In March 1979 there was a Vote of Confidence in the Callaghan Government which it lost 311-310, triggering a General Election. The story of one of the most dramatic nights in British Political History In August 1978, the Lib-Lab Pact – which had helped sustain the Callaghan Government in office – disbanded with an expectation that… Continue reading End Days: The Night the Callaghan Government Fell
This morning Labour has its fewest number of MPs in Parliament since 1935. That election was one of progress, with Labour winning 102 seats and setting itself back on course for government. A more apt comparison is 1931, when the party was reduced to just 52 MPs. The party lost 235 seats following the formation… Continue reading After the Landslide: In 1983 Jeremy Corbyn claimed “everything had been fudged.” Now, Labour must learn from another huge defeat
The modern era of big, open, political betting began in 1963 when Ron Pollard of Ladbrokes offered odds on the Conservative leadership contest for the ordinary punter. It was a dismal start as the 5/4 favourite Rab Butler was beaten by the 16/1 shot Alec Douglas-Home. In offering the market Pollard tapped into a long,… Continue reading The Political Punt: Will Corbyn or Johnson defy the Odds as Attlee, Thatcher and Blair did?
By the summer of 1978, Jim Callaghan had a big decision to make. After four tumultuous years in power, his party had finally nudged ahead in the opinion polls. An election was expected, but to the shock of the world, Callaghan abandoned his plan. It became the most significant miscalculation in Labour's history For most of 1976… Continue reading Waiting at the church: Why Callaghan failed to call the 1978 general election