Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland known internationally as the UK Parliament, British Parliament, or Westminster Parliament, domestically as Parliament, is the supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown dependencies and the British Overseas Territories. It alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in the UK and the overseas territories. Parliament is bicameral but has three parts, consisting of the Sovereign, the House of Lords, the House of Commons; the two houses meet in the Palace of Westminster in the City of Westminster, one of the inner boroughs of the capital city, London. The House of Lords includes two different types of members: the Lords Spiritual, consisting of the most senior bishops of the Church of England, the Lords Temporal, consisting of life peers, appointed by the Sovereign on the advice of the Prime Minister, of 92 hereditary peers, sitting either by virtue of holding a royal office, or by being elected by their fellow hereditary peers.
Prior to the opening of the Supreme Court in October 2009, the House of Lords performed a judicial role through the Law Lords. The House of Commons is an elected chamber with elections to 650 single member constituencies held at least every five years under the first-past-the-post system; the two Houses meet in separate chambers in the Palace of Westminster in London. By constitutional convention, all government ministers, including the Prime Minister, are members of the House of Commons or, less the House of Lords and are thereby accountable to the respective branches of the legislature. Most cabinet ministers are from the Commons, whilst junior ministers can be from either House. However, the Leader of the House of Lords must be a peer; the Parliament of Great Britain was formed in 1707 following the ratification of the Treaty of Union by Acts of Union passed by the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland, both Acts of Union stating, "That the United Kingdom of Great Britain be represented by one and the same Parliament to be styled The Parliament of Great Britain".
At the start of the 19th century, Parliament was further enlarged by Acts of Union ratified by the Parliament of Great Britain and the Parliament of Ireland that abolished the latter and added 100 Irish MPs and 32 Lords to the former to create the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act 1927 formally amended the name to the "Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland", five years after the secession of the Irish Free State in 1922. With the global expansion of the British Empire, the UK Parliament has shaped the political systems of many countries as ex-colonies and so it has been called the "Mother of Parliaments". However, John Bright – who coined the epithet – used it in reference to the political culture of "England" rather than just the parliamentary system. In theory, the UK's supreme legislative power is vested in the Crown-in-Parliament. However, the Crown acts on the advice of the Prime Minister and the powers of the House of Lords are limited to only delaying legislation.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was created on 1 January 1801, by the merger of the Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland under the Acts of Union 1800. The principle of ministerial responsibility to the lower House did not develop until the 19th century—the House of Lords was superior to the House of Commons both in theory and in practice. Members of the House of Commons were elected in an antiquated electoral system, under which constituencies of vastly different sizes existed. Thus, the borough of Old Sarum, with seven voters, could elect two members, as could the borough of Dunwich, which had completely disappeared into the sea due to land erosion. Many small constituencies, known as pocket or rotten boroughs, were controlled by members of the House of Lords, who could ensure the election of their relatives or supporters. During the reforms of the 19th century, beginning with the Reform Act 1832, the electoral system for the House of Commons was progressively regularised.
No longer dependent on the Lords for their seats, MPs grew more assertive. The supremacy of the British House of Commons was reaffirmed in the early 20th century. In 1909, the Commons passed the so-called "People's Budget", which made numerous changes to the taxation system which were detrimental to wealthy landowners; the House of Lords, which consisted of powerful landowners, rejected the Budget. On the basis of the Budget's popularity and the Lords' consequent unpopularity, the Liberal Party narrowly won two general elections in 1910. Using the result as a mandate, the Liberal Prime Minister, Herbert Henry Asquith, introduced the Parliament Bill, which sought to restrict the powers of the House of Lords; when the Lords refused to pass the bill, Asquith countered with a promise extracted from the King in secret before the second general election of 1910 and requested the creation of several hundred Liberal peers, so as to erase the Conservative majority in the House of Lords. In the face of such a threat, the House of Lords narrowly passed the bill.
