Sunday, 7 June 2015
158 Election 74
Watched : 1 March 1974
For reasons which are now lost to me we didn't have any proper lessons the day after the general election of February 1974. We were just herded into the hall and there we watched the results unfolding for most of the day. God knows what OFSTED would have had to say about that.
Before the election I had a vague idea who Ted Heath and Harold Wilson were as regular faces on the evening news who were in some way involved in running the country. I don't think I'd heard of Jeremy Thorpe before. My understanding of the election was similarly limited . My parents wanted the Conservatives to win, most of the boys at school seemed to support Labour and the Liberals had very few seats although one of them was just down the road in Rochdale. Although Littleborough is now included in the Rochdale constituency, at the time it was in one called Heywood and Royton , a fairly safe Labour seat occupied by Joel Barnett ( of Scotland funding formula fame ).
All I can really remember about it is the lads cheering whenever "Labour win" flashed up and eventually joining in because it was the best fun to be had as the day dragged by.
As any politics student will tell you the result was inconclusive and after Heath and Thorpe failed to reach an agreement Wilson took over and went to the country again in October scraping a bare majority. By that time we had changed schools and as a new building our new one wasn't on the list of polling stations so there was no extra holiday. I was aware that it was something unusual to have two elections in one year but otherwise the second one largely passed me by.