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General election trail

Discover incredible objects from general elections.

1974 general election

10 Reasons For Voting Conservative leaflet, 1974

A portrait blue leaflet with white text including: '10 Reasons For Voting Conservative', followed by ten points.1974 saw two general elections, one in February and one in October.  Why?  The February election resulted in a hung parliament.  The Labour Party led by Harold Wilson won the most seats but not a majority of seats in parliament.  In an attempt to gain a majority, Wilson called another election in October which led to a Labour majority of just three seats.

Did you know?  Maureen Colquhoun (1928-2021), elected as Labour MP for Northampton North in 1974, was Britain’s first openly gay MP.

Image of Landscape leaflet with blue text: 'Get 'Em Out! Vote Conservative'.

1966 general election

Get ‘Em Out! Vote Conservative leaflet, 1966

The Labour Party, led by Harold Wilson, won the 1966 general election with a majority of 97 seats.  The new parliament made a number of significant changes to life in Britain including the abolition of the death penalty, the legalisation of abortion in most of the UK, and the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality.  A new Race Relations Act outlawed discrimination when renting housing and in hiring and promoting employees.  Wilson’s government also reduced the voting age to 18 (from 21).

Did you know?  When Harold Wilson became Prime Minister he was the youngest PM, at 48, to hold office since 1847.  At the time of writing (2024) Rishi Sunak holds the record as the youngest PM of the modern era.  He was 42 when he took office in 2022.

Image of A pale blue round neck zip up jacket with two front pockets on a mannequin.

2015 general election

Angela Rayner’s jacket, 2020

David Cameron led the Conservative Party to victory in the 2015 general election, securing a small majority of 11 seats.  Angela Rayner, deputy leader of the Labour Party, was elected as MP for Ashton-under-Lyne in 2015.

Did you know?  The constituency of Houghton and Sunderland South was the first to declare its result, just 48 minutes after voting ended at 10.00pm.  St Ives was the latest to declare, a day later at 3.26pm.

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