The Parliament Act 1911, as it became, prevented the Lords from blocking a money bill, allowed them to delay any other bill for a maximum of three sessions, after which it could become law over their objections. However, regardless of the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949, t
House of Commons of the United Kingdom
The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the upper house, the House of Lords, it meets in the Palace of Westminster; the full name of the house is the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled. Owing to shortage of space, its office accommodation extends into Portcullis House; the Commons is an elected body consisting of 650 members known as Members of Parliament. Members are elected to represent constituencies by the first-past-the-post system and hold their seats until Parliament is dissolved; the House of Commons of England started to evolve in 14th centuries. It became the House of Commons of Great Britain after the political union with Scotland in 1707, assumed the title of "House of Commons of Great Britain and Ireland" after the political union with Ireland at the start of the 19th century; the "United Kingdom" referred to was the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1800, became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland after the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922.
Accordingly, the House of Commons assumed its current title. Under the Parliament Act 1911, the Lords' power to reject legislation was reduced to a delaying power; the Government is responsible to the House of Commons and the Prime Minister stays in office only as long as she or he retains the confidence of a majority of the Commons. Although it does not formally elect the prime minister, the position of the parties in the House of Commons is of overriding importance. By convention, the prime minister is answerable to, must maintain the support of, the House of Commons. Thus, whenever the office of prime minister falls vacant, the Sovereign appoints the person who has the support of the House, or, most to command the support of the House—normally the leader of the largest party in the Commons, while the leader of the second-largest party becomes the Leader of the Opposition. Since 1963, by convention, the prime minister is always a member of the House of Commons, rather than the House of Lords.
The Commons may indicate its lack of support for the Government by rejecting a motion of confidence or by passing a motion of no confidence. Confidence and no confidence motions are phrased explicitly, for instance: "That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty's Government." Many other motions were until recent decades considered confidence issues though not explicitly phrased as such: in particular, important bills that were part of the Government's agenda. The annual Budget is still considered a matter of confidence; when a Government has lost the confidence of the House of Commons, the prime minister is obliged either to resign, making way for another MP who can command confidence, or to request the monarch to dissolve Parliament, thereby precipitating a general election. Parliament sits for a maximum term of five years. Subject to that limit, the prime minister could choose the timing of the dissolution of parliament, with the permission of the Monarch. However, since the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011, terms are now a fixed five years, an early general election is brought about by a two-thirds majority in favour of a motion for a dissolution, or by a vote of no confidence, not followed within fourteen days by a vote of confidence.
By this second mechanism, the UK's government can change its political composition without an intervening general election. Only four of the eight last Prime Ministers have attained office as the immediate result of a general election; the latter four were Jim Callaghan, John Major, Gordon Brown and the current Prime Minister Theresa May. In such circumstances there may not have been an internal party leadership election, as the new leader may be chosen by acclaim, having no electoral rival. A prime minister will resign after party defeat at an election if unable to lead a coalition, or obtain a confidence and supply arrangement, she or he may resign after a motion of no confidence or for health reasons. In such cases, the premiership goes to, it has become the practice to write the constitution of major UK political parties to provide a set way in which to appoint a new leader. Until 1965, the Conservative Party had no fixed mechanism for this, it fell to the Queen to appoint Harold Macmillan as the new prime minister, after taking the consensus of cabinet ministers.
By convention, ministers are members of the House of House of Lords. A handful have been appointed who were outside Parliament, but in most cases they entered Parliament in a by-election or by receiving a peerage. Exceptions include Peter Mandelson, appointed Secretary of State for Business and Regulatory Reform in October 2008 before his peerage. Since 1902, all prime ministers have been members of the Commons; the new session of Parliament was delayed to await the outcome of his by-election, which happened
The London Gazette
The London Gazette is one of the official journals of record of the British government, the most important among such official journals in the United Kingdom, in which certain statutory notices are required to be published. The London Gazette claims to be the oldest surviving English newspaper and the oldest continuously published newspaper in the UK, having been first published on 7 November 1665 as The Oxford Gazette; this claim is made by the Stamford Mercury and Berrow's Worcester Journal, because The Gazette is not a conventional newspaper offering general news coverage. It does not have a large circulation. Other official newspapers of the UK government are The Edinburgh Gazette and The Belfast Gazette, apart from reproducing certain materials of nationwide interest published in The London Gazette contain publications specific to Scotland and Northern Ireland, respectively. In turn, The London Gazette carries not only notices of UK-wide interest, but those relating to entities or people in England and Wales.
