1970 United Kingdom general election

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1970 United Kingdom general election

← 1966 18 June 1970 Feb 1974 →
← List of MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, 1966
List of MPs elected in the United Kingdom general election, 1970 →

All 630 seats in the House of Commons
316 seats needed for a majority
Turnout72.0%, Decrease3.8%
  First party Second party Third party
  Sir Edward Heath.jpg Harold Wilson.jpg No image.svg
Leader Edward Heath Harold Wilson Jeremy Thorpe
Party Conservative Labour Liberal
Leader since 28 July 1965 14 February 1963 18 January 1967
Leader's seat Bexley Huyton North Devon
Last election 253 seats, 41.9% 364 seats, 48% 12 seats, 8.5%
Seats won 330 288 6
Seat change Increase77 Decrease75 Decrease6
Popular vote 13,145,123 12,208,758 2,117,035
Percentage 46.4% 43.1% 7.5%
Swing Increase4.5% Decrease4.9% Decrease1.0%

UK General Election, 1970.svg
Colours show the winning party—as shown in § Results

Composition of the Commons in 1970.svg
Composition of the House of Commons after the election

Prime Minister before election

Harold Wilson
Labour

Prime Minister after election

Edward Heath
Conservative

A general election was held on 18 June 1970 to elect all 630 members of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. The Conservative Party won the election and Edward Heath became Prime Minister.

Most people thought that the Labour Party would win the election and it was a surprise that the Conservatives won. Opinion polls had showed Labour ahead, but were wrong.[1][2] This was the first election where people aged over 18 could vote, instead of 21.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. Richard Rose (1970). "Voting Trends Surveyed". The Times Guide to the House of Commons 1970. London: Times Newspapers Limited. p. 31. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. George Clark (1970). "The General Election Campaign, 1970". The Times Guide to the House of Commons 1970. London: Times Newspapers Limited. p. 26.
  3. "Representation of the People Act 1969". Hansard.