majority had disappeared by 1977, through a series of by-election losses and they then required deals with the Liberals, the Ulster Unionists, the Scottish Nationalists and the Welsh Nationalists. This was the last general election won by Labour until 1997, the election was broadcast live on the BBC, and was presented by David Butler, Alastair Burnet, Robert McKenzie, Robin Day and Sue Lawley. The brief period between the elections gave Wilson the opportunity to demonstrate reasonable progress, despite high inflation and high balance of trade deficits the miners strike that had dogged Heath was over and some stability had been restored. Following the February election Heath had remained out of the public eye. As was expected, the campaign was not as exciting as the one in February, the Conservatives campaigned on a manifesto of national unity, in response to the mood of the public. Labour campaigned on its recent successes in government, and although the party was divided over Europe, their strengths outweighed that of Heath, who knew his future relied on an election victory. As for the Liberals and the SNP Devolution was a key issue and was now one that the two parties also felt the need to address. As for the Liberal manifesto, they reissued the one they had created for the last election. The key dates were as follows, Labour achieved a swing of 2% against the Conservatives and this was the first time since 1922 that a government had won an overall majority with less than 40% of the vote, albeit a majority of only 3. The Conservatives won just 36% of the vote, their worst share since 1945, in Scotland, the SNP added another 4 seats to their successes in the previous election to become the 4th largest party. Britain Will Win With Labour - Oct 1974 Labour Party manifesto, why Britain Needs Liberal Government - Liberal Party manifesto
7. Labour Party (UK) leadership election, 1960 – The British Labour Party leadership election of 1960 was held when, for the first time since 1935, the incumbent leader Hugh Gaitskell was challenged for re-election. Normally the annual re-election of the leader had been a formality, Gaitskell had lost the 1959 general election and had seen the Labour Party conference adopt a policy of unilateral nuclear disarmament which he considered disastrous and refused to support. A vacancy in the deputy leadership was first made by the death of incumbent Aneurin Bevan, following the heavy defeat of the Labour Party in the 1959 general election, its leader Hugh Gaitskell had determined that the party must change fundamentally to make itself electable. He decided to attempt to rewrite Clause IV of the party constitution, however his move provoked firm opposition from the major unions and the left-wing of the party, and facing certain defeat, he withdrew it in March 1960. In the meantime the Governments decision to abandon the British Blue Streak missile, Gaitskell supported the decision to buy an American system and to remain in NATO, a policy stance which outraged the left. Elections for the Leader and Deputy Leader were formally held by the Parliamentary Labour Party at the beginning of each Parliamentary session, one left candidate who was keen to fight for the deputy leadership was Harold Wilson, who found himself subjected to pressure to challenge Gaitskell instead. Peter Shore, then head of the Research Department at party headquarters, thought Gaitskell had lost the confidence of party staff, jennie Lee, Bevans widow and a fellow Labour MP, led a delegation to Wilson. Wilson resisted but his hand was forced when Anthony Greenwood resigned from the Shadow Cabinet saying he would not serve under Gaitskell while he defied conference decisions. Greenwood then announced his candidature for leader but said he would stand aside in favour of someone with broader appeal and he was also still furious with Gaitskell over a failed attempt to move him from the post of Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer the previous year. Although Wilson was aligned to the left, he was not a supporter of unilateralism, Hugh Gaitskell, had been MP for Leeds South since 1945 and served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1950-1951. Gaitskell was elected party leader in 1955 and he was aligned with the right wing of the party. Wilson had been a Bevanite in the early 1950s but had returned to the front bench and served as Shadow Chancellor under Gaitskells leadership
8. Labour Party (UK) leadership election, 1963 – The British Labour Party leadership election of 1963 was held following the death of Hugh Gaitskell, the party leader since 1955. He had died on 18 January 1963 and was succeeded by the deputy leader George Brown, in 1963 the Labour leader was elected by the Parliamentary Labour Party. To be elected the candidate required more than half the votes. If no candidate was elected in a then the last placed candidate was eliminated. This process, known as the ballot, was repeated until a candidate was elected. Deputy Leader since 1960, George Brown, was the MP for the Derbyshire constituency of Belper from 1945, Brown had been a junior minister before 1951. Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer James Callaghan, an Englishman who had represented part of the Welsh city of Cardiff since 1945, was a well regarded frontbencher and he sat for Cardiff South East in 1963. Callaghan had been a minister before 1951. Callaghan was also a Gaitskellite and his campaign split the vote of the wing of the party. A former Bevanite, Shadow Foreign Secretary Harold Wilson, had been the MP for the Lancashire constituencies of Ormskirk 1945-1950 and he had resigned from the cabinet of Clement Attlee in 1951 on the issue of prescription charges in the National Health Service. Wilson was the most credible alternative leader for the left, so he was persuaded to seek the party leadership in a 1960 challenge to Hugh Gaitskell, in that election he received 81 votes. He was the one of the three leadership candidates with cabinet experience. An overall majority was required for election