However, certain notices that are only of specific interest to Scotland or Northern Ireland are required to be published in The London Gazette. The London and Belfast Gazettes are published by TSO on behalf of Her Majesty's Stationery Office, they are subject to Crown copyright. The London Gazette is published each weekday, except for bank holidays. Notices for the following, among others, are published: Granting of royal assent to bills of the Parliament of the United Kingdom or of the Scottish Parliament The issuance of writs of election when a vacancy occurs in the House of Commons Appointments to certain public offices Commissions in the Armed Forces and subsequent promotion of officers Corporate and personal insolvency Granting of awards of honours and military medals Changes of names or of coats of arms Royal Proclamations and other DeclarationsHer Majesty's Stationery Office has digitised all issues of the Gazette, these are available online; the official Gazettes are published by The Stationery Office.
The content, apart from insolvency notices, is available in a number of machine-readable formats, including XML and XML/RDFa via Atom feed. The London Gazette was first published as The Oxford Gazette on 7 November 1665. Charles II and the Royal Court had moved to Oxford to escape the Great Plague of London, courtiers were unwilling to touch London newspapers for fear of contagion; the Gazette was "Published by Authority" by Henry Muddiman, its first publication is noted by Samuel Pepys in his diary. The King returned to London as the plague dissipated, the Gazette moved too, with the first issue of The London Gazette being published on 5 February 1666; the Gazette was not a newspaper in the modern sense: it was sent by post to subscribers, not printed for sale to the general public. Her Majesty's Stationery Office took over the publication of the Gazette in 1889. Publication of the Gazette was transferred to the private sector, under government supervision, in the 1990s, when HMSO was sold and renamed The Stationery Office.
In time of war, despatches from the various conflicts are published in The London Gazette. People referred to are said to have been mentioned in despatches; when members of the armed forces are promoted, these promotions are published here, the person is said to have been "gazetted". Being "gazetted" sometimes meant having official notice of one's bankruptcy published, as in the classic ten-line poem comparing the stolid tenant farmer of 1722 to the lavishly spending faux-genteel farmers of 1822: Notices of engagement and marriage were formerly published in the Gazette. Gazettes, modelled on The London Gazette, were issued for most British colonial possessions. History of British newspapers Iris Oifigiúil The Dublin Gazette – in Ireland London Gazette index Official Journal of the European Union List of government gazettes London and Belfast Gazettes official site Great Fire of London 1666 – Facsimile and transcript of London Gazette report
Aberdeen is a city in northeast Scotland. It is Scotland's third most populous city, one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas and the United Kingdom's 37th most populous built-up area, with an official population estimate of 196,670 for the city of Aberdeen and 228,800 for the local council area. During the mid-18th to mid-20th centuries, Aberdeen's buildings incorporated locally quarried grey granite, which can sparkle like silver because of its high mica content. Since the discovery of North Sea oil in the 1970s, Aberdeen has been known as the off-shore oil capital of Europe; the area around Aberdeen has been settled since at least 8,000 years ago, when prehistoric villages lay around the mouths of the rivers Dee and Don. The city has a long, sandy coastline and a marine climate, the latter resulting in chilly summers and mild winters. Aberdeen received Royal burgh status from David I of Scotland; the city's two universities, the University of Aberdeen, founded in 1495, Robert Gordon University, awarded university status in 1992, make Aberdeen the educational centre of the north-east of Scotland.
The traditional industries of fishing, paper-making and textiles have been overtaken by the oil industry and Aberdeen's seaport. Aberdeen Heliport is one of the busiest commercial heliports in the world and the seaport is the largest in the north-east of Scotland. Aberdeen hosts the Aberdeen International Youth Festival, a major international event which attracts up to 1000 of the most talented young performing arts companies. In 2015, Mercer named Aberdeen the 57th most liveable city in the world, as well as the fourth most liveable city in Britain. In 2012, HSBC named Aberdeen as a leading business hub and one of eight'super cities' spearheading the UK's economy, marking it as the only city in Scotland to receive this accolade. In 2018, Aberdeen was found to be the best city in the UK to start a business in a study released by card payment firm Paymentsense; the Aberdeen area has seen human settlement for at least 8,000 years. The city began as two separate burghs: Old Aberdeen at the mouth of the river Don.
The earliest charter was granted by William the Lion in 1179 and confirmed the corporate rights granted by David I. In 1319, the Great Charter of Robert the Bruce transformed Aberdeen into a property-owning and financially independent community. Granted with it was the nearby Forest of Stocket, whose income formed the basis for the city's Common Good Fund which still benefits Aberdonians. During the Wars of Scottish Independence, Aberdeen was under English rule, so Robert the Bruce laid siege to Aberdeen Castle before destroying it in 1308, followed by the massacring of the English garrison; the city was rebuilt and extended. The city was fortified to prevent attacks by neighbouring lords, but the gates were removed by 1770. During the Wars of the Three Kingdoms of 1644 to 1647 the city was plundered by both sides. In 1644, it was taken and ransacked by Royalist troops after the Battle of Aberdeen and two years it was stormed by a Royalist force under the command of the Marquis of Huntly. In 1647 an outbreak of bubonic plague killed a quarter of the population.
In the 18th century, a new Town Hall was built and the first social services appeared with the Infirmary at Woolmanhill in 1742 and the Lunatic Asylum in 1779. The council began major road improvements at the end of the 18th century with the main thoroughfares of George Street, King Street and Union Street all completed at the beginning of the 19th century; the expensive infrastructure works led to the city becoming bankrupt in 1817 during the Post-Napoleonic depression, an economic downturn after the Napoleonic Wars. The increasing economic importance of Aberdeen and the development of the shipbuilding and fishing industries led to the construction of the present harbour including Victoria Dock and the South Breakwater, the extension of the North Pier. Gas street lighting arrived in 1824 and an enhanced water supply appeared in 1830 when water was pumped from the Dee to a reservoir in Union Place. An underground sewer system replaced open sewers in 1865; the city was incorporated in 1891. Although Old Aberdeen has a separate history and still holds its ancient charter, it is no longer independent.
It is an integral part of the city, as is Woodside and the Royal Burgh of Torry to the south of the River Dee. During the Second World War Aberdeen was bombed quite badly on the 21 April 1943 when around 20 Luftwaffe bombers circled around Aberdeen; because there were no planes at RAF leuchars they were all fighting in the Battle of Britain this meant that the bombers would fly back and forth around Aberdeen. 98 people died on that night and 20,000 homes were destroyed during the bombing which caused severe damage to many different homes around the city. Aberdeen became Gaelic-speaking at some time in the medieval period. Old Aberdeen is the approximate location of the first settlement of Aberdeen; the Celtic word aber means "river mouth", as in modern Welsh. The Scottish Gaelic name is Obar Dheathain, in Latin, the Romans referred to the river as Devana. Mediaeval Latin has it as Aberdonia. Aberdeen is locally governed by Aber
Harlaw Academy is a six-year comprehensive secondary school situated 200 yards from the junction of Union Street and Holburn Street in the centre of Aberdeen, Scotland. It is directly adjacent to St Margaret's School for Girls; the academy draws most of its pupils from its associated primary schools, Broomhill Primary School, Ferryhill Primary School and Kaimhill Primary School. David Innes has been headteacher since January 2013, it was founded as the Aberdeen High School for Girls in 1874. The first school building was raised at Little Belmont Street; the first building at 19 Albyn Place was designed by Archibald Simpson, a prominent architect of the late 19th century. Harlaw used to have a primary department but it was phased out and the last primary pupils moved up in 1971. Harlaw become co-educational in 1974; the school began in 1874 in the buildings in Little Belmont Street, known as the Town Schools the English School. It was an elementary school received government grants, but there was an understanding that its status would be altered if the demand for higher education should warrant it.
In practice its secondary work started in 1878 and in March 1881 the School Board, by a resolution in terms of the Education Act of 1872, declared the school a Higher-Class School. Its name was changed from the English School to the Aberdeen High School for Girls. In 1891 Mrs. Elmslie's Institution at 19 Albyn Place was bought for the school; this house was built by Archibald Simpson. After alteration to the interior the school moved there in 1893; as the school grew, extensions were made. 18 Albyn Place was acquired in 1920 and after a destructive fire in 1935 major reconstructions were planned. These were completed after the Second World War; this work was undertaken by J. A. O. Allan and D. J. A. Ross for the Corporation of Aberdeen; the Former Pupils' Club established a fund for the acquisition of a playing field, a sum was raised to help to build and equip the pavilion at the Playing Field at Hazlehead. From 1874 until 1912 John McBain, M. A. was headmaster of the school. He was succeeded by L. L. Ward, B.
A., Lady Elf of the School since 1894. By 1929, when Ward retired, the size of the school had increased considerably, her successor, B. M. Rose, M. A. L. L. D. led the school through Second World War, the rebuilding programme, the changes that came with the abolition of fees in 1947. When she retired in 1954 the school had over 1,000 pupils and a increasing number of girls from First to Fourth Year were going on to university and other institutions for further education. Rose was succeeded by M. McNab, M. A. whose years of office saw great changes in organisation, two of which were radical. One was the phasing out of the primary department, which ceased to exist at the end of Session 1970-71, with an accompanying gradual increase in the number of secondary pupils; the other arose from the planning of the city's area comprehensive system which brought about in 1970 the changing of the school's name to Harlaw Academy and the first unselective entry, of girls only, from four neighbouring primary schools.
On McNab's retirement in July 1971, Alexander Chalmers, B. Sc. became Headmaster and early in the new session plans began to be made for Ruthrieston Secondary School to become part of Harlaw Academy the following session, ceasing to be a separate entity on the retiral of Mr. Garden on 24 November 1972. Ruthrieston Secondary School was the oldest of its type in Aberdeen, having become a school for post-primary pupils in 1922, it had been established as an all-age village school in the 19th century. Until 1954 only a three-year course was provided. C. E. Ordinary Grade examinations, with opportunity for the S. C. E Higher Grade examinations to be studied at one of Senior Secondary Schools. By 1973 the total school roll was over 1,750 making it the largest school in Aberdeen. Since the incorporation of Ruthrieston Secondary School, Harlaw Academy was now a co-educational, comprehensive secondary school. Chalmers was succeeded in 1985 by Norman Horne, followed by John Murray in 1993; as of 2009, the total school roll stands at just over 950 pupils.
In 2010, Harlaw Academy was threatened with closure, as part of the Aberdeen City Council's cutbacks of over £50m worth of debt. This created an uproar in the feeder communities who launched a successful campaign to save the school. On 29 October 2011 at a consultation in the council chamber, the reasons for closing the secondary school were declared unjustifiable - and as a result the school avoided being closed. Past and present head teachers include: John McBain 1874-1913 Lucy Ward 1913-1929 Beatrice Rose 1929-1957 Margaretta McNab 1957-1971 Alexander Chalmers 1971-1985 Norman Horne 1985-1993 John Murray 1993– 2012 David Innes Notable alumni include: Annie Lennox and member of the musical group Eurythmics Nan Shepherd, modernist novelist and poet Dr Nanette Milne, former Scottish Conservative MSP for North East Scotland Elaine Thomson, former Scottish Labour MSP for Aberdeen North Graeme Dey, Scottish National Party MSP for Angus South and Convener of the Scottish Parliament's Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee Ray Michie, Baroness Michie of Gallanach, former MP for Argyll and Bute and Liberal Democrat Spokesperson on Scotland Sonia Dresdel and television actress between the 1940s and 70s.
David Robertson, former footballer for Aberdeen, Leeds United and Scotland. Pauline Cook, former newsreader and journalist for STV North's nightly news programme, North Tonight. Lisa Milne, soprano. Charlie Allan, sports journalist. Harlaw Academy: E
1979 United Kingdom general election
The 1979 United Kingdom general election was held on 3 May 1979 to elect 635 members to the British House of Commons. The Conservative Party, led by Margaret Thatcher, ousted the incumbent Labour government of James Callaghan with a parliamentary majority of 43 seats; the election was the first of four consecutive election victories for the Conservative Party, Thatcher became the United Kingdom's and Europe's first elected female head of government. The previous parliamentary term had begun in October 1974, when Harold Wilson led Labour to a majority of three seats, but within eighteen months he had resigned as Prime Minister to be succeeded by James Callaghan, within a year the government's narrow parliamentary majority had gone. Callaghan had made agreements with the Liberals, the Ulster Unionists, as well as the Scottish and Welsh nationalists in order to remain in power. However, on 28 March 1979 following the defeat of the Scottish devolution referendum, Thatcher tabled a motion of no confidence in Callaghan's Labour government, passed by just one vote, triggering a general election five months before the end of the government's term.
The Labour campaign was hampered by the series of industrial disputes and strikes during the winter of 1978–79, known as the Winter of Discontent, the party focused its campaign on support for the National Health Service and full employment. After intense media speculation, Callaghan had announced early in the autumn of 1978 that a general election would not take place that year having received private polling data which suggested a parliamentary majority was unlikely; the Conservative campaign employed the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi and pledged to control inflation as well as curbing the power of the trade unions. The Liberal Party was damaged by allegations that its former leader Jeremy Thorpe had been involved in a homosexual affair, had conspired to murder his former lover; the Liberals were now being led by David Steel, meaning that all three major parties entered the election with a new leader. The election saw a 5.2% swing from Labour to the Conservatives, the largest swing since the 1945 election, which Clement Attlee won for Labour.
Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister, Callaghan was replaced as Labour leader by Michael Foot in 1980. Results for the election were broadcast live on the BBC, presented by David Dimbleby and Robin Day, with Robert McKenzie on the "Swingometer", further analysis provided by David Butler, it was the first general election to feature Rick Wakeman's song "Arthur" on the BBC's coverage. Future Prime Minister John Major entered Parliament in this election. Jeremy Thorpe, Shirley Williams and Barbara Castle all left Parliament as a result of this election. After suffering a vote of no confidence on 28 March 1979, Prime Minister James Callaghan was forced to announce that he would request a dissolution of Parliament to onset a general election; the key dates were as follows: Britain's economy during the 1970s was so weak that Labour minister James Callaghan warned his fellow Cabinet members in 1974 of the possibility of "a breakdown of democracy", telling them: "If I were a young man, I would emigrate."
Callaghan succeeded Harold Wilson as the Labour prime minister after the latter's surprise resignation in April 1976. By March 1977 Labour had become a minority government after several by-election defeats, from March 1977 to August 1978 Callaghan governed by an agreement with the Liberal Party through the Lib–Lab pact. Callaghan had considered calling an election in the autumn of 1978, but decided that imminent tax cuts, a possible economic upturn in 1979, could favour his party at the polls by calling one later. Although published opinion polls suggested that he might win, private polls commissioned by the Labour Party from MORI had suggested the two main parties had much the same level of support. However, events would soon overtake the Labour government. A series of industrial disputes in the winter of 1978–79, dubbed the "Winter of Discontent", led to widespread strikes across the country and hurt Labour's standings in the polls; when the Scottish National Party withdrew support for the Scotland Act 1978, a vote of no confidence was held and passed by one vote on 28 March 1979, forcing Callaghan to call a general election.
As the previous election had been held in October 1974, Labour could have held on until the autumn of 1979 if it had not been for the lost confidence vote. Margaret Thatcher had won her party's 1975 leadership election over former leader Edward Heath. David Steel had replaced Jeremy Thorpe as leader of the Liberal Party in 1976, after allegations of homosexuality and conspiracy to murder his former lover forced Thorpe to resign; the Thorpe affair led to a fall in the Liberal vote after what was thought to be a breakthrough in the February 1974 election. This was the first election since 1959 to feature three new leaders for the main political parties; the three main parties all advocated cutting income tax. Labour and the Conservatives did not specify the exact thresholds of income tax they would implement but the Liberals did, claiming they would have income tax starting at 20% with a top rate of 50%. Without explicitly mentioning Thatcher's sex, Callaghan was "a master at sardonically implying that whatever the leader of the opposition said was made sillier by the fact that it was said by a woman".
Thatcher used the tactics that had defeated her other male opponents: studying, sleeping only a few hours a night, exploiting her femininity to appear as someone who understood housewives' household budgets. The Labour campaign reiterated their support for the National Health Service and full employment and focused on the damage they believed the Co
1983 United Kingdom general election
The 1983 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday 9 June 1983. It gave the Conservative Party under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher the most decisive election victory since that of the Labour Party in 1945. Thatcher's first four years as Prime Minister had not been an easy time. Unemployment increased during the first three years of her premiership and the economy went through a recession. However, the British victory in the Falklands War led to a recovery of her personal popularity. By the time Thatcher called the election in May 1983, the Conservatives were most people's firm favourites to win the general election; the Labour Party had been led by Michael Foot since the resignation of former Prime Minister James Callaghan in 1980. They had fared well in opinion polls and local elections during this time, but issues developed which would lead directly to their defeat. Labour adopted a platform, considered more left-wing than usual. Several moderate Labour MPs had defected from the party to form the Social Democratic Party.
The opposition vote split evenly between the Alliance and Labour. With its worst electoral performance since 1918, the Labour vote fell by over 3 million votes from 1979 and this accounted for both a national swing of 4% towards the Conservatives and their larger parliamentary majority of 144 seats though the Conservatives' total vote fell by 700,000; this was the last general election where a governing party increased its number of seats until 2015. The Alliance came within 700,000 votes of out-polling Labour. By gaining 25% of the popular vote, the Alliance won the largest such percentage for any third party since the 1923 general election. Despite this, they won only 23 seats, whereas Labour won 209; the Liberals argued that a proportional electoral system would have given them a more representative number of MPs. Changing the electoral system had been a long-running Liberal Party campaign plank and would be adopted by the Liberal Democrats; the election night was broadcast live on the BBC, was presented by David Dimbleby, Sir Robin Day and Peter Snow.
It was broadcast on ITV, presented by Alastair Burnet, Peter Sissons and Martyn Lewis. Three future Leaders of the Labour Party were first elected as Members of Parliament at this election—two of them would hold the office of Prime Minister, whilst Corbyn became Labour leader in 2015. Former Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson, Shirley Williams, Bill Rodgers, Joan Lestor and Tony Benn left Parliament as a result of this election, although Benn would return in a by-election the following year, Lestor at the following general election. Michael Foot was elected leader of the Labour Party in 1980; the election of Foot signalled that the core of the party was swinging to the left and the move exacerbated divisions within the party. In 1981 a group of senior figures including Roy Jenkins, David Owen, Bill Rodgers and Shirley Williams left Labour to found the Social Democratic Party; the SDP agreed to a pact with the Liberals for the 1983 election and stood as "The Alliance". The campaign displayed the huge divisions between the two major parties.
Thatcher had been unpopular during her first two years in office until the swift and decisive victory in the Falklands War, coupled with an improving economy raised her standings in the polls. The Conservatives' key issues included economic growth and defence. Labour's campaign manifesto involved leaving the European Economic Community, abolishing the House of Lords, abandoning the United Kingdom's nuclear deterrent by cancelling Trident and removing cruise missiles—a programme dubbed by Labour MP Gerald Kaufman "the longest suicide note in history". Pro-Labour political journalist Michael White, writing in The Guardian, commented: "There was something magnificently brave about Michael Foot's campaign but it was like the Battle of the Somme." Following boundary changes in 1983, the BBC and ITN co-produced a calculation of how the 1979 general election would have gone if fought on the new 1983 boundaries. The following table shows the effects of the boundary changes on the House of Commons: Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher visited Buckingham Palace on the afternoon of 9 May and asked the Queen to dissolve Parliament on 13 May, announcing that the election would be held on 9 June.
The key dates were as follows: The election saw a landslide victory for the Conservatives, achieving their best results since 1935. Although there was a slight drop in their share of the vote, they made significant gains at the expense of Labour; the night was a disaster for the Labour Party. The massive increase of support for the Alliance at the expense of Labour meant that, in many seats, the collapse in the Labour vote allowed the Conservatives to gain. Despite winning over 25% of the national vote, the Alliance got fewer than 4% of seats, 186 fewer than Labour; the most significant Labour loss of the night was Tony Benn, defeated in the revived Bristol East seat. SDP President Shirley Williams a prominent leader in the Social Democratic Party, lost her Crosby seat which she had won in a by-election in 1981. Bill Rodgers, another leading figure in the Alliance failed to win his old seat that he held as a Labour MP. In Scotland, both Labour a